Crimea Cracks Down On A Festival, Makes Tourism Crisis Worse
14 August, 2015

With special operations forces raids and without electricity, that's how Befooz music festival started in Popovka, Crimea. Being pretty much a successor of the famous KaZantip fest on the peninsula, Bezoof hasn't been able to win over the new "authorities". Self-proclaimed Prime-Minister of the Republic of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, has spoken against the festival. Tourism is one the main sources of income for Crimeans, and the industry is in deep crisis after the Russian annexation, though this year locals in Popovka still expect to greet around 16,000 people to the village.

There were no electricity at the festival opening, but organisers and guests have still managed to create an impromptu party.

KaZantip is an electronic dance music festival that took place every year from 1992 to 2013 in Crimea. It takes place for 2–3 weeks of August and about 100,000 "paradiZers" visit each year, making profits for locals. The 2014 edition of the festival called "Z22" took place in Anaklia, Georgia due to Crimea's annexation by Russia.

The internationally recognised Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by Russia in March 2014. Back then Russian masked troops invaded and occupied key Crimean locations, including Ukrainian airports and military bases, following President Putin's orders. Crimea has suffered from the annexation, getting three million fewer visitors last year, which is about half of average year’s total as a part of Ukraine.

// Filmed by Hromadske. Crimea in July, 2015.