Yuri Shevchuk, the frontman of the Russian rock group DDT who is known for his criticism of the Kremlin, has accused the administrations of several Russian regions of cancelling the band's concerts on ideological grounds.
“The Administration of the [Siberian] Kemerovo Region has cancelled our concerts throughout its dominion, although tickets in [the cities of] Kemerovo and Yugra had been almost sold out,” Shevchuk said in a statement published on the DDT website, adding “apparently, our new [concert] program lacks ‘patriotic eroticism.’”
In the city of Omsk, the capital of the Siberian Omsk region, “one local minister also prohibited concert halls to organize our ‘desperate show’,” Shevchuk said. “All those orders have been given by elusive officials by phone, so we are unable to sue them," he added.
A Kemerovo regional administration spokesman dismissed any links with the reported cancellation of the concerts.
“The administration did not organize those concerts and cannot cancel them,” Oleg Shishko said. “We have nothing to do with this.”
A spokesman for the company that owns a Kemerovo concert hall where the DDT’s show was to take place said “it was the organizers’ fault” that the concert had been cancelled.
“The organizer company failed to fulfill its contract obligations… and the contract was cancelled. It’s all about business and risk,” he said.
It was not immediately possible to reach the Omsk administration for comment.
Shevchuk, the DDT frontman, was an active participant in recent street protests in support of fair elections. He is also known for openly confronting Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with questions about democracy, freedom of speech and assembly in Russia during Putin’s May 2010 meeting with representatives of the Russian intelligentsia in St. Petersburg, which was broadcast on state television.