Russian Bands Cashing In on Live shows Supporting Ukraine Invasion – Billboard


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to deep division amongst native musicians. Whereas critics of the struggle have bother taking part in exhibits — or are voluntarily refusing to take action — supporters of the invasion are cashing in by taking part in government-sponsored “patriotic” live shows.

With Europe’s largest battle since World Phrase II now passing 100 days, all through April and Could, dozens of live shows have been organized throughout Russia by native authorities to assist the Russian “army operation” in Ukraine. Artists collaborating in these exhibits have been paid sizable charges by native authorities.

The people rock band Pelageya collected 3 million rubles ($49,000) for collaborating in a patriotic music competition in Stavropol, South Russia, on Could 1, and singer Denis Maidanov was paid 2.5 million rubles ($40,000) for participating in the identical occasion, in accordance with Russia’s authorities procurement web site, the place all spendings from the central and native budgets need to be reported.

Artists’ charges for normal exhibits are usually not disclosed in Russia, however these figures are nonetheless believed to be increased than their common charges.

The administration of Maidanov and Pelageya didn’t reply to Billboard‘s request for feedback.

Russian artists on the opposite aspect of the spectrum – those that have opposed the invasion – have discovered themselves in a completely completely different scenario.

The rock band Nogu Svelo, fronted by the outspoken Maxim Pokrovsky, finds it unimaginable to play in Russia proper now.

“A few of our colleagues desire to declare readiness to offer leisure to everybody, no matter their views, saying they’re past politics,” Pokrovsky tells Billboard. “I’m not able to entertain anybody who helps the extinction of a folks whose blood I’ve in my veins, or the extinction of any folks in any respect,” Pokrovsky says, who was out of Russia when the invasion started on Feb. 24 and has no plans to return within the close to time period.

Because the battle started, Pokrovsky has launched a number of music movies, wherein he harshly criticizes Russia for attacking Ukraine and people Russians who supported the assault.

He dreads the concept individuals who assist what Russian authorities proceed to name a “particular army operation” may present up at his band’s live shows.

Now, he says he fears he might be detained if he involves Russia to carry out. The Kremlin lately adopted laws stipulating harsh punishment of as much as 15 years in jail for individuals who criticize the army operation in Ukraine — and Pokrovsky’s songs technically violate that legislation.

Yevgeny Fedorov, frontman of the bands Tequilajazzz and Optimystica Orchestra, additionally left Russia days after the invasion, as did lots of his colleagues who opposed Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

“That is precisely a struggle, and it’s unacceptable, completely shameful and depraved, as a result of it’s justified by far-fetched causes and imperialist fantasies constructed upon myths that have been born within the Soviet period and grew unbelievably sturdy because of Russian official propaganda’s steady efforts within the final 20 years,” Fedorov tells Billboard.

“Lots of of artists have been compelled to go away Russia, as any outspoken remark may result in a prolonged jail time period, harassment from pro-Putin activists and even bodily assaults,” he says.

Among the many first Russian artists to talk out was Miron Fyodorov, the rapper often called Oxxxymiron, who canceled his first Russia headlining tour in 5 years, after which performed three exhibits in April underneath the slogan “RUSSIANS AGAINST WAR” in Istanbul, London and Berlin, respectively, amassing $195,000 that was donated to Ukrainians. He’s now on hiatus and his web site gives no additional tour dates, solely saying “NO TO WAR.”

Extra lately, the veteran rock band DDT, whose frontman Yuri Shevchuk has opposed the struggle, has canceled a number of exhibits — in Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk and, this week, a stadium present in Moscow scheduled for June 10.

“The Band DDT takes a robust anti-war stance,” the band mentioned in a press release revealed on its web site. “Due to that, organizers have been unable to acquire permission to run the present from the Moscow authorities.”

The band refused to play at venues adorned with the letter ‘Z,’ which has come to represent assist for the invasion.

Shevchuk himself is going through civil prices for anti-war feedback he made at a current present in Ufa. The fees have been introduced by native authorities and the case remains to be pending. Shevchuk has not denied making the feedback.

Because the struggle in Ukraine entered its fourth month, the division between musicians supporting and opposing the invasion stays acute. On the identical time, a 3rd pool of artists have averted taking sides within the battle out of worry of dropping both their incomes alternatives or their followers’ assist.

“Some folks hold silent, doing it for varied causes,” Pokrovsky says. “Some are actually at risk, are barely surviving however nonetheless making statements [about the situation], strolling on the point of an abyss. Nonetheless, others are sitting tight in a gap stuffed with meals, cash and awards, hoping to sit down out the troublesome occasions.”





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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to deep division amongst native musicians. Whereas critics of the struggle have bother taking part in exhibits — or are voluntarily refusing to take action — supporters of the invasion are cashing in by taking part in government-sponsored “patriotic” live shows. With Europe’s largest battle since World Phrase II…

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