Moscow officials announce another music festival to coincide with Saturday’s election protest while prohibiting concerts at the protest itself
Moscow’s Gorky Park has announced that it will host a music festival called Meat&Beat on August 10 and 11. The announcement follows last Saturday’s Shashlik Live festival, which featured a similar combination of live concerts, food, very abrupt planning, and a schedule that coincided oddly well with Moscow’s election protests.
Like Shashlik Live, Meat&Beat also suffered from an immediate attrition of the artists in its lineup following the festival’s announcement. The bands OQJAV and Kurara both announced that they had not agreed to perform at Gorky Park despite appearing in the Meat&Beat schedule.
While the festival kicks off from noon to 8:00 PM on Saturday, another protest for fair elections to the Moscow City Duma is scheduled to begin at 2:00 PM on Sakharov Prospect. Unlike many of the city’s previous election protests this summer, the August 10 event has received a permit from the city government.
Nonetheless, the government has threatened to cancel that permit if protest organizers follow up on their plans to organize a competing concert at the protest. The Russian acts Face, Krovostok, and IC3PEAK were all scheduled to perform at the event, according to activist and journalist Pyotr Verzilov.
“City Hall knows better than you do which music should be played in Moscow and which music shouldn’t be!” Verzilov tweeted mockingly. Journalist and local government deputy Ilya Azar added that the mayor’s office had no legal right to unilaterally prohibit artists from performing at the protest. Both Verzilov and Azar indicated that the combined concert and protest may still go on, whether with or without the government’s permission.