Russian concert promoters have announced that they will not invite rock star Zemfira to perform later this year, after she waved a Ukrainian flag at a recent concert in Tbilisi.
On Friday night, a fan gave Zemfira a Ukrainian flag, which she proceeded to wave as she marched around the stage. The incident received a huge amount of attention when the head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, took a poll of his Twitter followers regarding Zemfira’s actions. The vast majority of those surveyed said that they opposed her decision to wave the flag.
Since the concert, numerous event organisers have stated their disinterest in inviting Zemfira to perform. A promoter from St Petersburg, Maxim Tatarinov, has abandoned plans to organise a concert for later in the year: “We’d been planning a huge Zemfira concert for this autumn. She used to play sold-out concerts in large venues. But after what happened, my partners and I have changed our minds.” Sergey Arbuzov, a promoter from Crimea, stated that “organisers would suffer losses” if they invited Zemfira to perform. He cited in particular the views of those living in Crimea, who he believed would stand firmly in opposition to Zemfira’s actions.
Zemfira has not made any statement clarifying her position on the Ukraine crisis. She is the latest in a line of artists to face criticism over their views on the conflict. Andrey Makarevich, of the Russian rock band Mashina Vremeni, was denigrated for his decision to give a concert in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Ukrainian forces. Numerous Russian singers have also been denied entry to Ukraine due to their support for the pro-Russian rebels.