BATUSHKA, led by Krzysztof Drabikowski, had to cancel their concert in Belgrade, Serbia, which was originally set for November 23. This cancellation came after the Serbian Orthodox Church expressed dissatisfaction about the band’s use of Orthodox worship attributes in their performances. The Church accused the band of using Christian symbols and altering Christian prayers and texts in a disrespectful manner, leading to protests and threats.
Concert promoter, Asgaardian Events, has issued the following statement regarding the cancellation:
“Unfortunately, we have to announce the cancellation of our upcoming Belgrade show in Dorćol Platz.
“Krzysztof Drabikowski’s Батюшка has been targeted by extremist orthodox church representatives calling for protests. Inciting and pushing their followers to “peacefully” protest in front of the venue the day of our show and form blockades. While these leaders seem not to be a real danger, their followers, blinded by faith like sheep, are often supported by far right hooligans and such kind of violent animals. They already attacked the local promoter and their crew.
“The Serbian Orthodox Church (Orthodox inquisitors) started a legal process against both venue and local promoter. Legal explanation for the lawsuit is that they are taking legal action because of “hurting religious and national feelings, causing national and religious hatred and intolerance towards all citizens of the Republic of Serbia who are Orthodox Serbs, including brainwashing their children”. An argument which reminds the people living in the dark ages, hundreds of years ago, even though we are in the 21st century where freedom and cultural diversity is what distinguishes us from the neanderthal ages.
“While we are ready to fight back, we do not think selfishly of ourselves. The line has been crossed the moment the local promoter has been privately attacked by such “peaceful” dogs. We do not want our fans, which we cherish the most, to be hurt or beaten on their way to our show. Nor should this happen to our travelling crew. Eventual damages against our touring nightliner is also a big factor which we would like to avoid at all cost. Beside physical harm or crimes, we have also been associated with Bartłomiej Krysiuk’s Batushka graphics, which is the biggest blasphemy in this situation. As it’s clear which version of both bands is the legit one, after comparing both our crowds and sold-out shows.
“We have tried to find solutions to protect our production and our guests. Unfortunately, nor authorities or private security companies agreed helping us since they all are part of the regime and support the church’s decision.
“At the moment, there is no way this can be done without someone, including all of our guests and us, getting eventually beaten up/hurt/sued/financially punished/jailed with venue properties damaged etc. You can always handle few tens of protesters, maybe a few hundreds but not thousands.
“As replacement show, our friends from Prvni Patro, Brno Czechia managed to move their show to accommodate us.”