That screeching sound coming from Georgia isn’t feedback from a guitar amp. It is, apparently, the sound of the brakes being applied to an MTV-sponsored blockbuster rock festival.
Word of the concert spread in Tbilisi last December. As the first MTV-sponsored event in the former Soviet Union, Georgian officials hoped the rock festival would put their country on the global hipster tourist map. At a cost of $2.5 million -- the first payment in a three-year, three-concert contract between MTV Networks Europe and the Georgian government -- the 2011 concert was supposed to include worldwide promotion, one to two international pop stars and private-sector sponsors.
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Molly Corso is a freelance journalist based in Tbilisi.