New decree on concerts: Blacklists to be legalised
Lukashenka's administration prepares a new decree on organising concerts.
It is planned that concert promoters will again have to seek authorities' approval for every event. Promoters are concerned about the changes set by the law "On holding cultural and entertainment events". It is said that tour certificates, which were cancelled in 2011, will again be needed to organise a concert from May 1, Euroradio reports.
"The draft decree exists, but we don't know if amendments will be made on May 1 or not," the Ministry of Culture says. "We don't prepare the document. It is Lukashenka's administration that works over it. We don't have the right to comment on someone else's document."
It is possibly an attempt to fulfil Lukashenka's order to "solve the blacklists problem" he gave at a press conference on January 15. The department of culture at the Minsk city executive committee indirectly confirms the new law on concert activity is being developed, but declines to give more comments.
"We return to the point we thought we left behind: bureaucracy and excessive paperwork," concert promoter Anton Sasnouski says. "I think these measures are taken to control concert activity, including blacklists, rather than legalise it. They want to control every concert, especially when everyone from Zemfira to Armin van Buuren comes to us. The state machinery seems cannot cope with the situation by other means."
Returning tour certificates will significantly increase the time necessary to organise a gig. Earlier, the process took two weeks.
The step will affect ticket prices: the cost of a tour certificate will be added to the ticket cost.
The price of a tour certificate used to depend on the number of the audience. For example, if promoters planned to have 300 spectators, the certificate cost 10 basic units, which is 1 million rubles now. The quotient of this sum and the number of spectators is added to the ticket price. It's worth mentioning that a club's capacity may be 100, 80, etc. people. Moreover, promoters usually don't hope to gather a capacity crowd and prefer not to risk their money.
There's also a probability that a tour certificate may be denied. Blacklisted musicians often failed to get certificates due to a "low artistic level". Krama was the first band which could not play a concert for that reason – the presentation of the album "Whole Life is a Wonderful Dream" in 2007 was cancelled.
It should be reminded that tour certificates were cancelled on January 1, 2011. Concert promoters were allowed just to inform the executive committee about the event. However, it doesn't hinder to cancel certain concerts by mysterious phone calls.