New Wave waves goodbye to Jūrmala

Russian music producer and organizer of the New Wave singing contest Igor Krutoy, in town Thursday for a scheduled concert at Arena Riga, confirmed to LTV Channel 7 Russian-language news that the long-standing, but controversial festival was no longer to be held in Jūrmala’s Dzintars concert hall because of last year’s blacklist scandal, when Latvia banned from entry several Russian pop stars with close ties and supportive opinions of the Kremlin’s aggressive foreign policy.

“I think it’s clear, what more is there to say?” he asked, adding that the next festival will be held at the Olympic Park in Sochi.

“At that moment when Latvia and Russia had their most complicated relations, the New Wave festival stuck loyally with Jūrmala. There was a time when that was the only little bridge between our countries. Now that this year the political moment is being taken advantage of in the realms of music and theatre, this little bridge just didn’t hold,” he continued.

Earlier this week the manager of the Dzintars concert hall Guntars Ķirsis confirmed that the New Wave organizers had not reserved any dates for their event this summer, prompting other bookings to take precedence for the pending season and the traditional gathering of Russian pop-stars and media luminaries to fall off the calendar at its erstwhile venue.

“(Foreign Minister) Rinkēvičs announced the ‘personae non grata’ just before the opening of the contest, there was nothing anyone could do anymore to make the scandal louder and more painful,” Krutojs griped to the press previously, as if fully expecting a formal apology from the Foreign Ministry.

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