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Russia’s Park Live relocates to Kazakhstan

Russia’s Park Live festival has announced a new edition in the neighbouring country Kazakhstan.

Launched in Moscow in 2013 by local promoter Melnitsa Concert Agency, the event aimed to bring international artists to Russia.

However, the festival fell over in 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when a raft of international acts pulled out.

Placebo, My Chemical Romance, Slipknot, Biffy Clyro, Iggy Pop, Deftones, Royal Blood and The Killers all cancelled appearances, forcing the promoter to cancel the June/July event at Luzhniki Olympic Complex.

“The picture of current circumstances does not provide the opportunity to fit our [festival] into it for legal, logistic, or for simple human reasons,” read a statement from the organisers at the time.

Melnitsa also worked in Ukraine – organising UPark festival in Kyiv – as well as Minsk, Tbisli and Kazakhstan (since 2017).

Now, Park Live is now set to return as Yandex Park Live and will take place at Pervomayskiy Ponds recreation park, in the city of Almaty, south-eastern Kazakhstan.

“We’re very close to selling out all three days”

The three-day affair, organised by Park Live Kazakhstan and Yandex Kazakhstan, will take place between 6–8 September with headliners Placebo, Die Antwoord and Tyga.

Tyga, Dizzie Rascal, Oliver Tree, Brennan Savage and Kazakh rapper Scriptonite are also due to perform across Park Live’s two stages.

“This is the biggest-ever international music event in the territory of Kazakhstan,” Maria Axenova of Park Live Kazakhstan (previously part of Melnitsa) tells IQ.

“We’ve put on shows in Kazakhstan before but there is a production company from Russia that has moved here and so production-wise [the market] is now on a level.”

Discussing the demand for live music events in Kazakhstan, she adds: “We’re very close to selling out all three days. The festival is 12,000-capacity and that’s the sacrifice for our beautiful location but for next year, we’re considering a bigger venue.”

One-day tickets to the festival cost KZT 25,000 (€48) for Friday and KZT 30,000 (€58) for Saturday and Sunday. Three-day entry costs KZT 60,000 (€116) and one-day VIP tickets are KZT 135,000 (€262).

“Yandex, known in the world as ‘Russian Google’ has a separate entity in Kazakhstan… it is not connected to Russia”

English rock band Editors were due to perform at Yandex Park Live but this week pulled out over the headline sponsor, writing on social media: “Having now been informed who the sponsor of the event is, we have decided to withdraw our involvement. We dearly hope to come back to Kazakhstan in the future, under different circumstances.”

Axenova refutes the claims, explaining:  “Yandex, known in the world as ‘Russian Google’ has a separate entity in Kazakhstan. Yandex Kazakhstan is a company registered in Kazakhstan and is a taxpayer in the country. It is not connected to Russia. This is the fact.”

Over the last few months, a number of festivals have been hit with boycotts from both artists and fans due to sponsors.

More than 80 artists pulled out of this year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas, in protest of the military’s support for Israel in the war in Gaza.

English rock band Editors were due to perform at Park Live but this week pulled out over the event’s sponsors

In response, the showcase festival last month discontinued its partnership with the US Army and the defence contractor RTX Corporation.

The news came after Barclays suspended its sponsorship of Live Nation UK’s remaining 2024 festivals following a raft of artist withdrawals over the bank’s ties to Israel.

Barclaycard became headline partner of Isle of Wight and Latitude in 2023 as part of its partnership renewal with Live Nation UK. The five-year extension also included collaborations with events including TGE, Download, Lytham Festival, Camp Bestival and Reading & Leeds.

“Following discussion with artists, we have agreed with Barclays that they will step back from sponsorship of our festivals,” says a Live Nation spokesperson.

Artists have also found themselves in the firing line, for similar reasons. Earlier this month, Imagine Dragons responded to the criticism the band have received for performing concerts in Israel and Azerbaijan.

Read more about how the industry is grappling with boycotts here.


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