Iran Concert Put on Hold

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Videos by American Songwriter

It looks as if Iran’s 30-year ban on foreign musicians is going to have to hold on a little longer. Though spokesmen for native pop group Arian had told Reuters six months ago that their joint performance with Irish singer Chris de Burgh – placed on the bill as the first Western artist allowed to take stage since the 1979 revolution – their worldwide press may have been presumptuous.

It looks as if Iran’s 30-year ban on foreign musicians is going to have to hold on a little longer. Though spokesmen for native pop group Arian had told Reuters six months ago that their joint performance with Irish singer Chris de Burgh – placed on the bill as the first Western artist allowed to take stage since the 1979 revolution – their worldwide press may have been presumptuous. Iran’s Music Office of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance claim to have never received an official request for the show, much less issued a permit.

As it stands, then, government permission is still pending. Whether this is an all-out block in the form of red tape or merely a staunch ministry’s attempt to point out policy guidelines before the concert ensues isn’t quite clear. Until then, it looks as if Iranians will have to settle for instrumental muzak and black market pop, leaving 12,000 seats at Azadi Indoor Stadium bare for who knows how long.

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