The producer of a planned gig by the frontman of German group Rammstein is facing administrative proceedings in Russia after officers swooped on the entourage, insisting that the producer broke migration rules.
Police officers raided the hotel, where Rammstein’s frontman Till Lindemann has been staying, late on Friday.
Images circulating on social media show uniformed and plainclothes officers inside the hotel lobby, as well as talking with Lindemann in what is thought to be his hotel room.
The musician has arrived in Tver Region in central Russia to perform at a ‘MacLarin for Rodina [Motherland]’ festival, organized by agriculture tycoon Maksim Larin. The businessman is a long-standing member and a former candidate for Russia’s far-right Rodina [Motherland] party. The show was billed as a belated celebration of Larin’s birthday as well as of his company's 45th anniversary, and came amid a heated electoral campaign in the run-up to the Russian parliamentary elections on September 19.
Multiple reports by Russian media suggested police notified Lindemann of the need to abide by the Covid-19 restrictions ahead of the planned gig. The current Covid-19 guidelines cap the number of attendees at 500 people for all public events in the region. Police, however, later clarified that they did not find Lindemann in violation of any law.
Lindemann’s producer, Anar Reiband, however, has apparently found himself in legal trouble after the police visit. According to media reports, the producer entered the country as a tourist, but instead was apparently organizing Lindemann’s gig in Tver. Reiband is now reportedly facing administrative proceedings for violating the migration rules. If found guilty, he could be fined and deported.
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In the meantime, Larin said that the festival would have to be scaled back and be held on the territory adjacent to the company’s grounds. The tycoon said on social media that Lindemann was unable to carry out a stage rehearsal at the initial venue due to the traffic being blocked by police, and would unlikely perform at the Sunday’s event.
Larin has insisted the gig was designed only to mark his birthday and has no relation to the looming polls. He also denied any connection between the event and his son’s ongoing election campaign. The latter is a candidate for Rodina [Motherland] party at the upcoming legislative elections.
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Shortly before the police operation at Lindemann’s hotel, Larin urged would-be attendees to avoid wearing branded ‘MacLarin for Rodina’ shirts, claiming it would enable the authorities to shut down the event as an unauthorized political gathering.
“It’s irrelevant for [the authorities] that it’s a private party on our land. For them, it only matters that Rodina [Motherland] – is not only Russia, but the Rodina party as well” Larin said, insisting that the name of the ‘festival’ was not a deliberate wordplay on the party’s name.
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