Live Nation Boycotts Russia, Spotify Closes Moscow Office in Support of Ukraine
Concert promoter Live Nation and music streaming service Spotify each announced on Wednesday (March 2) new limitations to the way they'll do business in Russia in response to the country's invasion of Ukraine launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week.
Live Nation revealed it's boycotting the country and will not promote shows there, as Deadline reported. Spotify explained it had closed its Moscow office and is limiting Russian state media on the platform. However, Spotify is still available to Russian users.
Live Nation said it "joins the world in strongly condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine. We will not promote shows in Russia, and we will not do business with Russia. We're in the process of reviewing our vendors so we can cease work with any and all Russian-based suppliers."
A Spotify spokesperson said, "Our first priority over the past week has been the safety of our employees and to ensure that Spotify continues to serve as an important source of global and regional news at a time when access to information is more important than ever," according to The Wall Street Journal.
They added, "We think it's critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to allow for the global flow of information."
Russia's invasion followed a period of tension between the two countries after Putin in 2021 started stationing troops and equipment near the Ukrainian border in a continuation of the crisis that began in 2014 with the Russo-Ukrainian War, as Vox outlined.
The situation became further strained when Putin threatened countries that might try to intercede, per CNN. "Whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so, to create threats for our country, for our people, should know that Russia's response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history," Putin said last week.
Subsequently, according to The New York Times, Putin declared a nuclear alert on Sunday (Feb. 27) when he ordered his forces into "special combat readiness." The White House and U.S. President Joe Biden are now carefully maneuvering to try and avoid escalation.
Meanwhile, several rock and metal bands have also shown support Ukraine. Other artists are canceling or postponing shows in Russia in response. A metal group that's native to Ukraine, Jinjer, have confirmed their members' safety but condemned the invasion.