Gov't Finances Anaklia Echo Waves Instead of GEM Fest

This summer the government will allocate funds for Anaklia Echo Waves Festival instead of the Georgian Electronic Music Festival (GEM Fest).

The Anaklia Echo Waves Festival will be funded within the Check in Georgia Project and will get 4,160,000 GEL from the state budget.

According to the governmental order, the festival Anaklia Echo Waves is to be a very important tourist-cultural event.

The festival will be held in Anaklia on August 23-26, 2018.

The total cost of the project is 6 million GEL. The remaining 2 million GEL will be provided by the festival organizers.

According to the National Tourism Administration, among the festival participant artists will be:

  • Solomun
  • Juan Atkins
  • Dzijan Emin
  • GPO
  • Francesco Tristano
  • Guti live

The National Tourism Administration states that negotiations are ongoing with world-renowned live performers and DJs who will make the festival more solid and attractive.

In addition to music, the festival includes sports and recreational activities, various artistic and cultural events, and social and educational projects.

The festival will be held under the umbrella of EXIT one of the best and most popular festivals in Europe. EXIT has been held in Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Romania and Bosnia since 2000.

As for the GEM Fest, the month-long electronic music festival was held for the third time in Georgia from July 14 to August 14 in Georgia’s Black Sea town of Anaklia in 2017.

Despite the large number of world-famous artists and DJs, this year the festival experienced numerous problems, including the death of a 22-year old girl and poisoning of more than 20 others, allegedly due to psychoactive drug ‘Bio’ or Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), which has been seen increasingly throughout Georgia of late.

Another problem alleged financial violations during the festival, for which the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia launched an investigation in August. Due to these financial issues, around 300 employees of the festival complained they had not received their salaries.

Giorgi Sigua, the founder and the organizer of GEM Fest, denied the allegations of embezzlement. He said he intends to hold the GEM festival in Anaklia, using his own funds, on August 9-12.

By Thea Morrison

11 June 2018 12:25