Pussy Riot concert in Christchurch cancelled following NZ shootings | Music | DW | 15.03.2019
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Pussy Riot concert in Christchurch cancelled following NZ shootings

Currently touring New Zealand, the Russian feminist punk group had a performance planned in Christchurch on Friday. The band is also banned from entering Brazil, which was the next stop on their international tour.

The Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot was set to perform in the New Zealand city affected by deadly terrorist attacks, but "due to the devastating events that occurred in Christchurch today, tonight's show has been officially cancelled," the organizers wrote, adding that they had been advised by the Christchurch police "that due to the ongoing nature of the events that it is best to keep everyone safe and at home."

The band had posted their condolences to the victims on Twitter:

A famous church performance

Pussy Riot's criticism of religion is well known. They became world famous after three members of the feminist protest band were arrested following a masked performance in Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral in 2012 (top photo).

Their latest show in New Zealand, in the city of Nelson on Thursday, was also in a church. "No-one was arrested in Nelson, but the irony of seeing the international force that is Pussy Riot perform in a holy space again was spine-tingling," wrote the website Stuff

Their current show, Pussy Riot: Riot Days, which combines video footage, music and spoken word performances, goes through the group's story. It starts with the period when they conceived their notorious performance in the Moscow church, protesting against President Vladimir Putin's links to the country's Orthodox Church, up to the aftermath of the 40 seconds of protest that made headlines worldwide. Two members of the group were imprisoned for two years, charged with "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred charges."

Setbacks in Riot Days tour

The punk art collective had added dates in New Zealand to raise additional funds, as their tour has been facing setbacks. After New Zealand, they were set to head to Brazil, but the Russian dissents have been barred from entering the country.

The additional dates were planned as a fundraiser to help Pussy Riot compensate for their losses. They were depending on the shows in Brazil to fund their international tour, said their unofficial tour manager, Sally Legg, who is also organizing an additional fundraiser event dubbed "Pussies at the Pah," which is described as a "surprise mini femfest with Pussy Riot and friends" that would feature live music, discussions, art workshops, performances and film screenings.  

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