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Jurmala does not give up New Wave Song Contest despite sanctions against Russia

March 19, 2014, 14:39 UTC+3 RIGA

Canceling of the festival would be a populist decision, Latvian newspaper says

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A beach in Jurmala (archive)

A beach in Jurmala (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Viktor Lisitsyn

RIGA, March 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Jurmala - a marvelous, cozy Latvian town on the Baltic Sea coast,  "will not give up a traditional annual international song contest "New Wave" despite sanctions the European Union has promised to Russia in connection with the situation in Ukraine,” the Diena newspaper said in an interview with Jurmala Mayor Gatis Truksnis published on Wednesday.

The Jurmala administration and the organizers of the Jurmala festival established long-standing and mutually advantageous cooperation. Giving up the festival would be a populist decision, the newspaper said, citing the Jurmala mayor.

Nevertheless, Latvian Culture Minister Dace Melbarde declared that a final decision rests with the chairman of the Jurmala Duma and depends on his responsibility for his electorate and his vision of the future. The minister admitted the importance of the economic aspect of the event, but emphasized that Jurmala with its cultural potential “might do without the New Wave altogether.”

The New Wave song contest is a successor to the Jurmala festivals held when Jurmala was part of the former Soviet Union. The Jurmala and the New Wave song contests were organized by Latvian composer and piano player Raimonds Pauls and Russian composer Igor Krutoi. Last year Raimonds Pauls declared that he would no longer take part in New Wave festivals.

The singers taking part in the New Wave festival compete in three events: a hit composition of their home country, a world hit and a song of their own choice. Many laureates of the festivals held in Jurmala represented their countries at Eurovision International Song Festivals.

This year the 13th international contest "New Wave" will be held at Dzintari concert hall in Jurmala on July 22-27.

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