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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

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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