Blondie Turned Down Sochi Gig

Legendary New Wave rockers Blondie have added themselves to the list of popular artists boycotting Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, a list that includes the likes of Lady Gaga and Madonna, tweeting a photo of an offer made to them to play as part of the Olympic celebrations.

The offer was for the band to play as part of Sochi’s Red Rocks Festival, set to take place next week. Scrawled on the offer were the words “PASS – HUMAN RIGHTS,” in reference to Russia’s controversial laws banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” aimed at minors.

According to the photo, the band, who, as the Huffington Post reports, recently performed at Out Magazine‘s annual OUT 100 party, as well as Amnesty International’s concert for human rights, to play a 45-minute set following an Olympics medal ceremony, to an audience of up to 25,000.

The band shared the offer during the games’ opening ceremony, which included a performance by Russian pop duo Tatu, who achieved notoriety in the early 2000s for their lesbian-themed image. Singer and gay icon Cher turned down an offer to perform, calling the decision a “no brainer.”

Artists who’ve previously played at Russia’s Red Rocks Festival include New York City outfit the Scissor Sisters, a group with openly gay members who often sing about LGBT issues, who headlined the event in 2012, one year before the anti-gay propaganda legislation was introduced.

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