(By Dethecrator) Metal festivals and other outdoor events in Lithuania this year have come under attack from the country's parliament, whose members proposed a total ban of all alcohol, ranging from beer to wine to strong spirits, over all the public cultural events.
The idea was received with unanimous animosity from metal bands, concert-goers and festival promoters alike, especially by KILKIM ŽAIBU, which starts this Thursday with an authentic folk evening, then moving on to diverse metal programme for Friday and Saturday. "KILKIM ŽAIBU is on its 18th edition this year, headlined by ABBATH, ARCHGOAT, SKYFORGER, MGŁA and VULTURE INDUSTRIES, among others.
"Around 30% of the festival's income every year gets generated by sales of drinks and sponsorship from breweries. We cannot afford lose that income, otherwise we would not be able to pay artists the amount they deserve," promoter of KILKIM ŽAIBU, Daividas Kurlis, told Lithuania's DELFI. "If that ban will be enacted, I will move my festival over the border to Latvia next year!"
The idea was picked up by Imants Liepiņš, a Latvian metalhead and recent candidate to the Latvian municipal election, which took place this on June 3. He was running for a seat on Riga City Council from NACIONĀLĀ APVIENĪBA ("National Unity") ticket and had released a sarcastic video where he appeals to Lithuanian members of Parliament (starting from 00:50 seconds):
"Lithuanian members of Parliament — we support you! Make up that historical piece of legislation! Do it, do it faster, do it right now! We want all the Lithuanian festivals, including KILKIM ŽAIBU, DEVILSTONE, MENUO JUODARAGIS, ROKO NAKTYS and GALAPAGAI, to move into Latvia! We want them to come here and pay taxes in Latvia!"
Then he offers several locations in Latvia for those festivals, including Lucavsala island and an ancient fortress hill near Riga, where KLANĢU HILL OPEN AIR METALSHOW already took place on June 16—17, headlined by Finland's SWALLOW THE SUN, Russia's ARKONA, and Ukraine's STONED JESUS.
Although the metalhead was not elected to Riga city council, his party had all-time best results all over Latvian municipalities.
When asked by Vaidas Neverauskas of 15MIN.LT, "if the video is a joke or a serious part of the election programme", Imants, who have been playing black metal with the local band DARK DOMINATION, responded: "Actually both. Yes, I want KILKIM ŽAIBU and other festivals to continue! If not possible in Lithuania, then in Latvia. But I made the video intentionally sarcastic, because it is always better to talk serious issues in a lighthearted way. In Latvia, there have been no such strange proposals on alcohol bans. If people are over 18 years old, they can be responsible themselves, and they do not need government oversight in beer issues."
After fragments of the video were broadcast on TV news, some Lithuanian parliament members have taken steps back and have re-opened the discussion on alcohol ban, coming up with an amendment which would allow sales of beer and ale containing less than 6% ethanol — which is OK with the metal community.
However, the amended bill has not yet been passed into a law, and future perspectives of metal festivals in Lithuania remain unclear. Therefore all the metalheads must go to KILKIM ŽAIBU this weekend — perhaps it is the last time the festival takes place in Varniai, at the Lūkstis lake, and this is the last chance to enjoy (in Lithuania) its unique blend of folk, metal, ancient battle club performances, and beer!
Kilkim Žaibu https://www.kilkimzaibu.com/en
Dark Domination https://darkdomination.bandcamp.com/