Belarus: Blacklisted band holds three ‘exile concerts’ in Lithuania



Three ‘exile concerts’ sold out

A blacklisted rock band from Belarus, Krambambulya, which was refused permission to perform in Minsk decided instead to move their concert location to neighbouring Lithuania. Belarusians who travel to the concert obtain a free visa, and an impressive number of tickets are already sold. Thousands of Belarusians will be travelling to Vilnius in the end of April 2012.

The reputed blacklists of Belarusian musicians and bands are still in function, but… there are ways to get around them.

Lavon Volskis blacklisted band Krambambulya wanted to launch their new album ‘Drabadzi-Drabada’ with a live concert in Minsk but were refused permission to perform.

Then Lavon Volski and Krambambulya made a deal with the Lithuaninan embassy to organise three concerts in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, on 28, 29 and 30 April 2012. Belarusians who travel to one of the concerts obtain a free visa

“We have requests from all over Belarus. It shows that there is a great demand for this kind of music which unfortunately cannot prove its qualities in our country,” told concert manager Vladimir Shablinsky.

Lavon Volski, leader of the group, said: “With the new album we wanted to bring some European music and culture to Belarus. Now we have to take it to Europe and bring Belarusians there. Belarus is still isolated and a lot of people have never been to another country. But we will work hard to build a bridge between Europe and our country.”

“It will be a real historic event,” wrote Freemuse’s source in Belarus.

More info about the band and the concerts can be seen here:

Lavon Volski

The album cover of ‘Drabadzi-Drabada’

Click to read about music censorship in Belarus

Press release from the organisers:
Banned Belarusian band performs in Vilnius – a truly historic event

The rock-band Krambambulya, now banned in their home country of Belarus, is going to play three gigs in Vilnius – Belarusian visitors will get free visas!

At the end of April 2012 the Belarusian band KRAMBAMBULYA is going to play three gigs in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. This group is one of the most popular in Belarus. It is led by frontman Liavon Volski, the dominant figure on the independent music scene in his country since the 1980s. His songs have become anthems of the opposition movement. In Belarus the band is not allowed to perform in public. Like other musicians and artists Krambambulya figures on the “Black List” of musicians and artists that the dictatorial regime of President Aleksandr Lukashenko has banned in its fight with the country’s independent cultural scene.

The group’s latest album “Drabadzi-Drabada”, a compilation of punk-rock versions of twelve traditional folk-songs from Germany, Ireland, Lithuania and Sweden, was originally to have been presented in the Republic club in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, in February 2012 . The concert had to be cancelled as a result of the ban placed on the band. So Krambambulya decided to take the presentation of the album to Lithuania. With the support of the Lithuanian embassy in Minsk all Belarusians who manage to get hold of a ticket for one of the concerts on the 28th, 29th or 30th of April will receive a free visa for Lithuania.

“This is a truly historic event,” commented Volski. “Thousands of Belarusians will be travelling to Vilnius. Originally we wanted to bring European music culture to our still isolated country. Since we are not allowed to perform in Belarus, we are now going to bring Belarus to Europe. “All tickets for the concerts are already sold out. Dozens of Belarusians come every day to the Minsk office of concert impresario Vladimir Shablinski from all over the country to pick up their tickets. “It is really incredible,” says Shablinski. “Many of them have never been abroad and they have never been in an EU country. We can see that there is a huge demand for bigger concerts by Krambambulya in Belarus. We could have sold many more tickets.” The concerts are taking place at a politically icy time. In early March all the EU ambassadors left the country, after the EU had tightened sanctions against the Belarusian government.

With these concerts Krambambulya not only wants to draw attention to the tragic situation of the independent music scene in their country. “The EU has been thinking for some time now about free visas for Belarusians. By our action we want to show how necessary and important that is,” said Volski. “Many people in Belarus have never met foreigners and many of them have never been to other countries. We have little reliable information about life in the EU. People must travel in order to be able to compare.”

Krambambulya would be very pleased and grateful if you could report this historic event in your media. We can arrange interviews with Liavon Volski as well. Even better, we would be delighted if you could join us at the concerts in Vilnius. You will there have a unique opportunity to interview young Belarusians who for the first time in their lives will be able to celebrate their music and culture in freedom.

Please contact us if you have questions or need more information.

Sincerely yours,
Ingo Petz
Hanna Volskaya

Manager Krambambulya


Tickets/Location in Vilnius:


More information

Belsat TV – 16 March 2011:

‘Belarusian blacklist of rock bands exists’

Nasha Niva – 22 November 2011:

‘Black list of acts: cancelled a concert in Minsk cafe’

Google – continuously updated:
Search: “Lavon Volski”

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