Where to Put Madonna
Pollstar has published a story on developments around the Moscow concert. It speculates on the reasons for the move, and reminds readers that major Moscow concerts have been moved at short notice by authorities in the past. It also notes that the concert will not be cancelled, so people should not worry about the current discussions.
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Nikolai Kulikov of Moscow’s Anti-Terrorist Commission has sparked a lot of confusion about where Madonna’s September 11 Moscow show will take place. During an August 19 press conference relating to the city’s birthday celebration – it’s 859 this year – he replied to a security question by saying Her Madge’s date might have to be moved from Vorobyovy Gory.
This remark has led to a raft of stories containing different versions of why the show could be moved and its likely destination.
The country’s Novosti newswire reported that security reasons may mean it’s moved to Tushino airfield, which is the site of Krilya Festival and several other outdoor shows. But other publications say it’s more likely to go to the 60,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium.
Compounding the confusion, other news services said the real reason for the move – if there is one – is that Moscow University overlooks the Vorobyovy Gory site and authorities fear students could fall from their windows while craning to watch her.
A couple of weeks ago, Tim Dowdall of Live Nation – which is presenting the show – said there’s been an unprecedented demand for tickets, which could tie in with other reports saying the move to Tushino or Luzhinki is because a bigger site is needed.
At press time, it wasn’t possible to contact Dowdall to get an update on whether the show has been moved.
The Novosti story said as many as 250,000 are expected to turn up but, according to earlier figures that Dowdall gave Pollstar, that’s much more than are available.
If it is to move, Tushino and Luzhinki look to be the most obvious choices, although the latter is staging an international soccer match a few days before, which could make a timely stage and production set-up impossible.
As Moscow authorities have something of a habit of moving shows at short notice, including Roger Waters and Eric Clapton being told their summer gigs in Red Square would have to shift to the parking lot round the corner, maybe it will be the footballers that have to move this time.Kulikov assured ticket holders the concert would not be canceled under any circumstances, even in light of the August 21 bomb attack that killed at least 10 at a Moscow market.
The only time the birthday celebrations were scrubbed followed the Beslan school massacre in September 2004, which left 331 people, including 186 children, dead.