BASSIANI and Café Gallery are two of Georgia’s most popular clubs with a whole host of international guests playing in both venues as well as other locations around Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi on a very regular basis, with Boiler Room even hosting the star studded likes of FJAAK, Rodhad, Polar Inertia and more there not too long ago.
With that in mind, the news that both clubs were raided last night in an armed crack down by government forces comes as a shock to the clubbing world at large, given the infrastructure that seemed well in place in the Eastern European city.
According to Resident Advisor, a number of law enforcement officials stormed both venues last night with firearms and made as many as 60 arrests, including two of BASSIANI’s co-founders, Tato Getia and Zviad Gelbakhiani. Reports also suggest that Gelbakhiani was beaten while being arrested too.
Locals are citing that 5 drug related deaths around the city in recent weeks are what sparked the crackdown, however representatives from BASSIANI were quick to state that no drugs related deaths were linked to their club.
Georgia employs a strict no tolerance policy on recreational drugs in the country, with some sentences for random drug tests being more severe than plenty of crimes many other countries would consider harsher. RA spoke with a number of individuals deeply involved in the scene there who stressed that the raids had much more to do with a deeper lying political agenda rather than the stated reasons.
Today, over a thousand demonstrators took to the city’s streets to protest last night’s raid and arrests, while a number of high profile DJs including Dax J and Kobosil took to social media to express their support for the Georgian night club, where they had played on a number of occasions. Check out the video of today’s demonstrations via BASSIANI’s Facebook page below.
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