The famous National Festival of Polish Song in Opole, southwestern Poland, has been called off after headliner Maryla Rodowicz and a number of other stars quit, amid media reports that the television network had banned popular singer Kayah from the event.
Kayah, who has taken part in protests against Poland's conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government, said that she chose to quit the show, adding that her decision was in support of those who had been blacklisted.
But Kurski denied that a blacklist existed.
“There has been a brutal attack on the public good, on Polish Television and on Polish culture and we cannot agree to it,” Kurski said on Monday.
Earlier on Monday, Opole’s authorities blocked TVP’s crews from setting up for the Opole festival, which had been scheduled for 9 June.
Opole City Hall later said it had terminated a deal with TVP to hold the event after music legend Rodowicz – who was due to mark her 50th year on the Polish stage – and a number of other stars said they would not perform.
Kurski said: “This is an unforgivable scandal and [the mayor of Opole] has disgraced himself.”
He added that Rodowicz’s decision to back out of the event was made because of the recent death of her mother.
Rodowicz said on Facebook: "The political scandal and family drama have made me decide to back out of the 50th-anniversary concert which was due to take place at the festival in Opole”.
The political scandal follows reports in the media that songstress Kayah was not allowed to perform, despite Rodowicz’s request.
Polish Culture Minister Piotr Gliński said this was probably “fake news”.
Following the media reports, several other A-list stars took to social media to say they would not perform at the festival.
Kurski said that TVP would sue Opole for the “huge financial consequences” of moving the event, adding that a new location for the music festival would be announced later this week.
Mayor of Opole Arkadiusz Wiśniewski said the city would launch its own “multimillion złoty” suit against TVP.
If the festival is moved to a new city, it will be the first time in its more than 50-year history that Opole will not host the event.
Wiśniewski has said that the city, as the owner of the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole brand, was willing to take over as the event’s organiser. (vb/pk)