Punk protest collective to perform at Greenbelt festival in Northants

Pussy Riot
Pussy Riot

Russian punk activists Pussy Riot will be leading the line up as the ‘in residence’ act when the Greenbelt Festival returns this weekend.

Greenbelt is at Boughton House near Kettering from Friday, August 24, to Monday, August 27, and will feature an array of music alongside comedy, visual arts, performing arts, workshops and worship and spiritual activities.

Pussy Riot were back in the headlines earlier this summer when, during the World Cup final in Russia, four members invaded the pitch dressed as police officers.

The aim of the protest, called Policeman Enters the Game, was to call on Russian authorities to free political prisoners, stop illegal arrests at public rallies, allow political competition and stop the fabrication of criminal cases and incarceration.

Pussy Riot is not a single band, more a collective. Maria Alyokhina, writer of Riot Days and the leading light in the Pussy Riot contingent heading to Greenbelt, was not among those who invaded the pitch.

She will be joined by nine others of the collective, still based in Moscow.

Previously speaking about the festival’s decision to ask Pussy Riot to Greenbelt, festival director Paul Northup said: “When we drew up a wishlist of who we’d most like to get to Greenbelt 2018 back in the autumn of 2017, Pussy Riot was there – right at the top.

“Radical, activist, spiritual, feminist, challenging state and church, standing up to the powers that be, railing against the patriarchal status quo.

“Some might wonder why Greenbelt – with our roots deep in the Christian tradition – is choosing to showcase a collective who, according to the charges brought against them, incited ‘religious hatred’ with their punk prayer Cathedral act in 2012. But this is exactly the reason why we’re so excited to have Pussy Riot at Greenbelt this summer.”

Other acts set to play at Greenbelt include We Are Scientists, Beth Rowley, Rasha Nahas, HUX, Ozomatli, Ibibio Sound Machine, I’m With Her, Duke Special, CC Smugglers, Lowkey, Lewis Watson, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Lee Bains III And The Glory Fires, Lots Holloway, Pierce Brothers, L.A. Salami, Grace Petrie, Martyn Joseph, Zach Said, Xylaroo and The Welcome Wagon.

Other people taking part include Jack Monroe, Michael Eavis, Kate Raworth, JoJo Mehta, Vicky Beeching, Lauri Love, Jonathan Bartley, Eve Poole, Broderick Greer, Lynne Segal and Rants N Bants.

Tickets are on sale now with adult weekend tickets costing £190. Concessions are available. For full details visit www.greenbelt.org.uk