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08/06 - 28/06/2015

Resulting from an enormous risk of riots, the scale and form of which can present a threat to the spectators, actors and bystanders as well as a possibility of the demolition of public buildings in the city of Poznań, we are forced to cancel the performances of ‘Golgota Picnic’ that were supposed take on the 27th and 28th of June. We do not wish to be part of the alarming display of hatred towards a different worldview that has been planned in our city during those days.

We would like to emphasize that the one and only reason for the cancellation of the performances is the rising threat to public safety. We act as a result of our responsibility for the spectators, artists, and guests as well as the citizens of Poznań. Once again we underline, that the performance is not anti-Christian in its tone or approach, which is exactly what the protesters, oblivious to rational argumentation, accuse it of. The persecutions and attacks target both the festival and the director of the show, Rodrigo García, as well as the employees of the Malta Festival and CK Zamek who receive threatening letters and phone calls. The anonymous and often vulgar content of those threats should be strongly condemned as there is no justification for them. The fierce persecution of the festival is followed closely by something we cannot ignore – the immediate possibility of an attack on the people involved in the performances, spectators and actors alike. And those attacks are most likely to occur, seeing that the manifestations were planned out with no consideration or care for public safety.

As far as the Police and Municipal Office reports go, on the 27th and 28th of June a manifestation of over 30,000 people is to take place who, as it has been made clear, are going to actively participate in the disruption of the performance. As of this moment, the protesters have not yet made any attempt to ensure the peaceful outcome of their manifestation. What is more, the organizers of the protest, which is supposedly derived from the will to protect Christian values, encourage mostly men to take part in it. Several football gangs have also announced their participation. According to the Police it is highly probable that the manifestation will paralyze the centre of the city and that the protesters are most likely to storm into the building of CK Zamek – the place where the performances were to take place. The urge from the Police to change the date and place of the performance out of consideration for public safety does not require a comment. Ignoring that kind of suggestion would be a tremendous negligence.

Unfortunately the whole situation becomes even more ominous in the light of the 25th anniversary of the new democracy in Poland. It is at this historical moment and during the 24th edition of the Malta Festival, which has always encouraged creativity and pluralism, that radical groups violating the right to freedom and requesting preventive critic come to the fore. We want our decision not to be the end but the beginning of a discussion on the elementary value of freedom. As people involved in the preservation of the freedom of artistic expression we truly regret the outcome of the whole situation. The main motivation for our decision is however the concern for the life and well-being of the spectators, actors and the employees of CK Zamek as well as our own – all those, who might be affected by the actions of the protesters and football hooligans.
We thank all those who have backed us in the last days – those who have taken the side of reasonable argumentation and who encouraged a dialogue. Your support has been very important to us.

To all those who were to participate in the performances of ‘Golgota Picnic’ we apologize for the inconvenience resulting from our decision. The information on returning the tickets is available on our website malta-festival.pl. Any further information about the tickets can be requested at bilety@malta-festival.pl

Respectfully yours,
Michał Merczyński, the director of Malta Festival Poznań and the festival team.