Concerts in times of crisis

While we are collecting thoughts for our live report on the Epic Metal Night from last Friday, I would like to say a few basic words about “concerts in times of crisis“.

Aidan and I already agreed on Friday that we would present you with a rather sober article without the usual “feel-good pictures“. We are not doing this for opportunistic reasons, but because it is a matter of concern to us. The fate of the Ukrainians touches our hearts…

However, it was also important to us to give our Epic Metal Night a worthy setting. To say one thing in advance: The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine was omnipresent in the Helvete. In many conversations with visitors and artists it became clear: We are aware of what an immense privilege it is to be able to experience such an evening. The people in Ukraine, who are suffering under Putin’s aggression, can only dream of this.

However, it would not have helped the people in Ukraine if we had cancelled this concert. I think that especially in such dark times, we need to come together to celebrate the freedom we are granted in this country. At our concerts, we don’t care where the artists come from, what they believe in or who they love. Everyone who shares this view or respects these values, which are anchored in the DNA of our blog, is welcome here. Nationalism has no place on our blog. Therefore, Russian visitors and artists who – like us – want to live together in freedom are always welcome. It is not “the Russians“ who are waging war. A power-hungry despot and his corrupt clique are waging war. Countless Russians who, like me, have spent grandiose hours with a band like Aria and might have come to the Keep it True festival in April to see their heroes live, are being burnt out at the front. We must not forget that! Especially we Germans should be careful not to judge a person because of his passport…

When I think back to the Epic Metal Night, I see mostly smiling faces in front of me. People who were happy to spend a few carefree hours together. Especially when the world is on fire and the future is uncertain for all of us, it is important to remember what “being human“ means. Music cannot save the world – but it helps us to bear the cruel news we are confronted with every second. I feel strengthened after Friday – the many likeable people, some of whom I saw offline for the first time ever, were the best medicine one could wish for.

We sincerely hope to be able to invite Ukrainian and Russian artists in the future to celebrate together and make a small contribution to healing wounds. We are all united by more than we are divided by. We must never forget that.

I’ll leave the last words to the great Don’t Drop The Sword, whose eponymous band anthem sums up much of what is buzzing through my head:

There’s a spark deep inside of your heart
(Don’t drop the sword)
Turn it into a fire so bright
(Don’t drop the sword)
Tear the veil of the darkness apart
(Don’t drop the sword)
Find the strength that you need for your fight
(Don’t drop the sword)

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