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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, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburg’s answer to the United States’ popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genre’s authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBA’s newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is “Handmade in Germany,” an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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