Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Concert, concert till the end!

Election period is the best for Armenian pop music loving crowd, more specifically youth, and it is officially started. We've seen it during parliamentary elections. We've already seen an introduction for presidential elections on 26 October.

This Saturday, just a day after ex-President Ter-Petrosyan 2nd rally, there will be an open-air free concert in Opera square (Freedom sq) with invited pop stars from Russia, including Dima Belan. Formally, concert is organised "for students". However, it is sponsored by Yerevan mayor and Republican party.

"You go do your rallies, we will do concerts. Now see who will have more numbers." There should be no doubts that Freedom sq will be packed during Saturday concert. There should be no doubts which side will get more numbers. But at the end... the big winners will be pop music loving youth. They will certainly enjoy this 3-months marathon.

Everyone to the rally, oh, sorry... concert!

*photo of Dima Belan - via Wikipedia


Onnik Krikorian said...

I'm interesting in discovering if this music concert was planned in advance. I ask this because Friday at 5pm is not a good time to hold a political rally. Saturday is a much better day.

Usually, alternate events are staged to prevent the opposition from holding theres where and when they like.

Well, I asked one prominent Impeachment activist this and he said he didn't know. Incidentially, worth pointing out that in 9 years of being in Armenia I can not remember there ever being an open air pop concert in November.

BTW: Sksela used British Embassy money to hold a free rock concert with a recruiting video shown half way through -- also geared towards preparing for the presidential election.

artmika said...

Actually, I was also wondering why opposition always hold its rallies Fridays from 5pm -not the most convenient time, to say the least. Is it because its easier to get permission for Fri rather than weekends which is apparently for concerts only? Or just a tradition? Would be interesting to find out...

Btw, according to weather forecasts, this winter is going to be relatively mild in Armenia. ;)

Just heard that few people were briefly detained by police overnight for distributing leaflets (something like "No to Serj"). According to sources, police's main task in Yerevan now is to take away those posted leaflets. More from Radio Liberty or other sources, I suppose, if confirmed.

artmika said...

A1+ (Armenian version) just confirmed the news on brief detention of apparently 2 representatives from the student wing of Hnchak party.

I am sure, more on this news will come throughout the day from various sources.

artmika said...

here is English version from A1+:

Narek Galstyan, chairman of “Sargis Tkhruni” Youth Student Union of “Hnchak Social Democratic Party” and Eduard Makaryan, member of the party were detained yesterday at 23.30 p.m. for distributing leaflets.

As Narek Galstyan informed “A1+”, they were detained in the territory of National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre for disseminating information on 16 October gathering, while the police detained them for suspecting in an alleged robbery. They were kept in the police station until 3.00 a.m.

Narek Galstyan ensures that they will continue the fight to reinforce democracy in the country.

“We all are determined to fight and should work for the upcoming gathering”, said the chairman of “Sargis Tkhruni” Youth Student Union Narek Galstyan.

artmika said...

Radio Liberty reports:

"Two youth activists of a small opposition party aligned with the ex-president claimed to have been detained on Monday night while posting leaflets urging Armenians to “reject” Serzh Sarkisian. One of them, Narek Galstian, told RFE/RL that they were set free three hours later after proving a written explanation of their actions."

Fuller Armenian version of the report is available here

Onnik Krikorian said...

I think it's now pretty clear why they're staging this pop concert a day after the rally -- a huge stage is being constructed in Liberty Square that will make it impossible for speakers to stand at the top of the steps and address the crowd, but also very difficult to assemble a crowd there.

It should be pointed out that never in my 9 years of living in Armenia can I ever remember an open air pop concert being staged in the middle of November when it's cold and there's the chance of rain.

Yes, there have been open air events for New Year and [Armenian] Xmas, but that's something entirely different. What gets me is that the authorities are so simplistic and don't understand that by doing such things they reinforce the idea of Ter Petrosian as a political force to be reckoned with.

In actual fact, I think he has the potential to be that force if most of the opposition rally behind him and people can be convinced he is largely "innocent" for the period he was last in power or that he can topple the regime. That requires a lot of work and effort, however.

Ironically, though, it appears that most of the work to achieve that is being undertaken by the authorities. Sophisticated and calculating they are not. Stupid? I'll leave that up to you to decide.

artmika said...

The authorities in Armenia are lacking any sophistication. Not that it’s news.

It’s almost amusing to see how much they fear Ter-Petrosyan. You are right, it seems that Levon does not need to waste any money on PR, everything is being done by Kocharyan/Serj & co. And it is not only the case with Kocharyan and Serj but also their surrounding, the "& co". It seems that people who are in proximity with the authorities want to show up to their bosses that they are "more catholic than the Pope".

If the situation develops in similar direction, only fraud elections will save the authorities from losing it. But what worries me that in face of such a real threat to their power, they may lose the sense of reality (or whatever is left), and playing with the ‘hot heads’ among opposition, something ugly may happen. Let’s hope for better... but my hope is diminishing with the every other day...

With Saturday (effectively, Friday) ‘concert’, they added even more intrigue to Levon’s 2nd rally, thus even more interest from people who may otherwise choose to stay in. This should not distract Levon from the main purpose of the rally, otherwise, it will be a lose-lose situation.

Onnik Krikorian said...


A1 Plus, 16 November, 2007

The concert of Dima Bilan is scheduled for November 17 at Azatutiun (Liberty) Square, Yerevan. The Russian pop singer has been invited by Kentron Commune. The latter declined to reveal any data on the total cost of the concert.

Bilan receives an honorarium of €80000 for a concert in the Caucasus, €50000-70000 in Russia and €15000-30000 in Moscow, one of A1+'s readers reports.

Judging by the above-mentioned figures we can assume that Kentron Commune is very generous with money.