Kubana is Russia’s biggest outdoor rock music festival. The festival has recently come under fire for allegedly allowing musicians and concert goers the right to drink alcoholic beverages and use drugs. “The festival cultivates alcohol consumption and debauchery and should be investigated by the country’s security and drug enforcement agencies,” Orthodox activist Mikhail Cherenkov stated. Vitaly Milonov, a conservative legislator, agrees with Cherenkov’s assessment of the Kubana festival. “The festival could turn into a hotbed of promiscuity, alcoholism, and drug abuse,” Milonov explained.
Despite the criticism from those who oppose the festival, the local authorities do not agree with their claims. The festival’s producer confirmed that Kubana will be held in Yantarny (Russia) on August 6th through the 9th. While the festival’s organizers are confident Kubana will take place as planned, Russian festivals have been canceled in the past due to the protests of Orthodox activists. The activists believe they still have time to disrupt the Kubana festival before it launches this summer.
Another major issue the festival is facing is the decline in value of ruble (Russian currency), which has lost fifty percent of its value. In the past, Kubana was able to draw big name acts such as System of the Down, The Offspring, and Korn. This year, the promoters are having a hard time booking mainstream rock acts because of financial reasons. “We are trying to find a balance in a new economic situation. We are trying to talk to [major foreign acts]. Some understand our situation and some don’t,” the festival organizers stated.
The decline in the value of ruble has greatly affected Russia’s touring industry. Russia had become a lucrative market for artists abroad to perform at festivals, concerts, and private shows. The Russian touring industry’s growth had reached $1.3 billion dollars last year. Now, promoters and producers are having a hard time booking artists in North America and other countries for gigs in Russia. The economic dilemma is also affecting Russian concert goers. When artists from overseas come to Russia to perform, the promoters are forced to raise ticket prices by as much as thirty percent, in order to balance out the cost of bringing the acts from abroad.
FDRMX Eyes: Nick Deutsch is a singer-songwriter, pianist and lyricist based in the Big Apple. Deutsch has recently premiered his music video for the song, “Crazy Ride.”