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Popular Kazakh singer in midst of scandal less than year after another concert ended in violence 11 июля 2014, 14:14

A new scandal is raging around popular Kazakh singer Kairat Nurtas just a year after another concert resulted in mass violence in Almaty.
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Kairat Nurtas ©Roza Yessenkulova Kairat Nurtas ©Roza Yessenkulova

A new scandal is raging around popular Kazakh singer Kairat Nurtas. Last time, it ended with violence, a dozen wounded, more than a hundred arrested and a shopping mall trashed. This time violence was avoided but there was enough anger in the air, Tengrinews reports citing 31 TV Channel.

It all started with an ordinary concert promotion. Kairat Nurtas was invited to perform as a guest singer at the opening of a new music channel MC KZ at a sports facility called Baluan Sholak Sports Palace.

The fans gathered in front of the Sports Palace at the appointed hour. However, all the doors were closed and only a note was hanging at the entrance saying that the event had been moved to another location – a regular restaurant - for an unspecified reason.

More than 700 people were crammed into a restaurant that could barely hold 300 people. But the outraged audience was unable to locate the organizers.

“They promised us a concert at the Sports Palace but brought us here, to a restaurant. There is not enough space for people. It is hard to breathe. And there is no reimbursement,” said one of the women, who came out of the restaurant for a breath of fresh air.

Later, information began to seep through that the organizers of the concert failed to sell enough tickets to be able to afford the Sports Palace and resorted to the restaurant as a last minute alternative. 

However, Vice-Director of the Sports Palace Serik Kanagat said that the organizers of the concert had known in advance that they would not be using the facility for the concert. "They had to pay the rent before July 4. But on July 2 they told us that no payment was forthcoming and we terminated the agreement."

The singer’s mother and producer Gulzira Aidarbekova gave her explanation of the situation: “All the organisers just ran off. We couldn't get in contact with anybody. There is no one (to deal with the situation), except us even now. They were supposed to buy us plane tickets, but did fulfill this either. I realized that all of this was a provocation against Kairat. Not to embarrass ourselves in front of the people, we bought the tickets on our own and arrived here."

The singer fulfilled his duty and sang his popular hits to the dense crowd. So the outcome of this scandal was quite different for the previous scandal in August last year that also involved a performance by Nurtas but ended in a night of violence.

Here is a video of last year's violences and here you can read the reports of witnesses

Last year, the concert started at the professed location - at Prime Plaza, but after a two-hour delay. Around 2000 young people gathered for the concert at the square in front of the mall. When Nurtas finally appeared, the hiked up crowd started breaking through the fencing to the stage and the singer was led off stage. This triggered an new surge of discontent. The outraged mob crashed onto the stage, trashing the equipment, overturning nearby cars and damaging Prime Plaza mall. More than a dozen were seriously wounded. Considerable police force was dispatched to the area. The police cordoned the site off and arrested 165 people.

So, it appears that this time the situation was resolved in a relatively peaceful manner.

By Dinara Urazova

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