There has always been a bit of showman in Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s governing style. Now the Georgian president is pushing for an all-out merger between entertainment and politics with the aim of promoting tourism to Georgia.
The Georgian government is negotiating with an entity affiliated with MTV, the popular US cable television channel, about staging what could become an annual rock festival in the Black Sea resort of Batumi, according to the Prime Minister’s office.
An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement has not been made, confirmed talks are ongoing between the government and MTV.
If the deal goes through, a rock concert would dovetail neatly with Tbilisi’s penchant for using music to promote public policy. In this particular case, the main aim would be to give tourism a boost. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive].
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Molly Corso is a freelance journalist based in Tbilisi.