VRP ¦ HILL+KNOWLTON, Vilnius / LIETUVOS FESTIVALIU ALJANSAS / 2017
The Lithuanian government announced new legislation aimed at restricting alcohol availability. One of provisions forbids sale of any alcoholic drinks during mass events (festivals, sports, theaters or exhibitions). Entertainment business reacts by joining into an informal coalition which vows to fight such legislation as erroneous, excessive and plainly out of touch with reality. Coalition points out that the proposed legislation completely ignores 10 years of experience in festival business which proves that their organizers themselves have learned how to tackle irresponsible drinking and ensure security.
Music and culture promoters, sports and music celebrities joined #FreedomToRockNRoll initiative. Their address to government was made public and accompanied by well researched arguments and alternative legislation proposals. It was read at media event in the Parliament, and it was the first time a press conference in there was accompanied by percussions and trumpets. Peaceful protest-live music concert took place next the Parliament building featuring most popular musicians and speeches by most influential public persons. A symbol of the initiative-festival wristlet-was produced and distributed in the city with the help of bars and night clubs joining initiative. The initiative went viral in social media too – from dedicated page creation to hashtag #laisverokenrolui (#FreedomToRockNRoll) being used to express own opinions by social media influencers and all the public.