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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pussy Riot Festival to Go Ahead

For MTTelevizor, a Soviet protest group from the late 1980s that was banned.

ST. PETERSBURG — A concert in support of Pussy Riot looks set to go ahead at a St. Petersburg club despite allegations of police pressure.

The concert at Glavclub on Sunday will not, however, be advertised on street posters, because the outdoor advertising agency that was approached to do the job "got scared," organizers said.

Glavclub's owner, Igor Tonkikh, said that he had started receiving threatening calls from the police and district administrations of both the Petrograd Side of the city, where Glavclub's temporary summer marquee was located, and of the Central District, where Glavclub moved its activities to on Sept. 1.

He was told that there were many agencies who would probe various violations that the club was allegedly responsible for if the concert went ahead.

Tonkikh said he had decided to host the Free Pussy Riot Fest because he organized concerts by Televizor — one of the show's participants — as an underground promoter in Moscow when the band was banned in the late 1980s for its protest songs such as "Get Out of Control" and "Your Daddy Is a Fascist." However, he said he also felt responsible for the jobs of the people working at his venue.

The concert will be the second charity event to be held at the club this week. The club will host a non-political concert aimed at supporting the homeless on Thursday.

"We haven't received any calls about that event," Tonkikh stressed.

The police denied they had called the venue, and said that no permits for holding concerts were needed, Rosbalt reported last week.

However, concert organizer Olga Kurnosova said she had managed to get a "permit" from the police.

"I asked the police to provide assistance in holding the concert and received a document from them," she said, adding that the piece of paper does not guarantee the event from further harassment from the authorities.

According to Kurnosova, one of the police chiefs with whom she negotiated initially argued that Glavclub was "too close" to the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra monastery — which is about 1 kilometer from the club — and suggested that the organizer should find a venue located further from a church for the concert.

DDT, Televizor, PTVP, Electric Guerrilas, Razniye Lyudi and Gleb Samoilov will be taking part, as well as some younger bands who offered to play, but several acts refused to take part, most notably Boris Grebenshchikov of Akvarium.

Tickets cost 500 rubles ($15) and the proceeds will go to support the imprisoned members of Pussy Riot — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich — who were sentenced to two years each in a prison colony in Moscow last month.

A portion of the funds raised will go to the "Prisoners of Bolotnaya," activists arrested in the aftermath of the May 6 demonstration on Bolotnaya Ploshchad in Moscow that erupted into clashes as the result of an alleged police provocation, and also to Taisia Osipova, an opposition activist sentenced last week to eight years in prison in Smolensk on dubious drug distribution charges.

Free Pussy Riot Fest will take place Sunday. 7 p.m. Glavclub, 2 Kremenchugskaya Ulitsa. Metro Ploshchad Vosstaniya. St. Petersburg. Tel. (812) 905-7555.

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