Nina Kraviz removed from three music festival line-ups

The Russian DJ has since responded to claims that she harbours “pro-Putin” views

Three music festivals have confirmed that Nina Kraviz will no longer be performing at their events this summer.

Dortmund’s PollerWiesen, The Crave in The Hague, and Movement Detroit have all posted statements on social media confirming that the Russian DJ has been taken off the billing.

The decisions arrive a day after Kraviz published a statement online explaining her social media silence regarding Russia’s military action in Ukraine after she was criticised for not speaking up on the issue.

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“I am a musician and was never involved in supporting the politicians or political parties, I am not planning to do it in the future,” Kraviz said in part of the statement. “I don’t understand politics or the social processes it creates. So I don’t think it is right to talk about it on social media.”

PollerWiesen posted on Instagram that “this decision was made by us following a process of open dialogue with all parties involved.”

The Crave wrote: “After long and intensive discussions both internally and externally we have decided that Nina Kraviz will not play The Crave Festival 2022.”

Movement Detroit, meanwhile, simply tweeted: “Nina Kraviz is unable to play Movement this year.”

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The moves come after Kraviz and her трип (Trip Recordings) label were dropped from Clone Distribution last week (May 17) after its founder alleged that she harbours “pro-Putin” views.

The Russian DJ hadn’t spoken publicly about Russia’s war against Ukraine except for posting a video in February of a handwritten note with the word “peace” written in Russian. But she has since done so, writing on Instagram that it’s “appalling what my country’s relations with Ukraine have become”.

Clone Recordings founder Serge Verschuur outlined his decision to cut ties with Kraviz in a recent blog post in which he criticised her for her alleged “pro-Putin” views and “CCCP/USSR sentiments”. He also claimed that she was “using Putin’s law as an excuse not to speak out”.

nina kraviz
Nina Kraviz performing at EXIT Festival 2021 (Picture: Marko Ristc / EXIT Festival / Press)

Responding to the Clone’s decision to drop Kraviz, a representative for the DJ told NME: “In 2018 Nina signed a contract with [Clone Distribution] to distribute Trip Recordings and its sub labels. In the last five years, there were no issues.

“In the 20 years Nina has known Serge he has had no reason to believe the things he is saying about her today as true. He is aware of where she lives and was informed of her position at the start of the war.”

Kraviz has since taken to Instagram to issue her own statement – read the full response below.

In a recent article, Time magazine collected responses from several prominent members of the electronic music scenes in Ukraine and Russia, including the Ukrainian DJ Nastia and the Russian DJ Buttechno, who criticised Kraviz’s apparent “silence” and asked her to provide clarity about her views on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the war.

But Kraviz’s defenders argued that the DJ has no involvement with the war in Ukraine and that freedom of speech includes the freedom to say nothing at all.

Supporters in the Time article also cited Russia’s recently introduced laws that forbid anti-war protests, slogans and independent journalism, as well as the potential threats that come with being a Russian dissident.

Kraviz’s representatives also provided some context to NME about where Clone founder Verschuur may have gathered what they claim are misunderstandings about the DJ’s position. They suggested that his references to her alleged “CCCP/USSR sentiments” may have sprung from a photo of Kraviz posing in a CCCP space t-shirt with a portrait of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin for a 2017 Mixmag feature.

Kraviz was visiting and performing at the San Diego Air & Space Museum for the feature. “This did not support anything other than the achievements of the space programme,” Kraviz’s representatives said.

Additionally, Kraviz’s team pointed NME to a tweet she sent in 2016 (“Don’t underestimate a russki:)”), which they claimed was posted after a personal issue. “The text and meme of this tweet had nothing to do with each other,” her representatives said.

In Verschuur’s blog post – published before Kraviz’s (May 17) Instagram post – he wrote that he supported the DJ’s right at the time to remain silent, but that “as a business partner Clone Records is equally free to not conveniently accept those reasons”.

“By not speaking out, Nina enables herself to continue her lifestyle and her life as a performing artist as if nothing is happening,” he added, “while the looting, the raping, the murdering and the destruction of a country by her countrymen continues.”

Among other claims shared to NME, Kraviz’s team alleged that Trip Records’ latest concept album, ‘All His Decisions’, was delivered to Clone Distribution in 2021 “without issues and sent into production”.

Kraviz remains booked for several other festival appearances this summer, including Manchester’s Parklife, Barcelona’s Primavera Sound and Madrid’s Mad Cool festival.

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