Top Tbilisi music club Bassiani was forced to cancel an event in Moscow following mass public outcry.
Many Georgians took to Facebook to express their condemnation of the upcoming performance, saying Bassiani’s decision was insulting to the country, especially as it was announced during the 10th anniversary of the Russo-Georgian war.
Critics also stressed Bassiani’s performance in Russia was a betrayal to the idea of freedom and resistance that the music club positioned itself to stand for, referring to the mass anti-government protests in Tbilisi that followed the May 12 police raid in Bassiani.
The club owners responded to the concerns a day later, saying their sole purpose was to participate in an event that was dedicated to resistance against repressive regimes, including that of Vladimir Putin. They, however, said their “sincere intentions” were misunderstood, including by Bassiani supporters and friends.
“We entirely share the concerns that have been voiced by the public against us. We also share that the performance was announced in very difficult times for Georgia, during the 10th anniversary of the August war, which further augmented their disappointment,” they added.
“Our goal since the very first day we were established has been to fight against the decaying post-Soviet legacy, that has been continued by the contemporary Russia and the Putin regime,” Bassiani owners also wrote, adding that they would continue their “uncompromising battle against those sharing these [regressive] values.”
“A significant portion of Georgia’s territory is occupied by the Russian Federation and a lot of people can not go back to their homes because of that. Our voice has to be heard by the world – No to Occupation,” Bassiani concluded.
The Red Bull Festival is an international electronic music festival organized by the Red Bull Academy. This is the first time Moscow is hosting the event.