Manic Street Preachers dispute historic status of Rolling Stones’ Cuba gig

Band played in Havana in 2001

Manic Street Preachers have pointed out the inaccuracy in The Rolling Stones’ claim to have broken new ground in playing a gig in Cuba this weekend.

Mick Jagger and his band played a massive, 500,000 capacity gig in Havana on Friday night (March 25) having had their music banned in the country as recently as 15 years ago. Western music was banned in Cuba for decades for being culturally subversive until the ban was lifted in 2001.

The band billed the gig as “a landmark event” in a statement ahead of the gig, but Manic Street Preachers have been keen to point out on Twitter that they got there first.


The Welsh band became the first popular Western to play Havana when they did so in 2001. Their gig was attended by Cuban leader Fidel Castro and documented in the DVD Louder Than War.

“Had the strangest of dreams last night,” the band posted on Twitter on Saturday. “I was playing a free gig in Havana,Cuba at the Karl Marx Theatre 15 years ago!!!!!!!!xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx”

The gig follows increased diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US. President Obama visited Cuba this week and Diplo’s Major Lazer recently played a gig in Havana.

Chris Cornell recently called on The Rolling Stones to “tell all their friends” to play Cuba. The Soundgarden singer played a gig on the island in 2005 with Audioslave.