Monday, August 20, 2012

Will the Harsh Pussy Riot Sentencing Ruin Russia’s Tourism Industry?

Given that the “irreverent” Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot had been perceived by the global punk community as a Russian tourist destination in themselves, will the harsh sentencing of the band eventually ruin Russia’s tourism industry? 

By: Ringo Bones 

In this day and age of over commoditized American Idol wannabe pseudo-musicians more interested in money than true artistry, genuine politically addled punk rock has inadvertently become a musical tourist destination in themselves – akin to Mississippi Delta Blues tourism and all-acoustic unamplified Viennese string quartets. But with the recent harsh sentencing of the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot over their anti Vladimir Putin protest in Moscow’s main cathedral back in March, will Russia’s tourism industry be inadvertently ruined by missing out on the emergent music tourism – make that punk rock tourism - movement? 

Ever since the British punk rock band Sex Pistols sang a brash polemic about HRH Queen Elizabeth II back in the mid 1970s, parts of London with anything connecting them to Johnny Rotten and company had since became the “Mecca” of punk rock tourism. Not to mention punk rock fashions by Vivienne Westwood. And with the harsh sentencing of the three members of Pussy Riot to two years in a labor camp might give anyone planning to visit Russia in the coming months some second thoughts - especially since the inherent lack of freedom of expression and rule of law of Vladimir Putin’s Russia will definitely scare off potential tourists who are probably too scared to get arrested over arcane legalese definition of hooliganism by the Russian court of law.