Russians criticise music concert cancelling advice


People with their arms up watching a music stage through their phones,Image copyright Getty Images

Russian social media users have reacted negatively to proposed “instructions” on how to cancel music concerts in the country.

Posting on social network VKontakte – the Russian version of Facebook – the group which calls itself What is Good 2.0 is calling on parents to unite against “amoral” musicians.

The instructions tell people to check the lyrics and search for phrases advocating “sadism, bad language and drugs” and then to report them to the authorities. They offer guidance on how to make an official police complaint and what laws to cite.

The group, which has 160,000 followers, has a motto which is to “return morality to the media”.

It says it aims to revive public morals and create an online platform for those who wish to uphold traditional family values.  

Responding to the group’s post on VKontakte, user Ksenia Chayka questioned why it would want to cancel music concerts, writing: “You won’t address anything by cancelling them.”

People have also reacted to a series of lyrics What Is Good 2.0 has published online by bands and musicians such as Husky, Friendzone, IC3PEAK and Yegor Krid, which it claims are inappropriate.

Another VKontake user wrote that there is no use taking rap music too close to heart: “Each to their own. Just turn a teenage filter on and be happy. Cancelling a concert in an era when everything is available is like fighting with windmills.”

EredanusVoid on Twitter compared the attempt to ban some lyrics to censoring books in the past.

“In Soviet Russia we hid books and read them at night. In Russia 2018 we’ll be listening to music in headphones, under the covers.”

And Ilya Morozov mocked the parenting skills of the What is Good 2.0 members, posting: “Have parents in this community tried actually bringing up their children? You know, just as an experiment.”

The timing of the publication is no coincidence.

Several concerts in a number of Russian cities have been cancelled recently by local authorities. The targeted musicians are usually rappers or pop singers who attract sizeable young audiences, but whose lyrics are deemed to be provocative. 

What is Good 2.0 also praises two parents who successfully initiated several cancellations in the city of Nizhny Novgorod.

A spokesperson for What is Good 2.0 told the BBC: “The negative reaction has mainly come from liberal media outlets and rapper fan communities. Conscientious adults, especially parents, have received it [our advice] with quite a positive reaction.”

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