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Armenian Festival Urvakan Postponed Due To Clashes On Border
Christian Eede , September 20th, 2022 17:13

Fighting has broken out between rival factions on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Armenian festival Urvakan has been forced to postpone its 2022 edition after clashes broke out on the country's border with Azerbaijan.

In a statement announcing the postponement, festival organisers said: "The escalation of conflict on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan came as a shock to us. Despite the fact that the sides have come to a ceasefire agreement, it is very hard to predict how this will continue to develop." This year's edition of the Dilijan-based festival, which was set to be its first since 2019, was due to host the likes of aya, Mulatu Astatke and Nicolás Jaar, among others.

The organisers' statement continued: "This was a tough decision to make as this is not the first time we've been forced to postpone. In 2020, the COVID pandemic put a global halt on events, then the wars raging around us in Artsakh and Ukraine did not even let us think of a new edition for some time. This year we tried hard to relaunch Urvakan considering new realities that our region and the world are facing. While we were developing the festival some of its topics became even more real, and now we observe aggressive actions of authoritarian leaders yet again.

"We had a meeting with the head of Tavush municipality, where the festival site is located this year. Considering the proximity to the Azerbaijani border they are concerned about the risks and don't recommend for us to go ahead with planning the festival at this time. It was not an easy decision, but we hope that our friends and audience will continue to support us. We stand with Armenia, and hope that time for Urvakan will finally come."

The statement also included a link to organisations helping to support the Armenian people amid the conflict, as well as tools to help educate people about what's going on. Those who purchased tickets for the event can get a refund from the source of their purchase. Alternatively, people can hold on to their tickets for a future edition of the event or donate the cost to future event planning.