September 01, 2018

Jumping Ship

This summer Russia’s biggest rock music festival, Nashestvie,* faced cancellations by a number of artists who were protesting the festival’s increasing cooperation with the Russian military.

Nashestvie, which had a 2017 attendance of about 200,000, has for several years hosted a show of tanks and other military equipment, and the Russian military has also had a booth where prospective contract soldiers could enlist.

Meanwhile, the Russian rock scene has historically been lukewarm toward both the government and the military. Some established musicians, including Boris Grebenshchikov and Andrei Makarevich, began to steer clear of the festival after it struck up a partnership with the Defense Ministry. This year however, a total of six groups opted out after initially agreeing to participate, while the country’s most famous hip hop artist, Noize MC, performed anti-military songs from the stage.

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