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Jul 18-21, 2019: Russia’s biggest rock festival likely to roll out the tanks again

RUSSIA - The 2019 Nashestvie festival will bring some 200,000 rock fans – and army tanks and recruitment stands – to the outskirts of Moscow. Some performers object to the military presence. The organizers defend it, and festivalgoers who remember the 2003 terror attack on the rival Krylya festival might see it as protection.

In 2018 six bands boycotted the festival, describing the tanks and recruiters as an about-face by organizers, who had reportedly promised that the festival would have no military presence.

The Moscow Times reports that one of the festival’s organizers, Andrei Matveev, defends the festival’s relationship with the Defense Ministry with the argument that “audiences like a military show.” The size and popularity of the festival suggests he is right: Nashestvie is the biggest of the country’s rock festivals.

At the Krylya event on the outskirts of Moscow, 20 people were killed and 50 were injured when two women suicide bombers, believed to be Chechen separatists, blew themselves up in the crowd of some 40,000.

#22825 Published: 11/13/2018

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