Russian musicians speaking out against the war face concert cancellations
August 17, 2022
St Petersburg news outlet Fontanka compiled a list of concerts that have been cancelled across since the start of the war in Ukraine. The cancellations affect artists that have publicly spoken out against the war and called for peace. Several groups, such as the bands Aquarium, Mumiy Troll, and Tequilajazzz, decided to suspend their public performances altogether for as long as the war continues. 
Some of the musicians whose concerts were forcibly shut down in recent months have long been in the crosshairs of Russian authorities. One example is rapper Noize MC, whose politically charged and satirical lyrics elevated him to the status of an anti-government cultural icon, especially among younger Russians. After openly condemning the Kremlin’s “military operation” back in February, the rapper had multiple concerts canceled by local authorities in places like Moscow, St Petersburg, Penza, Vladimir and Volgograd. He has since toured foreign cities – for example, Prague and Berlin – teaming up on stage with the pop star Monetochka and raising money to help Ukrainians who have been forced to flee from the war.

The cult rock band DDT has taken an anti-war stance as well. A court in St Petersburg even filed an administrative case against DDT leader Yuri Shevchuk after he made statements critical of the government at a concert in the band’s hometown of Ufa back in May. In the aftermath, a concert the band was supposed to play in Moscow was postponed for a year. DDT fans created an online petition called "Shevchuk can't be canceled!,” which, as Fontanka reports, has been signed by around 50,000 people. On August 16, Shevchuk was handed a fine of 50 thousand rubles (approx. 814 USD) for "discrediting" Russia’s armed forces.

Other performers who have had concerts canceled include Mashina Vremeni, Valery Meladze, Sergey Lazarev, Tarakany!, Krovostok, Kasta, AloeVera, Bi-2, Anacondaz, Vassily Sinaisky and Manizha.

Digest by Mack Tubridy for the Russia.Post editorial team.
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