Open Air Festival: Can Music Break Free?

Last weekend, in the middle of Tbilisi’s protests wave and revolutionary atmosphere, Tbilisi Open Air Festival hosted its 10th edition. Very famous Franz Ferdinand, David August and UNKLE were among the artists invited. The festival gathered important international artists as well as many Georgian ones. People were wandering which kind of festival would happen considering the current political events that shook Georgia. It was difficult to imagine the public having fun and enjoying the festival as if nothing was happening.  

And even if you could read on some participants' faces signs of sadness and anger, the festival was also a way to gather people around the same values such as freedom, peace and respect. It was a different way of protesting, maybe one in which people believe that music can gather everyone and is a strong and peaceful weapon for freedom.  

In many ways, Tbilisi Open Air was in the same vein as what was happening in front of the Parliament. Many artists, before beginning their show, addressed the public on the current events and brought their support. The very famous English rock band The Subways said on the main stage: “We will always stand with you and the West stands with you, I promise” and one of the singers hanged the Georgian flag on his mic. The Georgian artist Anushka Chkheidze, who played on the Eye stage on Saturday, was wearing a t-shirt saying “20% of my country is occupied by Russia”. People were holding placards saying “Russia is an occupier” and others. The main stage screens were also diffusing “No to Violence” and “Russia is an Occupier”.

And mainly, the public was fully present on the festival, releasing an incredible energy during the three days of concerts on the four different stages.  So maybe music actually has a special power when it comes to bringing them around the same cause. This kind of events gather people under a positive mindset, they come together because their differences no more matter and they live in harmony with other rather than in individualistic ways. When music, love and happiness are spread, people can connect with what really matters and maybe their peaceful fight for freedom becomes greater.


By Gabrielle Colchen

Photo Source: Tbilisi Open Air Facebook page

25 June 2019 13:31