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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, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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