The “Music in the City” project for street musicians is due to launch in Moscow on Saturday, according to the city's daily MK newspaper. Musicians who want to perform on the city's streets will have to prepare a special presentation of their songs and go through an audition process, according to the newspaper.
Musicians will have to send an application and a sample song to get through the first selection stage. If approved, they will be invited to an audition in front of a professional jury, according to the paper.
The musicians must perform their own songs, either instrumental or vocal. All songs must be in the Russian language.
The first casting calls are to take place in June. Every six months, new performers will be added to the rotation and will be allowed to perform in Moscow's parks and squares.
However, some street musicians voiced their concerns about the city's new initiative. They said that there are hundreds of artists playing on the city's streets every day and the new rules would mean that those who don't go through the process will be considered “illegal.”
They also said there are concerns that musicians who are successful will be obliged to perform for free at municipal events, according to the newspaper.
Moscow voiced its decision to regulate musical performances on the streets last year after street musicians protested against harassment by the authorities. They said they were attacked by police, who confiscated their instruments and fined them for the “unauthorized gathering” of their listeners.