Russia has announced this week plans to launch an international song contest modelled on the soviet-era ‘intervision’ competition in response to Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision win.
The competition, to be held in former Winter Olympic city Sochi, is meant as a protest to the Eurovision song contest after thousands of Russians were offended to see Austrian drag queen Conchita take first place.
The contest will be held between former-Soviet states, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Co-operation Organization, although so far only five other countries have confirmed they will take part.
Russia is a socially conservative culture with a large religious population that became one of the loudest voices in opposition to the Eurovision after Conchita’s unpredicted victory. Homophobia and transphobia are commonly seen across Russia and the Austrian’s win was interpreted by many as a symbolic gesture of tolerance towards LGBTI people in Europe.
In response to the competition’s outcome calls to boycott Eurovision were seen from across Russia and a movement to disassociate with the competition became popular after many were offended by the Austrian superstar’s victory, which many saw as an affront to the ‘traditional values’ of Russia.
Sochi, the north Caucasus city whose mayor once infamously declared to be free of gay people, will host the competition in October of this year.