Volski: You have to deal with pre-election concerts seriously
A singer Larysa Hrybalyova would take part in a concert in support of a deputy contender if she liked his programme or if she was interested in it for some other reason. A rock musician Lyavon Volski would sing in support or a certain candidate if the event was organized in a serious way. The band Klondike stresses its indifference towards politics. Contenders would have to ask Iryna Darafeeva’s producer if they wanted her to agitate for them. ERB has decided to find out what was the attitude of various Belarusian music stars to this political event at the height of the election campaign of deputies of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly. Would anyone like to take part in it?
Musicians are allowed to take part in the election campaign just like the other citizens of the country. However, not a single singer we interviewed had been invited to initiative groups of deputy contenders. Of course, the best way for a musician to take part in the election campaign is give a concert in support of this or that candidate. The head of the Central Election Commission Lidziya Yarmoshyna said it was possible only if musicians performed for free.
Yarmoshyna: If they agitate for free they will be allowed to do it (to give a concert). They are not allowed to be paid for it. It is not forbidden to do it if it is their personal desire.
However, the band Klondike would have refused an offer to give a concert in support of some candidate. The vocalist Katsya Pytleva told us about it:
Pytleva: We usually refuse to take part in such concerts. On the whole, we are indifferent towards politics.
The vocalist of the band Tyani-Tolkai Pavel Klysheuski said that the band had never been invited to take part in such concerts and commented on the terms of participation of the band in such events:
Klysheuskі: Oh, what is this… You are posing interesting questions I should say…
A singer Larysa Hrybalyova was asked to give a concert in support of a candidate Raman Ananiyeu during a parliamentary campaign in the 1990s. However, according to the singer, it was so long ago that she does not even remember anything about it. She could take part in this campaign if she liked a candidate or was interested in him or her for some other reason.
Hrybalyova: I should be interested in the programme of a certain candidate: I should get some assistance from him if he is elected, they should help me solve some of my problems. Otherwise, the only reason would be the fee because deputy contenders already have good moneyed assistance and a good company of people working together with them.
The personal problems Larysa Hrybalyova would like to solve with the help of deputies are ecological and medical problems of the country. She added that she did not take part in any initiative groups and knew nothing about it as she was on vacations.
A rock musician Lyavon Volski has not been invited to take part in initiative groups of any candidates and he would not agree to do it anyway as he had a lot of work to do. Volski would not agree to take part in a propaganda concert without a good reason.
Volskі: It depends on many things. It depends on the place, on the acoustic equipment, on the degree of seriousness of the event. It should not be organized “just to check a box”. The concert should not be organized in the way opposition actions used to be organized – the organizers should not foozle. It should be done seriously not to discredit the idea.
The candidate to be supported also matters for Lyavon Volski. Despite of his civil activities, the singer has never asked deputies for assistance because he does not know what can be done with their help.
It is clear that the honoured artist of Belarus Iryna Darafeeva is watching the election campaign. She thinks that it is too early to speak about concerts in support of candidates as they have not been officially confirmed yet. At the same time, she noted that her annual tour across Belarusian fields “Under the peaceful sky” does not have any political slant.
Darafeeva: My concerts have nothing to do with the election campaign.
The terms on which the honoured artist would agree to take part in a concert in support of a candidate should be discussed with her producer. She does not take part in such negotiations.