Wembley meeting still ON
Green Man Hotel, Dagmar Avenue, Friday 2nd May from 4.30pm. All fans are welcome, please email me for more details / directions at email@example.com
Some fans from other countries are committed to their flights; they cannot now get refunds on their plane tickets, and they have told me they still want to fly here and meet, despite the concert cancellation. These people, especially, deserve to get as much bang for their bucks as they possibly can. If only for that reason, our show must go on. My name is not Ivan Shapovalov. I don't let people down.
All that's changed is the purpose of the meeting. The agenda?
Firstly, we can explore the feasibility of creating our own promotion and / or management company. A kind of 'fans buy-out'. If we raise enough money, if enough people sign up, and if the price is right, tATu can be rented from Universal under a franchise scheme. A fans' co-operative would manage the girls ethically and sensitively for the rental period, and would understand the risks and the market. After all, we are the market.
Secondly, we have an empty venue with a 12,000 capacity, 2,000 ticket holders, and hundreds of Lenas and Yulias. All we need is a compere and a karaoke machine!
Thirdly, there is the post-mortem, though I want us to look to the future rather than the comedy of cock-ups that we have just lived through.
tATu are Russian dissidents who challenge a powerful western taboo against underage sexuality. Therefore, it would not surprise me if a dirty-tricks campaign had been waged by their opponents, or even that an Establishment conspiracy against them had been hatched over prawn cocktails in Islington.
The outrageous stories about 14-year-old girls being asked to send naked self-photographs and wear short school skirts for free bus rides, may have been invented in order to sabotage the concert. Even if that's the case, however, tATu's management should have killed those stories by publicly disowning them.
Either way, the damage would not have been done, or would have been minimised, and the concert promotion would have been more successful, if there had been a dialogue between tATu's management and fans' groups in the UK. They could have made use of us: we could have decorated our towns with concert posters; we could have bought and sold T-shirts and apparel, and given tATu some presence here. These are the lessons that Ivan should learn before he blames everybody else and slags off the British.
We should now explore how the tATu concept could be somehow salvaged, and alternatively promoted in the future, because its message matters to this country's gay youth. Otherwise they will be left right back where they started: alone, isolated and abandoned by a spineless gay community who are terrified of being called 'paedophiles'.