Festivals are being held in Russia to attract people’s attention while demonstrations are constantly taking place in Moscow. It has been the third consecutive week that thousands of people in Russia continue to organize protests in Moscow. And the city government had a rather surprising decision: to hold a concert, in an effort to “distract” the young people’s attention.
This festival is called Meat & Beat, held this weekend. It is a combination of music and cuisine featuring the “hipster” spirit to attract young Russians and to distract tensions on politics.
Previously, a similar festival, Shashlik Live, where one could eat barbecue while enjoying the performances of Russia’s most famous rock musicians, was also unexpectedly held last week. According to the organizer, the number of attendees is up to 305,000, 1.5 times larger than the Glastonbury Festival.
These festivals are one of the efforts of the Russian Government to reduce stress and the public’s attention on protests to allow for some independent candidates to participate in the September election come here.
Faced with escalating protests and violence, Russian police arrested 2,000 cases, according to the Guardian.
A few days before the protest took place last week, when 1,000 people were detained and the mobile internet was disconnected in much of Moscow center, the city government announced the organization of a kebab and rock music festival at Gorky Park.
However, things did not go smoothly. Some of the artists advertised to perform at Shashlik Live said they were put on the show without their permission, and refused to perform.
Meanwhile, the pro-government figures, announcing impressive numbers about the crowd participating in these festivals to lower the protests. “The number of people coming to Shashlik Live is 100 times greater than the number of demonstrations,” said Margarita Simonyan, RT’s leader. “Therefore it can be concluded that just like 20 years ago, political propaganda on the internet was not true.”