Elton John’s Russia Concerts to Proceed: Will He Speak Out for Gays?

Despite some discussion that they would be canceled because of threats he might speak out, Elton John's concerts in Russia tonight and tomorrow will go on as planned, according to the Hollywood Reporter:

Elton“Contrary to groundless rumors disseminated over the Internet and in the media about possible cancelation of Elton John’s performances in Russia, the promoter confirms that Elton John’s shows in Moscow on Dec. 6 at Crocus City Hall and in Kazan on Dec. 7 at Tatneft Arena are to be held as scheduled,” SAV Entertainment, which is organizing the gigs, said on its web site…

…Meanwhile, SAV Entertainment also denied The Times’ claims about John’s extravagant tour rider, or set of requests or demands, which allegedly included a miniature forest with live birds and diamond-adorned cutlery. The report “is false and discredits the artist’s image,” the promoter said.

Elton has said he would not boycott the country because he needed to go to support the LGBT community there:

"I'm supposed to be going to Moscow in December.I've got to go. And I've got to think about what I'm going to say very carefully. There's two avenues of thought: do you stop everyone going, ban all the artists coming in from Russia? But then you're really leaving the men and women who are gay and suffering under the anti-gay laws in an isolated situation. As a gay man, I can't leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don't know what's going to happen, but I've got to go."

He later said he would not speak out against the government from his stage:

You don't just go in there with guns blazing and say, 'Well, to hell with you.' Because they're going to say, 'To hell with you, and get out of the country.' That's not going to solve anything. But if I can go there, maybe I can talk to some people in the administration.

We'll soon know which of those promises he intends to keep, and how he'll do it.


  1. MaryM says

    On this sad day after Nelson Mandela’s death let us remember that the vile scumbag Elton John repeatedly played concerts to whites-only audiences during the apartheid regime when the world was fully aware of the evil regime in that country.

    Elton John will play his concerts, will not utter a word of condemnation about the laws in Russia, will pocket the money and leave.

    He is a truly disgusting human being.

  2. Eric says

    Elton also played Sun City during the 1980s and 1990s when most artists refused to play there because of the apartheid policy of South Africa. In fact, his performances during the early 1980s were one of the reasons for the founding of the group Artists United Against Apartheid (sadly, the rock group Queen was also guilty of this, as was Sinatra).

    So, at the very height of apartheid, Elton not only played there, but did so time, after time, after time. Was he playing there to “support” the black citizens?

    I grew up listening to Elton, and, before he played Sun City, I even saw him perform live. He was a brilliant artist, but he’ll also sell that artistry to the highest bidder. Even most prostitutes have standards.

  3. MaryM says

    Elton’s John’s fake concern for LGBT rights in Russia is what is most annoying. He does not care about anything except his own pocket.

    What LGBT charity will he be donating the proceeds of these concerts to?

    Silly me – he won’t donate a penny – the selfish, grasping pig (no offence intended toward pigs by likening them to Reg Dwight by the way.)

    Elton John is worse than Johnny Weir – who at least is quite open about not giving a damn.

    Elton John doesn’t give a damn either but wants people to think that he does.

  4. Norma Jeansky says

    Elton needs to perform in Russia in order to support the LGBT. He also needs for them to cut him that check–Daddy’s got mouths to feed, and they all need new shoes. But what percentage of his take will he donate to pro-LGBT causes in Russia? Anything?

    Sad to say, but Elton’s candle burned out long before his self-deluded greed.

  5. MaryM says

    His candle burned out back in the 1980’s when he repeatedly played for a whites-only audience in apartheid era South Africa.

  6. Will G. says

    He is disgusting.

    He of all people should be and could be a force for change, but instead goes and will say nothing to show fake support?

    Boycotting Sochi, NBC and not participating will set the stage for change.

    Thomas, Weir, Elton John etc… make it all seem like the hideous law is OK and working because “the gay” can all still come and go like no one is bothered.

    These folks are not helping.

  7. MaryM says

    There is a word for people like Elton John.

    That word is ‘quisling’.

    ‘Collaborator’ also works.

  8. RonCharles says

    Sir Elton John will have the perfect platform to advance gay rights in Russia. He does not have to attack the government at all. All he needs to do is to speak out for gay rights at every concert and to urge that the anti-gay legislation be repealed. If done in a way that is respectful to the Russian people, he may convince a great many of his Russian fans that, that is what should be done in Russia.

  9. Jeremy says

    I never thought I’d say this, but…

    Elton John = Quisling

    Perhaps NBC could televise it, just in case some good ol’ fashioned Queer bashing happens during the concert…

  10. says

    Judging by my FB wall, he met some gay Russians this morning, and they’re predicting seomthing interesting will happen.

    Who knows what, though.

  11. RonCharles says

    To KEVINT & M.R.:

    That’s right. Elton John spoke out loudly and clearly for gay rights in Russia. One can use your links to see what he said, or one can look up the video on YouTube:

    Elton John Supports LGBT On Stage In Moscow by LilyBop

    He should speak out in the same manner in all of his concerts in Russia. That is the way to begin to bring about change there.

  12. Henry Holland says

    As pointed out above, he *did* speak out at his Moscow concert. Nice of Towleroad to post an update. Oh, wait……..it’s more important that you post insipid nonsense by that dreary Gaga woman calling for a Olympics boycott.


  13. andrew says

    Didn’t he make a ton of money for singing at ONE of Rush Limbaugh”s weddings? Need I say more?