1999.05.01 – Festivalna Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria (cancelled)

Date: 1st May 1999
Event: The Prodigy Concert
Venue: Festivalna Hall
City: Sofia
Country: Bulgaria
Support: n/a


Extra info:
information from 3rd May 1999:
The worse nightmare of the Prodigy fans in Bulgaria has become true!
The band has postponed their gig only 30 hours before it was due to begin – 8.00pm today!
The reason is the war in Kosovo and Yugoslavia, which is situated on the west side of the country. Yesterday a F-16 has bombed a house in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria by mistake.
As you may not know, Bulgaria is a candidate to be a future member of NATO and this incident was treated as a very big inconvenience. The alliance made apologies to Bulgaria. Despite that fact, the reaction of the Prodigy is absolutely normal – “We won’t play in a place where there are falling bombs”. However they promised that they will come to gig in Sofia the first Saturday after the war ends (I want to explain that there is NO war in Bulgaria).
The tickets which are all sold will be passable so KEEP THEM!!! The frustration of the fans here is very, very big – we all have waited for this concert for 5 entire months.
This is the transcript of a fax sent to Mr Christo Roussanov – the manager of the promoter of the gig :
“Dear Christo,
Because of the continuing conflict in Yugoslavia and following the missile falling on Sofia yesterday the band feel that they have no choice but to postpone the concert scheduled for May 1st in Sofia until the earliest possible date once hostilities in the territory have ceased.
Prodigy are very much looking forward to playing in Sofia and deeply regret this situation which has been forced upon them by circumstances outside anyone’s control.
Louis Parker Prodigy’s agent Concorde International Artistes.”

Intrview with Maxim (28.04.1999) about postponed gig:
NMA Agent: About the Prodigy live show in Sofia, I have some questions for you: Have you ever heard anything about Bulgaria before this show?
Maxim Reality: No, it’s the first time, but I’m looking forward to it you know. It’s going to be my first time in the country and it’s good just to take the Prodigy music to different people all over the world regardless of what their culture, what their situation is, because music is a form of expression and it’s good to see people who understand the music, understand us and you know that’s what it is about.
NMA Agent: Yeah, obviously your music is quite the same for people all over the world but do you find some differences between the audience in Europe and the USA?
M.R.: Not really. Obviously in different music fields, you know America is a bit more rock-orientated, very split up, rock and hip-hop, but as far as audiences who come to the Prodigy shows, I think they understand us and they are into wide spectrums of music. They just don’t listen to us because the Prodigy music is about any category or such. It’s a mixture of audience, so to be into Prodigy music you’ve been or you have to be into the hip-hop, some kind of rock, some hard bands like the Smashing Pumpkins or Rage Against the Machine, that kind of “music understanding”. So I think our audience no matter where you go around the world is always the same kind of audience.
NMA Agent: You’ve played quite a lot of times for the first time in some audience, but you have some experience from Macedonia, Ukraine and Russia. Can you share us a bit of it?
M.R.: Yeah, we played in Russia twice and the first time was about four or five years ago and that was the first time we’ve been to Russia and we played in Moscow. It was a new experience, we played at Red Square actually 3 years ago and that went down relly well, ’cause you know, people came out… I think that music as time goes on, music is more universal and it’s easy accessable now, you know, people can take records, they can listen to music from all those channels. And our music actually touches people over there. And we played in Saint Petersburg two weeks ago. And that was really good as well. People came out to see us and the turnout was really good, the tickets were totally sold out, it was a good show. And it is a good feeling when you go to eastern countries and see how many people come to your show and the enthusiasm of people who are into the music, it puts a nice feeling inside of you, we appreciate it.
NMA Agent: Do you think that there is a kind of a struggle or war between different types of music like hardcore, rock music and what so ever?
M.R.: I couldn’t tell you, because all I know is the music we’re moving to. I don’t really analyze music or such. If there is tension between music, then it’s stupid really, ’cause music is out there created by people and it’s just individual feeling which someone has put on record and you can listen to all types of music you want, so you know tension between music is stupid really. Music is just to be enjoyed and it’s something which is pleasurable.
NMA Agent: How do you feel about this censorship which was on your famous clip Smack my Bitch Up on MTV at the end of the 20th century?
M.R.: Well, there’s nothing to do with the time, nothing to do with the 20th century. It’s just censorship and some censorship I can agree with. Like a war when you see on the news and they show dead bodies, and things like that should be censored in a way because if it comes
it glorifies a war. As far as the video it was something what happens in everybody’s lives. And one part of that video happens to everybody – you know people go out, they drink at weekend, some people do drugs, some people don’t. I’m not sayin’ every weekend, but during a lifetime. It was overdone in a way, and it was all in one night. But you know, people are experiencing it, that’s been what I have seen… there’s prostitution goin’ on… And at the end obviously everybody thought there’s gonna be a man but there is a woman ’cause we’re just tryin’to say that women are just as bad as men really. And no so much as just bad as men, but that women have the freedom to do what men do and vice versa. But yes, censorship in that way I didn’t really agree with it because it’s a music video and there wasn’t anything really drastic in the video to censor. Because half of the things you saw in the video you can buy in an Arnold Schwarzenegger film.
NMA Agent: You have been recording for the same record label, and you’re not recording in one of the major, let’s say, record labels and companies. What are the benefits of this?
M.R.: Of havin’ an independent label?…Hmm…So was you sayin’ it was benefit of havin’ independent label?
NMA Agent: Yes
M.R.: Well in a way the small company can give you a freedom and you have a close relationship with the record company because there’s only a few people and they give you the freedom to express yourself how you want to and they trust you in doin’ that because we’ve taken it so far with this label and they trust us in doin’ things our way. It’s a close unit, so we’re quite happy the way it is. There’s no advantage in going to a major label in any way. They just split the families up and make everything very distant and very controlled. We love the way it is.
NMA Agent: This radio station is the most listened in Sofia what would you say to the audiences that are going to expect you on Saturday?
M.R.: I would say the people to come out and listen to the music and enjoy the live show and feel up the energy really. And I’m not just talkin’ to Prodigy fans, I’m talkin’ to people across the Balkans to come and experience the show, because it’s goin’ to be loud, very loud and we always put 100% of us in the live shows, there’s not one show that we don’t put 100% to. So come in out to see us. Bye bye.
NMA Agent: OK. Thank you very much for your time and we’re expecting you here in Bulgaria. Bye.
M.R.: OK, I will be there. See you soon.



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