In Cairo, singer and guitarist Ramy Essam, winner of Freemuse Award 2011 who performed in front of hundred thousands of people during the final days of the 2011-revolution on Tahrir Square, had to cancel his performance to a few dozen fans due to threats of physical violence.
Ramy Essam’s manager received information that groups of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hazemoon were heading over to the location where the concert event was to be held with the purpose to attack and assault Ramy Essam.
“Because of our lack of trust in the role the Egyptian Police is supposed to play, which ought to be to ‘protect the lives of the employees and the private enterprises’, we regret to inform you that the event has been cancelled; primarily for the safety of the employees, owners, and neighbouring employees of the location where the event is being held. Welcome to Egypt. Welcome to the Egyptian democracy. And welcome also to the world of Ramy Essam. The voice of the revolution. The voice of Tahrir,” sounded the message from the organisers as they called the concert off.
The incident happens three weeks before the annual Music Freedom Day is marked on 3 March. Ramy Essam is taking part in planning a conference and a seminar for the day, and an incident like this one is exactly what Music Freedom Day is all about: commemorating and honouring the musicians who are not free to express themselves freely in many countries around the world, but nevertheless keep fighting on.