The booming rhythms and bass beats of electronic music go on for 24 hours a day in a small village on Georgia’s Black Sea coastline, and the reverberations are being felt across this South-Caucasus country.
The music is the calling card of Kazantip, one of the world’s largest electronic music festivals. But Kazantip’s future here depends on how many people it can attract to a place that sees its presence as both a blessing and a curse.
In a sense, Kazantip is a war-refugee. After 21 years in Ukraine’s northeastern Crimea, the festival this year migrated to the tiny, would-be-resort village of Anaklia in western Georgia. Organizers felt they needed to escape the legal and political uncertainties that followed Russia’s March annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
World-renowned DJs such as Stanton Warriors (United Kingdom) and Joachim Garraud (France), and some of the festival’s primarily Russian and Ukrainian visitors followed along, but Kazantip has had problems adapting to its new environment.
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Paul Rimple is a freelance reporter based in Tbilisi.