Latvia: Russian music festival cannot play due to visa woes

new-wave-music-festival-22-

A Russian music festival that has taken place annually in Latvia since 2002 will have to be moved to Russia because a number of Russian performers have been blacklisted and cannot get visas to Latvia due to disputes over the conflict in Ukraine, reported Europe Online Magazine on 27 February 2015.

Organiser Igor Krutoi reportedly told Latvian TV that the New Wave festival, considered to be the world’s premiere Russian-language music show, would have to be moved to the Russian city of Sochi.

Among the participants banned from traveling to perform in the Latvian city of Jurmala because of EU sanctions are Russian music legend Iosif Kobzon, who is also a member of the Russian legislature, or Duma. He is arguably the most revered Russian singer and lawmaker who has publicly supported pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

At least two other performers, Valeriya Yu Perfilova and Oleg Gazmanov, have been blocked from entering Latvia in connection with their support of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Traditionally staged at the end of July, the show has drawn up to 150 million tv-viewers in past years.



Sources:

» Europe Online Magazine – 27 February 2015:
Russian music festival can’t play in Latvia due to visa woes

» The Moscow Times – 12 January 2015:
Ban on Russian Singers Makes ‘New Wave’ Festival Leave Latvia for Sochi