A rock music festival in the former Soviet republic of Georgia headlined by the Swedish band TIAMAT was disrupted by ultraconservative Orthodox Christian activists Saturday evening (June 4).
“They were yelling and accusing us of organizing a mass sex orgy,” the organizer of the event, Vladimir Unanyants, told the local web site Netgazeti. “Then, suddenly, the electricity went off. From what I’ve been told, the owner of the venue cut it off.”
In an exclusive statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET, TIAMAT mainman Johan Edlund spoke of his frustration at being unable to perform for the band’s fans in Georgia and tried to reassure everyone that his group’s intentions were pure.
Edlund said: “We landed in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, just today, quite late, or actually in the morning. Yesterday was the first day of a two-day festival that we were headlining. And that’s the biggest rock festival in Georgia.
“Yesterday, Orthodox monks attacked and closed down the festival, mainly because of us, TIAMAT, because we had inverted crosses in our old logo type and I have written ‘Hail Satan’ on my chest.”
He continued: “I told the promoter that they’re very welcome anytime to my hotel. I gave the hotel room, anything. Knock on the door, come here and we’ll discuss it and we’ll find a solution. Because I lived for eleven years in an Orthodox country, and after my father’s death, I tried to convert to Orthodox church myself. I’ve been there a billion times in the biggest Orthodox church that is my neighbor; I lived on their soil for ten years. And I didn’t see why this should happen, because we really come in peace. We just want the people here that want to go to a rock festival to be pleased and happy and to have a good time. So I don’t see why this should be a problem. But they haven’t replied. And the organizer now is trying to set up a club show at a place that we don’t know yet, because no one is allowed to know it until it happens. The monks are trying to find out what the organizers are trying to do in order to follow up on that, and it’s pretty fucked up.”
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