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A Ukrainian rave legend has declared that bloodthirsty Russian president Vladimir Putin won’t stop the country’s thriving party scene – despite his brutal invasion.
Harry Pledov, a rave organiser who runs art festivals and parties across Ukraine, told the Daily Star that people up and down the war-torn state are “not even stressing” about the risk of war.
“We're still getting involved – even when critical infrastructure is getting bombed”, he declared.
And what's more, once the music is pumping, there's very little that can stop the party.
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"The music will only stop if we spot missiles flying overhead," he told the Star.
“People don't want to party when rockets are flying over their heads every few hours, you know?”
Indefatigable party man Harry has been involved in Ukraine’s music scene for around eight years.
He set up his most recent label, Polygon, which focuses on homegrown electronic music from native artists, just two months before the war broke out and changed Ukrainians' day-to-day lives entirely.
While he has organised bigger festivals in Kyiv, which in recent years has been described as the “new Berlin” for its burgeoning clubbing scene, these days he’s working on organising smaller parties with guest lists of 500-600 helping people let their hair down and party their troubles away.
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These parties are often hosted during the day and can only go on until 10pm at the very latest, owing to a nationwide curfew that prevents people from being out of their homes between 11pm and 5am.
Even more surprising is that these raves are very often sober affairs, with very few people drinking or taking drugs.
Harry said that part of the reason for this is that the war has sobered many people up.
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“The scene now in Ukraine is more about music, more about art. We're even more about communication. It sort of unites us all”, he said.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Star, Harry revealed that the reason he’s been putting on these events is to give Ukrainians a chance to forget about the war.
Putin's invasion, launched on February 24 last year, is something that all his countrymen are constantly reminded of, either through the news, personal stories or even hearing missiles fly overhead.
But Harry believes these parties are also important to help local economies survive as more and more people facing the threat of death flee the country every day.
He said that many of the parties he hosts are DJ’d by participants on the frontline of the war who have come back for short periods to blow off some steam.
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“They're coming back from the frontline, and they can launch the lineup to play beats, relax a bit and get back this feeling of normal life”.
As for the guests of his parties, many are volunteers who spend their days supporting the country in any way they can.
“They’re trying to help refugees, they're helping the army; This is pretty important for them because they are constantly involved in the war”.
He said that since Russia invaded, Ukrainians have effectively “cancelled” Russian entertainment, adding: “There was this big cultural gap, which was not filled with anything”.
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This means that his parties can be filled with homegrown Ukrainian musical talent.
Harry said that he doesn’t expect Ukraine to suffer as much as it did in the first three months of Russia’s invasion, despite its huge push to gain more territory.
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