On February 22nd we announced that after Rome and some other bands playing in Kyiv, it’s now the turn of Laibach to perform a full show in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The concert was to take place at the Bel Etage Music Hall in Kyiv, Ukraine on 31 March 2023 but has now been canceled.
Unlike the original press promo, in our own news reporting we never talked about the band being the first non-Ukrainian band playing a full concert in Ukraine since the war broke out. That and some other past comments from band members has created some online drama. Sufficient for the band to issue a statement.
In the statement the band says that they “are not coming to Ukraine to be the first, second or third group to perform in your capital during the war, as some media reported, but as a clear expression of support for your country in this war.” Again, a bit odd since the official press release to the media exactly said that, “Laibach to become first foreign band to perform in Kyiv since invasion”, a communication error which never was published by Side-Line. The Guardian for instance did literally took over the press release just like hundreds of other media outlets who also enjoyed copying texts from one another 🙂 .
And we stay with The Guardian who printed the below fragment:
Also this Technik Art interview quote didn’t fare well for obvious reasons.
Regarding this the band says the following: “We must stress here that some of our statements, which may not have been in line with your thinking, were never intended to offend you in any way or to diminish the importance of your just struggle. Since the first days of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, we have taken an unequivocal position and reiterated that there is no place for war in a modern society. Geopolitical issues cannot be resolved by armed attack and political incitement. We also immediately cancelled all planned appearances in Russia and in all interviews condemned Russia’s aggression in this war.” That’s correct, the band was one of the few to act promptly in the first days after the invasion started. They do say though that the war was ‘provoked’, but – and that is actually the main thing we all should focus on – they do also say that invading a country just because of some provocation is wrong, period. What is clear, is that every discussion regarding the pre-war politics remains extremely sensitive right now, but for everyone who has been working on Ukrainian projects during this wartime, it’s also clear that this discussion has – rightfully – no place now, something which Laibach should have understood.
The statement also reads that the band members love Russian literature, music and art but that they side with Ukraine: “We love Dostoyevsky, Bulgakov, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Mayakovsky, Tatlin, Rodchenko and El Lissitzky – to name but a few – and we always will. But in this senseless war between Russia and Ukraine, we are wholeheartedly on the side of Ukraine and its people, who – as in the old biblical story of David and Goliath – are fighting with dignity against a stronger enemy. We mourn with you for the innocent victims. We rejoice with you in your victories.”
And if that wasn’t clear enough they add: “To all those who doubt our views, let us therefore once again make it very clear that Russia is the main aggressor in this clash of destructive political and geostrategic interests. Russia’s army illegally entered foreign territory with weapons and started this terrible war. Ukraine therefore has every right to defend itself and must defend itself by all means. We support you unconditionally in this, that is why we are coming to Kiev and on this occasion we call on the world powers to sit down at the green table as soon as possible and end this unbearable slaughter and all other wars and military conflicts around the world.”
The band was to donate all the proceeds from ticket sales to charity, “with no strings attached” they say. The statement ends with the words: “Glory to Ukraine!” Ticket refunds are available from the point of purchase.
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