Russia Bans Marilyn Manson 'Sadomasochistic' Gig
A concert by U.S. shock rocker Marilyn Manson has been canceled in a major Russian city over fears his performance would insult Orthodox believers and promote sadomasochism.
"There will be no Marilyn Manson concert in Novosibirsk," concert organizers said, referring to Russia's third largest city and the administrative center of Siberia.
"Authorities of all levels have denied us permission to hold the concert on June 29," the firm, Sibirskie Gastroli, said in a statement posted on Russia's social network VKontakte on Thursday afternoon.
"We've fought until the end but the situation has proved stronger than us, unfortunately."
The organizers promised a full refund to all ticket holders.
Manson, 45, has frequently been the subject of protests from religious groups, including in his native U.S. His 1996 album Antichrist Superstar sold seven million copies worldwide.
Hundreds of religious activists had protested against Manson's plans to perform in the city, accusing the U.S. enfant terrible of insulting Russian Orthodox believers.
One such activist hailed the cancellation of the concert on Friday, stressing the importance of President Vladimir Putin's efforts to protect morals.
"Manson's live performances look like an amusement park with a sadomasochistic slant," said the activist, Yury Zadoya.
"Sadomasochism is a mental disorder. What does Novosibirsk need this show for?" he said on popular radio Echo of Moscow.
The organizers said authorities in Novosibirsk, home to more than 1.5 million people, did not want Manson's concert to coincide with an annual local holiday in the city on Friday and suggested that Manson perform on Saturday instead.
But the organizers said the alternative date did not suit the rocker.
Since returning to the Kremlin for a third term in 2012 despite huge protests, Putin has sought to play up traditional values and bill Russia as an antidote to the West.