Popular music festival in Latvia could move to Russia over Ukraine tensions

  • 2014-10-20
  • From wire reports, RIGA

The New Wave festival is popular for attracting Russian musicians/tourists to the seaside resort of Jurmala, Latvia (photo: RIA Novosti)

Latvia's popular New Wave music festival could relocate to Russia following Latvia's decision to blacklist three major artists, Russia's culture minister has said.

Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky called Latvia's decision earlier this year to blacklist Oleg Gazmanov, Joseph Kobzon and Alla Perfilova, 'a slap in the face.'

The trio were meant to perform at the New Wave music festival in Jurmala before the ban came in to place. Latvia's foreign ministry said the ban was issued over the artists pro Russia views on the Ukraine crisis. 

"This decision by the Latvian powers that be can be regarded with nothing except astonishment, and as a result, Jurmala stands to suffer serious economic losses. We are very close to making the decision to exit, because Russian artists will not tolerate such a slap in the face," Medinsky said during a private visit to Riga on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Russia condemned a new play "Cukurs. Herberts Cukurs" centered around the life of a Nazi pilot, widely known for his role in murdering tens of thousands of Jews during World War Two.

Demonstrators gathered at the venue before the Riga performance last Friday.

"From what I hear, only 100 tickets were sold, and that is a disaster. Latvian audiences, who are educated and know the truth about their history, showed their attitude [by boycotting], and evidently it is a major artistic fiasco," Medinsky said.

(Edited by Rayyan Sabet-Parry)