Fugitive Russian oligarch Sergei Polonsky yesterday threw a raucous public party on a two-storey luxury boat as a consolation for more than 100 people shut out of the cancelled kaZantip mustic festival.
Announced on Facebook two hours before it departed Victory beach, the party, held aboard Veles, a fibreglass vessel owned by Russian boat-builder Vadim Orlov, provided a stark contrast to deflated scenes on Wednesday when revellers were turned away from the festival’s gates by police.
As the boat passed Koh Puos Island – where the planned 10-day kaZantip festival would have been held – young women pole danced to the tune of Russian techno.
“I’m not bothered,” said a 30-year-old British property developer and broker who asked to be identified only as Murray, and said he travelled from Hong Kong to attend kaZantip but was happy with the alternative.
Also aboard, a 33-year-old British soldier who identified himself as “Scally” was less forgiving, accusing the government of hypocrisy in its decision to ban the festival given the widespread immoral behaviour in bars around Sihanoukville.
“It cannot be any worse than what goes on here anyway,” he said. “This place is the last bastion of iniquity. They [the government] think they’re taking the moral high ground, but they don’t have the right to take it. Or maybe they just don’t like Russians.”
Having repeatedly changed their minds, local authorities cancelled kaZantip, previously held in Eastern Europe, calling it “indecent”.