Kubana Moves To Latvia

This year’s Kubana Festival appears to have been saved by moving across the Baltic Sea from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the Latvian capital of Riga.

Photo: APTN/AP Photo
Standing outside Sakharov Center in Moscow.

Festival chief Ilya Ostrovskiy, who has said he had no chance of continuing with the event in Russia unless he focused the content on “balalaikas and prayer,” confirmed the switch to Pollstar June 23.

Having initially received “great support” from the regional government in Kaliningrad, it disappeared in the face of criticism from the Russian orthodox church and police.

According to Ukraine Today, the Russian Orthodox Church opposed Kubana happening in Russia because “the festival supports degradation, corruption, alcoholism and blatant immorality.”

“It is very hard to organize such a big festival in so little time, but everything has to be done and Riga will obtain its own ‘island of freedom’ and the regular festival,” Riga Mayor Nil Usakov explained on his Facebook page.

In seven years, Ostrovskiy has developed Kubana into one of the country’s biggest festivals, despite frequently falling foul of the Russian authorities and twice having to move to a new site. In 2013 it moved from Veselovka to Anapa, on the northern coast of the Black Sea, before an anti-Russian demonstration by Bloodhound Gang at a gig in Ukraine – which involved bass player Jared Hasselhoff “wiping his arse” on the Russian flag – caused the band to be taken off the Kubana bill and the festival making another move to the Baltic coast at Kaliningrad.

“Bloodhound Gang is packing its bags,” Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said of Bloodhound Gang’s removal from the Kubana bill. The acts lined up for Kubana, which is still scheduled for Aug. 6-8, include Panic! At The Disco, Zemfira, HIM, and Soviet-era pop-star Lev Leshchenko.