I’m in Moscow, sitting on torn grass, as dusk sets in around me. The park, on the edge of a river nestled under the gargantuan statue of Peter the Great, is slowly turning orange, and the weird flourishes of a Mulatu Astatke set punctuate the air. It’s pleasant, watching Ethiopian jazz in a Russian park, if a little surreal, but it’s not what I’m supposed to be doing. I should be tired right now—well, somewhere between beat-down and elated. I should be on an abandoned industrial site on the outskirts of the city. I should be about 20 hours into a two-day techno session. I should be at Outline Festival.
The third edition of the event is the reason I’ve travelled to Russia yet on landing in the country yesterday I was told, first by Twitter and then by representatives of the festival, that the event had been cancelled. There’s talk of government intervention and armed police in riot gear. Some people are blaming the festival organisers, others are blaming the state.* The only clear truth is that the festival will not be happening. This is bad news for me, sure, having just flown across Europe for very little reason, but it’s even worse for Russian producer Philipp Gorbachev. It was at Outline Festival that he was set to debut his new live show, launching his most recent record Unlock the Box, revealing a vast and intricate stage design. Now instead, like me, he is sat under a pale evening sun watching Astatke—a sort of conciliatory performance organised by Outline in light of the cancellation.
Check out the full feature with Philipp Gorbachev over at Thump.