‘Lay Down Your Arms, Let There Be Peace’: Industry Stands United In Ukraine Crisis

Take A Stand.
– Take A Stand.
Yourope initiated this campaign, which aims to foster a healthy and vivid society full of awareness and tolerance for all cultures, genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, colours and origins.

Messages of support and solidarity are pouring from various members of the worldwide music community in reaction to the war in Europe. OVG (Pollstar’s parent company) ceased all business activity with Russia, the Portuguese music export office has offered help to all Ukrainian musicians in Portugal, Pohoda hosted a benefit concert in Bratislava (video below), UEFA has banned Russian clubs from participating in its tournaments.

Yourope, which represents more than 100 Festivals from all across Europe, including Atlas Weekend in the Ukraine and Wild Mint Festival in Russia, released the following:
“It’s hard to find words when you’re actually speechless. And yet we feel compelled to take a stand in these special times, because Yourope is a pan-European association and its members also include festivals from Ukraine and Russia. We feel solidarity with those who suffer from and disagree with this terrible aggression.
“We have always strived to achieve the best together because we are convinced that only cooperation and exchange makes us stronger. A healthy and vivid society depends on awareness and tolerance for all cultures, genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, colours and origins. We all should be the ambassadors of hope, respect and peaceful dialogue every day to make the world a better place for every single individual and for all of us.
“Exactly five years ago we initiated Take A Stand and defined our message and those values and it has never seemed more important to say them out loud than now on this unfortunately sad anniversary: It‘s time to take a stand for Europe, and indeed for the whole world…
“End the unspeakable.
Lay down your arms.
Let there be peace.
For the future generations.
For the future of Europe.”
Pohoda Festival in Slovakia held a concert on the main square of Bratislava, the country capital, to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine. 

“The liberal arts are developing best in free countries, and we know that our friends in Ukraine are trying to do the same. Every year, great artists from Ukraine perform at Pohoda, we receive representatives of their media, we have many visitors and great relationships with promoters from Ukraine. We want to let them all know also this way that we are with them in these difficult times,” said Pohoda founder and director Michal Kašcák.
“By the way, it is clear that if a similar attack concerned Slovakia, one of the first targets would be the Trencín airport, which is also used for many civilian activities, including our festival,” he added.

ILMC 34's theme is Brave New World.
– ILMC 34’s theme is Brave New World
The conference team issued a statement in solidarity and support of the people of Ukraine.


The team behind London’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC), led by Greg Parmley, Gordon Masson, Chris Prosser, and Lou Percival, issued the following:
“Watching the unfolding invasion by Russian armed forces over the last few days, our thoughts and hopes are with all of our Ukrainian members and friends, and the Ukrainian people who will be deeply affected by the violence. 
“It is appalling that within Europe we are witnessing an attack on one country by another – particularly an assault predicated on lies and misinformation – and seeing those we know fleeing for borders or forced to take up arms to defend their homes and country.
“This conflict will impact all of us, not just those in Ukraine: our friends and colleagues in Russia whose lives are dedicated to promoting culture; the neighbouring countries assisting refugees; the artists and venues around Europe affected by the sanctions and restrictions that will follow; and thousands more throughout the global business for whom this assault on peace itself is so hard to witness.
“While many of us may feel helpless right now, the role of music and culture in times like this is crucial. Or, to quote Rock Werchter’s Herman Schueremans, “Politics and religions divide, but music unites, and we all contribute to it.” And it’s music that has the power to inform and influence as much as any economic sanction. 
“More directly, we’ve listed some common ways that people can help Ukraine directly, should you want to. We’ll be donating, and encourage others to do the same. 
“In the live music business, after two years of shutdown due to the global pandemic, we’re long overdue the opportunity to bring joy safely back to fans, and to do that to a backdrop of peace and freedom. 
“All of us at ILMC headquarters stand together with the people of Ukraine at this very sad moment in European history, as we’re sure does the rest of the live entertainment world.
“Greg, Gordon, Chris, Lou and all of the ILMC team.”
The ILMC team assembled a few ways to help:
The Ukrainian Red Cross, which undertakes a lot of humanitarian work, from aiding refugees to training doctors. Donate here
Nova Ukraine, a Ukraine-based non-profit that provides civilians with everything from baby food and hygiene products to clothes and household supplies. Donate here.
Voices of Children, a charity that focuses on helping children recover from the psychological trauma of war. More info here.
United Help Ukraine, which distributes food and medical supplies to internally displaced people in Ukraine. Donate here.

Seattle's Climate Pledge Arena lit up Seattle Center in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
– Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena lit up Seattle Center in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
The arena’s operator OVG has ceased all business activity with Russia.


