Estonian legendary musician Tõnis Mägi said on the national radio on Tuesday that he did not understand why American action star Steven Seagal, who openly supports Putin and his policies towards the Ukraine crisis, was invited to the festival. “This is totally incomprehensible, don’t these men at all observe what is happening in the world, the place where they live?” scolded Mägi.
The singer and song-writer said that the situation in Europe was worrisome and it was unacceptable to invite a man to Estonia who was in agreement with Putin, supported annexation of Crimea and performed at a motorcycle-festival in Sevastopol, singing the anthem of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic together with pro-Russian separatists.
“This just cannot be, I call outright to boycott it,” said Mägi.
The Festival’s organizer Indrek Ditmann does not see anything provocative in inviting Seagal. “We believe that in the context of Augustibluus festival, the political beliefs of the main performer are not of determining nature, since it is a music festival and when putting the programme together, we cannot base it on beliefs the performers have outside of music.”
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet also finds that organizers of big cultural events should have a broader social sense. “Steven Seagal has in recent months wanted to actively participate in politics, and has done so in a manner which is not acceptable to a large part of the world that respects democracy and rule of law,” said Paet.
“Just like occupation of a part of a neighbouring state cannot be accepted, senseless praise of it cannot be accepted either,” the minister stressed.
The Augustibluus festival takes place on 1-2 August in Haapsalu.
In early July, Seagal performed in Lithuania.