Most not bothered by departure of 'New Wave'

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The disappearance of the Russian 'New Wave' pop music festival from Latvian shores as a result of political tensions between the two countries may have generated plenty of headlines, but most people really don't care, a survey suggested Wednesday, reported BNS. 

According to the latest DNB Latvia Barometer survey, among culture and entertainment events, 25 percent of Latvian residents said they miss New Wave, the Russian-organized annual international contest of young pop singers, traditionally held in the Latvian seaside resort town Jurmala, but now moved to a different venue.

Though virtually unknown in the West, New Wave is a big deal in many former Soviet countries, being broadcast across a large swathe of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

After departing Latvia following a diplomatic spat that saw some performers banned for outspoken political statements regarding the Russian annexation of Crimea, this year's event is to take place in Sochi, Russia.

New Wave was always a divisive event in Latvia. To some it was an enjoyably over-the-top spectacle of glitz and glamor, while others felt uncomfortable at the prospect of Russian oligarchy taking over the famous Jurmala resort in much the same way senior Communist Party bosses had once treated it as their playground.

Coincidentally the proportion of people saying they miss New Wave is approximately the same as the proportion of Latvia's ethnic Russian minority population at around 25%.

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