Earlier today, we published our account of breaking into the grounds of Moscow’s Outline Festival after it was cancelled by Russian authorities just hours before it was due to begin. As we reported that night, Russian officials accused Outline of failing to apply for its licenses within the legal 30 days, and Outline responded that it had everything in order—which claim was again drawn into question when a leaked document appeared on Facebook that apparently proved the organizers hadn’t filed in due time. We’ve just received a press release from Outline’s PR responding to the leaked document that explains their side of the story and asserts that the document was taken out of context and that safety of staff or visitors was “never compromised in any way.” Read it in full below.
First of all we are deeply grateful to all artists and festival guests who have been affected by the situation, and who have supported us. We greatly appreciate the help of the international community and feel much stronger knowing that many people all over the world are rooting for us and our future.
Outline 2016 was the biggest event that our team had ever produced, therefore we were focused with maximum attention to detail on every aspect of the workflow. This includes the paperwork for the festival, which was filed well in advance. All communication with city officials was properly scheduled and executed. More specifically, we would like to address the copy of the document that was leaked the day after the cancellation. This single document was belongs to a series of documents which were exchanged with city officials. The safety of Outline Festival’s audience, artists, and crew was never compromised in any way. In fact, all recommendations we received from the Ministry of Emergency Situations during the preliminary inspection were reviewed and carefully implemented.
On Saturday, 2 July at 5 pm, we received the notice from the Prefecture of Moscow informing us that Outline 2016 would not be allowed to take place. After formally announcing the cancellation to the public, the team completely focused on the artists who had already arrived in Moscow. We managed to arranged several shows, biggest of them with a great deal of support from Moscow’s Department of Culture in the popular public park Museon and hopefully showed the true spirit of Outline Festival to the general public.
As it was announced earlier, Outline Festival will return all funds from ticket sales to its customers. The process has already started and is under control by our team.The latest update to this statement is good news. At the moment we are in a frank and constructive dialogue with a Prefecture of Moscow regarding Outline 2017.
The cover photo for this article was taken by Camille Blake.