Russian Music Industry Reacts to Donald Trump's Win: Will U.S. Artists Return?

Red Square in Moscow
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Red Square in Moscow, Russia. 

Russian music industry insiders are split on a possible impact that the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president can have on the sector.

While several senior officials and legislators have expressed hopes that Trump's presidency would lead to the improving of relations between Russia and the United States, which are probably at the lowest point since the end of the Cold War, people in the music sector are less certain.

According to Michael Shurygin, president of the promoter NCA, the election of Trump is unlikely to have any impact on the Russian music industry or change the minds of Western artists who have refused to perform in Russia lately.

"The likes of Mark Knopfler refuse to perform in Russia because they believe there is human rights abuse here, not because of relations between the West and Russia," he tells Billboard. "So, they won't change their mind."

"And those artists who have been loyal to the Kremlin, like Steven Seagal or Mickey Rourke, will continue to come here," he adds.

Elena Moiseenko, booking director of ArtMania agency, disagrees.

"Why would [Western artists] refuse an opportunity to perform for a large audience [in Russia], if there is no more acute political anti-Russian propaganda in the United States?" she tells Billboard. "We'll see what happens."

Meanwhile, any improvement in relations between the two countries could potentially lead to the lifting of U.S. sanctions, slapped on Russia back in 2014 over the annexation of Crimea and support for pro-Russian rebels in East Ukraine, benefiting the entire economy, including the entertainment industry.

"Any normalization of [Russia's] relations with the civilized world and, especially, with the USA, will have a huge positive impact on Russia's economy, and, therefore, on the music sector," says Eduard Ratnikov, president of Cultura T.C.I. "As the economy grows, people want more entertainment."


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