A group of masked anti-LGBT activists raided a club in Moscow Friday just hours before queer, gender-bending rapper Mykki Blanco was set to perform, the Fader reports.
Blanco was scheduled to appear at a club called Solyanka but the performance was called off after the extremists reportedly raided the venue. The musician took to Facebook on Nov. 16 to explain the events, saying, "right wing groups [had been] expressing discontent" with the club for awhile and that the attack may have been coincidental with Blanco's performance.
An employee of Solyanka told the Village newspaper:
"They burst into the venue and ordered everyone, to stay in their places - no smoking, no phone calls, no bathroom trips."
The worker also added that four cars arrived around 1 p.m. and the men gave the impression to employees that they were Federal Drug Control Service workers, even though they weren't wearing the proper uniforms. The extremists shut off the lights, were rude and abusive towards the confused employees before they ordered everyone in the club to leave.
Dazed reports that rumors say the notorious extremist Eastern Orthodox anti-LGBT group God's Will had been protesting Blanco's performance. The group's leader Dmitry Enteo took to Twitter, lauding Solyanka's shutdown.
"The perverts of Solyanka thought they can get away with everything? It's important for everyone to understand that without respecting Eastern Orthodox faith and the family, you cannot work in Russia," he wrote (translation via Dazed).
Despite the rumors, Blanco had the following to say via Twitter:
"To our knowledge the police raid of the club today does not have any involvement with my performance. I have not been to the club today," Blanco wrote on Nov. 14.
According to News.ru, a rep for the Federal Agency for State Property Management said the club has been seized over their financial debts to Moscow.
After the shutdown, Blanco tweeted that the show was moved to another venue called LOL.
The Fader points out the rapper posted a short essay and a number of photos and videos called "Putin's Russia."
Blanco has performed in Russia five times despite the country's highly controversial anti-gay "homosexual propaganda" laws. He also recorded part of his new album "Gay Dog Food" in Russia.
"People have said I'm 'brave' for continuing to show my support of Russian LGBT youth/persons [by] performing [and] visiting the country but if I were actually transgender, if I wasn't able to shed the skin of that reality would I actually be safe there at all? Would it be 'brave' or merely 'foolish' for me to think I would not be harassed," Blanco wrote in part of his essay.
Read the musician's full piece on his Facebook page.
Dazed notes Solyanka employees wrote on Facebook the club is "experiencing what some would call technical difficulties."
"We are very grateful for your support, but urgently ask you to abstain from any sort of direct street actions in relation with this situation - this might only worsen it," the club workers wrote. "Everything will be OK."
Blanco made headlines in May when he was reportedly arrested in Portugal after an altercation with a police officer, who allegedly used an anti-gay slur towards the artist.
Watch Blanco's music video for "Wavvy" below:
From our media partner EDGE