Oak View Group (OVG, Pollstar’s parent company) said it would’t to business with Russia effective immediately:
The global venue development, advisory, and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, released the following statement:
“In light of the tragic conflict rapidly unfolding in Ukraine, Oak View Group has pledged to not do business in or with Russia, nor will we serve Russian brands in any of our venues on a global basis, effective immediately. We stand with the people of Ukraine, we condemn the actions of Russia, and we hope our stance inspires others in our industry to take action where they can.”
Last night, Feb. 26, Climate Pledge Arena, which is owned and operated by OVG, lit up Seattle Center in the colors of the Ukrainian flag to support the #StandWithUkraine campaign.

A peace march titled "Freedom for Ukraine" in Cologne, Germany, Feb. 28, 2022.
– A peace march titled “Freedom for Ukraine” in Cologne, Germany, Feb. 28, 2022.
The country’s federal trade association of the concert and event industry BDKV condemned the terrible events in the heart of Europe.

Germany’s federal trade association of the concert and event industry BDKV:

“Germany’s promoters of culture strongly condemn the barbaric invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin and his regime, which violates international law. 
“We are shocked by this belligerent invasion and will do everything we can to show our solidarity with the Ukrainian people and support them in their fight against this injustice,” said Pascal Funke, co-president of BDKV. 
“Culture has a voice. It must resound loudly in these times and we will help to make it be heard,” said BDKV board member Sonia Simmenauer. Fellow board member Klaus Wollny added, “We are currently working to quickly arrange a benefit concert for Ukraine, the proceeds of which we will donate to the International Aid Fund for Culture and Education,.”
“Many members of our association have maintained intensive contacts with Russian artists, orchestras, bands and professional colleagues in Russia for decades,” commented Michael Hermann, MD of Rheingau Music Festival. His colleague Ulrike Schirrmacher added, “We know that the majority of Russian citizens are peace-loving and also condemn this war of aggression against their neighboring country, Ukraine. Unfortunately, they cannot express this appropriately in Putin’s system, as it could cost them their freedom or even their lives.”
Germany’s federal commissioner for culture and media, Claudia Roth, made available €1 million as emergency aid for Ukrainian artists and intends to expand the existing protection programs for creative artists. 
Members of the BDKV are more than 500 concert, tour and festival organizers as well as artists’ agents. Jens Michow, managing president of the association, said that artists and promoters were bridge builders between very different civil societies: “By carrying out this task, we hope to make a small contribution to the return of peace and freedom for people in both Ukraine and Russia,” he concluded.
WHY Portugal, Portuguese music export office:
“Sadly, in 2022, we still need to deal with tyranny, oppression, and other types of aggression to democracy and freedom. In a world where borders should be diminished, it makes no sense to observe such an attack that Russia is undertaking towards Ukraine. We, within this community, must be focused on progression towards a much brighter future – not only in the creative and music industries but the entire ecosystem that surrounds us. We fully condemn these actions. In any circumstance, especially as we’re yet recovering from the economical effects of COVID-19, we cannot accept what’s happening. 
“The Portuguese Music Export Office (WHY Portugal) demonstrates full solidarity and support to our fellow colleagues from Ukraine: musicians, labels, the Music Export Ukraine, and the overall music industry in the country. 
“Actions should be louder than a thousand words, so that’s why we’re completely open to supporting with what we can all Ukrainian musicians based in Portugal at the moment. If you know someone, please spread the word. Feel free to reach out to both of our organizations through all of our online channels. At this stage, we much rather focus on being proactive instead of feeding fear about what’s, unfortunately, stronger than all of us, as individuals. 
“Please take care and genuinely help each other out. Together we can fight tyranny and division. Together we’re capable of overcoming every challenge that comes our way. Music has the power to unite and to heal. 
“Before finishing this statement, we do repeat: there’s no room for aggression in every corner of the world. Politicians and all spheres of power must be held accountable – now and forever. 
“All the best, WHY Portugal.”
An exterior shot of the Stade de France at night time.
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
– An exterior shot of the Stade de France at night time.
The stadium in Paris will be home to this year’s UEFA Champions League final.

Earlier, the European Broadcasting Union banned Russia from participating in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Russian rapper Oxxxymiron canceled his upcoming shows in St. Petersburg and Moscow in protest.

Protests against the war are coming from beyond the world of music. European soccer association UEFA moved the May 28 Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, following what UEFA’s executive committee called a “grave escalation of the security situation in Europe.”
German publication Bild reported, that UEFA had dropped Russian club from the Europa League tournament, where they were supposed to face RB Leipzig in the round of 16, meaning the German club advances to the quarter-finals without having to play. 
Global soccer association FIFA banned Russia from hosting international matches on home turf, but even on neutral ground neither spectators nor displays of the Russian anthem or flags will be allowed.