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Summer Festivals Promise Fun and Fresh Air Across Russia

Published: July 4, 2014 (Issue # 1818)



  • France's surf-punk band La Femme will perform at Stereoleto in St. Petersburg on July 13.
    Photo: Institut Français de Saint-Pétersbourg

Giant insects designed by Spanish circus group Sarugga headed down the streets of Vyksa, a small industrial town in Nizhny Novgorod region earlier this month. The mechanical insects, which appeared in the film "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," were part of ART-Ovrag, a three-day festival with theater, music, dance and much more. The festival is organized by the local steelworks who invited journalists to the town on a media tour.

Moscow's art elite also headed to the town for the festival with Strelka Institute board member Oleg Shapiro curating and input from Garage Center for Contemporary Art and Teatr.doc.

"When I heard 'Vyksa,' I thought, what's that?" Teatr.doc actress Anastasiya Ilina said, who held improv workshops with locals which ended up with teenagers acting in an excellent court room trial in in which one actor, playing a lonesome dog, sued his owner for more attention.

ART-Ovrag's 2015 dates have yet to be announced. artovrag-fest.ru

It is, however, just one of a series of festivals that will brighten up the summer this year.

Nashestvie, July 4 to 6, nashestvie.ru

Catch Russia's biggest, some would say oldest rock acts at Nashestvie in Bolshoe Zavidovo in the Tverskaya region. Mashina Vremena, Nochniye Snaiperi, and DDT headline. Nashestvie can be reached by buses leaving from Tver's main rail station, or by commuter trains leaving from Moscow's Leningradsky Station and getting off at the Konakovsky Mokh stop.

Byt Dobru, July 4 to 6, bytdob.ru

Byt Dobru is a more family-friendly affair, held near the village of Rilyaki in the Kaluzhskaya region. More than 70 alternative bands take part, including pop opera group Vivienne Mort and garage rock band The Jibes. Entrance is free but the festival encourages concert-goers to volunteer or make a donation. A specially organized "Dobrobus" will drive you directly from Moscow to the festival for 1,800 rubles round trip.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Oct. 30


Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.



Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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