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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Seattle Launches Far East Invasion

Does Boris Grebenshchikov stage dive? Can Vladivostok survive an invasion of flannel-wearin', caffeine-slurpin', Doc Marten-stompin', salmon-totin' Seattlites?

These questions and more -- such as which way to the porta-potties -- will doubtless be on the minds of the seething, moshing masses at VladiROCKstok '96, billed by its organizers as the first Pacific Northwest-Russian international music festival.

The three-day festival culminates Sept. 21 in Vladivostok's Dinamo Stadium with an all-day concert by Russian rock stalwarts Akvarium and DDT, Seattle bands The Posies, Goodness, and Supersuckers, and three Vladivostok bands.

"We feel that both we and Vladivostok are ready for a stadium concert," organizer Dave Poritzky said from Vladivostok, where he has lived for three years.

The plan for VladiROCKstok was born at the kitchen table of Poritzky and co-organizer Dan Gotham. The pair, together with Michael McGloin, a consultant for Washington Apple Commission, came up with the idea last fall of organizing a rock event in Dinamo Stadium, which overlooks the Sea of Japan.

"Over the next few weeks, this 'event' evolved into a Russian-American all-day benefit rock festival," Gotham said. Around the same time, Akvarium was in Vladivostok, and Poritzky and Gotham approached the band's leader with the idea. "Boris Grebenshchikov himself was excited about the idea, and from that point forward, we were rolling."

Gotham and Poritzky, both 25, worked out the details from the Seattle and Vladivostok ends, respectively. From Seattle, home of crowd surfing and some of the coolest three-chord dirges ever to enter the American consciousness, Gotham booked Goodness, The Posies and Supersuckers, three acts that share regional -- but not necessarily musical -- roots with the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

On the Russian side, three local bands, including Butter Smile Blues and Karamassoff Bike, are to be joined by DDT and Akvarium, two of Russia's most influential bands whose sets promise a comprehensive walk through the short history of Russian rock.

The net proceeds from the concert will go to Vladivostok charities: one-third each to the Primorsky Children's Fund and the Friends of the Earth Siberian Hotspot Project, and one-third to be divided among local performing groups of all types, Poritzky said.

The director of the Primorsky Children's Fund, Galina Nazdratenko, the wife of regional governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko, "has been giving us advice and support regarding practically every major issue that we deal with locally," said Poritzky.

Gotham said he was hoping to see sizable Seattle and Moscow contingents turn out for the show. Although a Seattle radio station will be giving away free promotional tickets, Muscovites will have to pay their own way.

Poritzky and Gotham said they hope to fill the stadium to its 20,000-person limit. "We are hoping for a full house," said Poritzky. Tickets, which will run 75,000 ($15) for the day-long show, will go on sale in Vladivostok next Monday.

Kickoff parties for VladiROCKstok will be held in Seattle, Vladivostok and Moscow. Eric Brown, deputized as a Moscow-area promoter for the show, said the Hungry Duck bar would be hosting a booze-and-band event on Aug. 31 to "raise awareness" for the show.

Those who can't make it to the show can catch some of the buzz long-distance, via the Internet. The organizers say that, to their knowledge, VladiROCKstok will be the first Russian concert to be broadcast live on the World Wide Web.

But will VladiROCKstok live up to the reputation of its precursors, Woodstock and Woodstock '94?

"Free love and moshing? We'll see what we get," said Gotham. "I think you will be pleasantly surprised. This town will rock."

For travel information, contact Olga Dougina at Smart Travel in Moscow, tel. 233-1765. To contact VladiROCKstok on the World Wide Web: