October 31, 2013 8:22

Grimes defends decision to play Moscow gig and says ignoring Russia's gay community is not 'cool'

Singer is scheduled to play private show this week

Grimes defends decision to play Moscow gig and says ignoring Russia's gay community is not 'cool'

Photo: Cara Bloch/NME

Grimes has defended her decision to play a private show in Moscow this week.

The singer, real name Claire Boucher, has been criticised by some fans for choosing to play the gig after the country passed a federal law earlier this year which banned the promotion of the gay rights movement and the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships to minors".

In a post published on Tumblr, however, Grimes explained: "I do not feel bad about it. I don't think that denying and ignoring the gay community in Russia is cool."

She added: "It doesn't hurt the government if I refuse to tour there. Just regular people. So I don't think it's wrong to be doing this. Refusing to go to Russia would only hurt fans."

In November last year, a lawsuit filed against Madonna for promoting gay rights while performing in Russia was dismissed. The singer had enraged some citizens by handing out pink anti-homophobia wristbands to crowd members during a show in St Petersburg and telling them to "fight for the right to be free", causing a lawsuit to be filed by members of the Union of Russian Citizens, the People's Assembly and the New Great Russia party.

A lawyer for the group claimed that her actions caused "psychological stress and emotional shock" among the audience, but the case was thrown out of court after a farcical trial during which the judge had to threaten to ban journalists from the room unless they stopped laughing.

Earlier this month, meanwhile, Grimes posted excerpts from her eco-friendly tour rider on Tumblr, which stipulated that "everything is conducted in as green and eco-friendly a manner as possible backstage". She also requested that venues only provide crockery and cutlery that is "reusable and not disposable" and bans the use of "styrofoam, plastic or foil containers" to cover food. In addition, she asks for "local, organic food wherever possible".

The singer released her third and most recent album, 'Visions', in January 2012.






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