Musicians Who Have Protested the Sochi Olympics

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Blondie is just the latest group of musicians to turn down an offer to play at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, as some musicians in the West have refused to play at this year’s Olympic Games as a sign of protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws and Putin’s oppressive regime as a whole. While the Olympics themselves are an international event and do not endorse Russia’s homophobic policies, some very famous musicians have elected to boycott, protest against, or turn down playing the 2014 Winter Olympics because of the Olympic committee’s choice to hold the event in Russia. Here’s a look at the musicians who have protested the Olympics in Sochi in various ways.


Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry last Friday tweeted a photo of the letter the band received offering them a 45-minute gig playing at the Sochi Olympics with the words “PASS” and “Human Rights” scribbled over it. The proposed performance would have taken place this Thursday on the main stage of the Sochi Medals Plaza, which has a capacity of 45,000.

“Blondie has always been a part of the downtown community in NYC, with many, many friends who represent alternative lifestyles,” frontwoman Debbie Harry said in a statement sent to the Huffington Post. “We feel very strongly about these friendships and associations, and don’t feel good about participating in a situation where biases and prejudices are paramount.” Blondie also headlined the recent Amnesty International concert to benefit human rights, which was held the day before the start of the Olympics. Other performers at the Amnesty International concert held at the Barclays Center last week included Cake, the Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, Imagine Dragons, Teagan and Sara, and others.

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