A group of musicians and artists have written to the governor of the Razavi Khorosan province in northeastern Iran to remove the ban on music concerts in Mashhad, the province’s capital and the country’s second most populous city, reported Radio Zamaneh.
The musicians and artists state in the letter that the current ban will lead to the “separation and alienation of the young generation from their local artistic and cultural values” and is an “imposition of personal views and mismanagement by former cultural officials”.
The letter goes on to say that the value of music in society can provide the city with “peace, joy and exhilaration” in a time when “violence, tension and depression” is growing in the city.
The ban on concerts in the city, which has been heralded by various imams and replicated in other cities, is mostly an “unwritten rule” due to the fact that Mashhad is a holy city home to the shrine of the eighth Shia Imam Reza.
However, in early December 2015, the prosecutor office in Chenaran, a city in the same province, stated that it had received a directive to ban all music concerts in the province; a statement that was later contradicted by the province’s head of the Ministry of Culture.
» Radio Zamaneh – 3 December 2015:
Artists call for return of music concerts to Mashhad
» Fremuse.org 4 November 2015:
Iran: 26 popular singers banned from performing
» Freemuse.org – 17 December 2014:
Iran: Rapper arrested in Mashhad