March 29, 2023

Concert Confusion


Concert Confusion
Valery Meladze. Okras, Wikimedia Commons.

Valery Meladze's April concerts in Novosibirsk, Barnaul, and Kemerovo have been canceled, according to concert organizers who spoke to RIA Novosti.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, concert organizers in Russia received lists of "banned artists." Valery Meladze, a Belarusian singer who opposed the war from the beginning, was included in the list. He was also included in the of banned artists in Belarus, according to the Agency and Fontanka.

During a New Year's speech in Dubai, Meladze recited a slogan used by Ukrainian nationalists. As a result, a proposal was put forward in the Russian State Duma to strip him of his titles and his Russian citizenship. Meladze responded, "The people I love dearly are in a conflict in which people are dying... I can't and don't want to hate anyone, and I don't try to please anyone."

The Siberian concert venues reported they were unaware of Meladze's performances. The Kemerovo arena specifically mentioned they had no concerts scheduled "for any upcoming dates." According to RIA Novosti, officials at the Titov Arena in Barnaul confirmed that Valery Meladze would not perform. They said, "What even is Meladze's concert? He is a banned artist, no concert is planned. You probably saw some old posters."

It remains unclear whether Valery Meladze had planned to perform in the Siberian cities mentioned, since his website currently only lists performances outside of Russia. Performances have also been recently canceled in Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Moscow, and Rostov-on-Don

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