Two Freemuse Award winners shared the stage when Lavon Volski received the 2016 Freemuse Award in Stockholm on 8 May 2016. The event took place on stage in Stockholm’s Kungsträdgården – which currently has been transformed into the ‘Eurovision Village’.
“Belarus has a winner, but…”
Stockholm city hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, the world’s largest live music event, wished to add another dimension to the song contest by focusing on banned and persecuted musicians, and as Freemuse Director Ole Reitov said from the stage: “Belarus has a winner… but he is banned in his country – as is a previous Freemuse Award winner, Ramy Essam, in his home country.”
In a sunny, warm city of Stockholm, Ramy Essam joined Lavon Volski in a song, and the Eurovision village audience was reminded that not all is well in Europe – or outside Europe for that matter.
Before the award ceremony and a concert with Ramy Essam and his new band, a panel discussion took place on “safe havens” for artists at risk.
Ramy Essam is currently hosted by Malmö City Council and the Swedish Government wish to motivate more cities to create safe spaces for artists at risk.
Photos by Iñaki Marconi