Iran Hosts Concert!

The last remaining threat in the so-called “axis of evil” seems like it may finally be starting to pull its fangs too. Breaking a nearly 30-year ban on Western musicians, Iran has agreed to allow Irish singer Chris de Burgh to perform alongside Iranian pop group Arian for a November concert in the country’s capital of Tehran. Not since the 1979 revolution has a Western singer been allowed the play inside the Islamic Republic. For the most part, pop songs have been altogether blocked from state radio airplay, though instrumental version are sometimes allowed, and even Iranian pop groups have their material carefully scrutinized before they can be sold. Due to such restraints, the black market for pirated versions of Western music has maintained a regular presence on the country’s streets.

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The last remaining threat in the so-called “axis of evil” seems like it may finally be starting to pull its fangs too. Breaking a nearly 30-year ban on Western musicians, Iran has agreed to allow Irish singer Chris de Burgh to perform alongside Iranian pop group Arian for a November concert in the country’s capital of Tehran. Not since the 1979 revolution has a Western singer been allowed the play inside the Islamic Republic. For the most part, pop songs have been altogether blocked from state radio airplay, though instrumental version are sometimes allowed, and even Iranian pop groups have their material carefully scrutinized before they can be sold. Due to such restraints, the black market for pirated versions of Western music has maintained a regular presence on the country’s streets.

The show is set for Azadi Indoor Stadium, which will likely pack its 12,000 seats for de Burgh, who is said to have developed a dedicated fan base in the country. Arian’s manager Mohsen Rajabpour has stated the band and de Burgh have recorded a song called “A Melody for Peace” that was intended, he said, “to reflect the peace-seeking spirit of the Iranian people to the world.” However, de Burgh himself has stressed that the concert is in no way political and merely reflects his “humanist” worldview.

“We are not politically naive… I am not here for any political reasons,” he said. “This has been a dream of mine [to visit Iran] since I was a little boy… I am here to see and play for people.”



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