In what has got to be one of the shortest lead times to #Durantime ever – Duran Duran announced today that they will be performing at the International Professional Music awards – the “BraVo” in Moscow, Russia on March 10th.
For those of you who are saying “Wait, what’s the date today?”. It is March 5th.
When I saw the announcement, I was a bit curious, if not dubious. I’ve never heard of the BraVo awards. Aside from understanding that they take place in Russia, I knew nothing.
I looked at the awards website, and this is the first BraVo Awards, which explains why I’d never heard of it before. It was difficult to read the site due to some rather unfortunate banner placements, but it sounds like the awards are supposed to celebrate the musical “elite” from virtually everywhere in the world, other than America and probably Canada, and maybe Mexico. The site claims that the event will be attended by representatives of world music and film industry, media executives, cultural and business elite, ambassadors of partner countries, and famous celebrities. Sounds pretty fancy!
Let’s face facts – this is in Russia. Inevitably, there are always going to be concerns with that. Is it really just about getting paid? For that matter, are the band being paid for this gig or are they also being honored? Does anyone know?
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the band has the right to make money. I support that 100%. Artists can and SHOULD be allowed to support themselves through their art. Yeah, Duran Duran have made millions off of their music. Yep, they get paid to play, whether private gigs or on tour. They always have in one way or another. That’s not a crime and we need to stop acting like it is. Art isn’t free. It SHOULDN’T EVER be free. Art is the product of someone’s blood, sweat and tears, it isn’t free. Let’s get that out-of-the-way right off of the top. I believe the band has the right to make a living, even if they are making far more than I could ever hope to earn myself.
Is this really just about making a living, or is this about where they’re being paid, and by whom? Let’s face it, Russia isn’t known for being the greatest advocate or proponent of human rights in the world. Their government has been known to meddle in an election or two, as well. It is difficult to support the idea of playing in a country that has that kind of track record, isn’t it?
Yet, I need look no farther than my own country as I consider my own feelings on the subject. Right now, the President in my country is someone who is not well-liked around the world. Some might say that he has a pretty dismal view of human rights – to say the least, I might add. Others might say he is on the cusp of impeachment, insisting that he is one step away from being thrown in prison. Or maybe to some he already is a criminal. Should Duran Duran stop playing shows here in the USA until our President changes? Some of you reading might very well be saying yes.
Those of you who are saying the band shouldn’t play in Russia because of their government might also be saying the band shouldn’t play here in the USA because of the views of our own.
It feels a bit like a slippery slope when discussing where the band should or should not play based on the convictions of a country’s government. I remember a Katy Kafe where the subject of where the band would be willing to play was discussed with Simon. I don’t have the exact quote, but he basically said they’d play anywhere unless there was a specific regime in power somewhere that the band didn’t agree with. I’ve come to realize that the decision, in many cases, just can’t be that black and white. The country where I live is far from perfect. The band has played here numerous times for award shows, even thought I am fairly certain they haven’t always agreed with our government, or its stance on human rights, including LGBTQ rights and immigrant rights. The band has come here and played for the elite in our music, film and fashion business in the same way they will on March 10th for Russia, or anywhere else in the world they decide, for that matter.
I’m just not sure about throwing stones while sitting in this glass house.