Armenia’s annual Urvakan Festival ‚ which was due to go ahead this coming weekend in Dilijan — has been cancelled following recent border conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The festival announced its postponement on Saturday, arguing that during these unprecedented events, it’s “hard to predict” how these conflicts could develop, despite both Armenia and Azerbaijan coming to a ceasefire agreement.
“This was a tough decision to make as this is not the first time we've been forced to postpone,” Urvakan said in a statement. “In 2020, the COVID pandemic put a global halt on events, then the wars raging around us in Artsakh and Ukraine did not even let us think of a new edition for some time.
“This year, we tried hard to relaunch Urvakan considering new realities that our region and the world are facing. While we were developing the festival, some of its topics became even more real, and now we observe aggressive actions of authoritarian leaders yet again.”
Just last week, armed forces in Azerbaijan destroyed settlements on the Armenian border. “By now there are already more than 100 victims among Armenia’s military and civilians, plus over 7600 people have been displaced,” Urvakan added.
“Attacks close to the border of the two countries are a grim reality that have come as an aftermath of Azerbaijan's invasion of Artsakh in 2020. The settlements in Artsakh have been shelled every other month since, yet it's barely covered by International news.”
Urvakan Festival has now set up a link to the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, with a list of ways you can donate to those affected by the current border aggravations.
“It was not an easy decision, but we hope that our friends and audience will continue to support us. We stand with Armenia, and hope that time for Urvakan will finally come.”
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter