Eric Clapton’s concert on Red Square banned by Moscow authorities

One of the most-advertised and long-awaited music events of this summer, Eric Clapton’s performance on Moscow’s Red Square, has been canceled only four days before the date, Interfax reports with reference to the musician’s website.

The news surfaced Sunday although the concert was canceled Friday, July 28. A message which appeared on Eric Clapton’s official site was rather short and clear. “The Russian promoter had been issued a permit for Eric Clapton to perform in Red Square signed by all appropriate Russian City and State authorities. However, earlier today, Russian officials withdrew the permit. Eric Clapton is extremely sorry to disappoint his numerous Russian fans but the circumstances of the cancellation are completely beyond his control. Ticket-holders should return their tickets to the box offices where they purchased the tickets for a refund,” the message runs.

The Russian organizers of Clapton’s performance have a different explanation. It was particularly said that there was no reason to cancel the show; all preparations proceeded appropriately. However, Clapton’s managers notified the Russian promoters of the musician’s plans to cancel the Moscow gig. Alexander Strizhak, the president of the professional stage company JSA said: “The cancellation of the concert is formally connected with a change of the venue for the show. We originally considered two variants: near the Spassky Gate and on the Vasilyevsky Spusk (both are situated on Red Square). The permission was issued for the Vasilyevsky Spusk and not actually Red Square. The artist used the situation to cancel the show. He did not like the fact that his performance was not going to be held on the square itself, although the Vasilyevsky Spusk is legally a part of it. Most likely, Clapton had some other reasons for that decision,” Alexander Strizhak said.

According to Mr. Strizhak, any technical difficulties during the organization of Eric Clapton’s performance on the Red Square were out of the question. “We were ready to build the stage and install all necessary equipment during the shortest amount of time possible, taking into consideration the fact that we had lost two days already. We hoped that the artist would OK the new venue which had been changed slightly. Then we received a letter from his management saying that the event has been canceled. I understand that some people will suffer in this situation. The artist, Clapton, definitely loses nothing here,” said he.

Eric Clapton’s concert on the Red Square in Moscow was supposed to become the final show of his world tour. Now the tour ends with a concert in Helsinki.

Vremya Novostei

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov