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Uriah Heep backs out of Russia Day gig

June 11, 2008 at 1:55 PM

MOSCOW, June 11 (UPI) -- A planned concert by Uriah Heep in Moscow reportedly has been canceled due to a dispute between the British rock band and tour promoters.

Uriah Heep was the first Western rock group to play inside the Soviet Union in 1987.

The band said on its Web site that it backed out of Thursday's Russia Day festivities because of the promoters' "complete lack of adherence to contractual stipulations" in providing visas and making scheduled payments, The Moscow Times reported.

The Russia Day national holiday commemorates the date in 1990 when the Congress of the People's Deputies of the Soviet Russian Republic declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

A Kremlin official told the newspaper President Dmitry Medvedev is to present state awards during a ceremony in the Kremlin's Georgiyevsky Hall.

Former French President Jacques Chirac will be honored for his dedication to human rights, Vladimir Arnold will be recognized for his accomplishments in mathematics and Alisa Freindlich will receive an award for her contributions to classical theater.

A track competition called the Kremlin Mile has also been planned, along with concerts and special events for children, veterans and the elderly.

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