Musical Russia

10 Most Exciting Festivals of the Summer 2018

Journey, music, adventures, dozens of new friends, and summer. When you are in an unknown country, it is hard to come up with a better way to immerse yourself in the local environment than go to an open-air festival. In this regard, Russia is no exception. Each summer there are many festivals to suit every taste held on its vast territory — from rave to ethnic ones, from rock to classics. We will tell you about 10 most promising events of this summer.

1. Alfa Future People

Time and location: August 10–12, Bolshoye Kozino village, Nizhny Novgorod Region

One of the most large-scale events of the season is the festival of electronic music and technology. It is held for the fifth consecutive year and sponsored by one of the largest Russian banks. The program offers sets from the headliners of the world dance music (Afrojack, ALY & FILA, DVBBS, Krewella, Steve Aoki, Vini Vici, Yellow Claw, Flux Pavilion), amateur sport tournaments, and the cutting-edge tech exhibition.

2. Potok (The Flow)

Time and location: August 2–5, Moscow Region

A new festival from the organizers of the two most powerful events of the past years — Empty Hills loved by Russian hippies and rastafarians, and the annual trans-festival Trimurti. Knowing these festivals, we can expect a lot of experimental music at the Potok, both live and electronic, and a magical atmosphere created by Russian nature, eccentric setting and a motley crowd. The program also includes a range of master classes from yoga to pottery wheel, film screenings and lectures. We advise to bring along your own tent.

3. Afisha Picnic

Time and location: August 4, Kolomenskoye Park, Moscow

For the 14th consecutive summer, the Afisha magazine gathers the most fashionable young people of the capital and the most relevant artists of the season, both Russian and foreign, beyond any genre limitations in Kolomenskoye Park. This year the organizers promise to bring Arcade Fire indie rockers, Joey Bada$$ rapper, electronic musicians Oscar and the Wolf, and many others, including Russian stars Zemfira, Delphin and Pharaoh.

4. Nashestvie (Invasion)

Time and location: August 3–5, Bolshoe Zavidovo, Tver Region

One of the largest, oldest and most popular rock festivals in Russia. It has been held by Nashe Radio since 1999, specializing exclusively in Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian rock music, and gathers dozens, or even hundreds of thousands of audience. In addition to music, it is famous for exhibitions of Russian military equipment, aerobatic team performances and problems with logistics: be it traffic lines of dozens of kilometers, or the mud caused by downpours and flooding the festival ground. However, Nashestvie stays popular. You can get there by train from Moscow and St. Petersburg, by car and by special festival buses.

5. Ahmad Tea Music Festival

Time and location: July 21, Muzeon Park, Moscow

You won't hear Russian musicians at this rock festival, only the British ones. This year lineup includes six bands from art rock to Britpop: Biffy Clyro, Wolf Alice, Circa Waves, Sundara Karma, as well as Tom Grennan and Miles Kane.

6. The Night of Music in Gatchina

Time and location: July 7, Gatchina, Leningrad Region

Perhaps the most unusual of the classical music festivals. For just one night the lake shores in the old Gatchinsky Park near Saint Petersburg turn into a concert stage. This year the orchestra of the Mikhailovsky Theater and the Northern Symphony orchestra, as well as soloists from Lithuania and Brazil will perform there. The program includes popular classics by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Gershwin, and other composers.

7. Crescendo

Time and location: July 20–21, Winter Theater, Sochi

Also a festival of classical musical, but more ambitious. Art director and one of the festival's founders is the legendary Russian pianist Denis Matsuev. Since 2005, Crescendo has been inviting the most prominent young musicians to its stages. This year, the first day of the festival program will be devoted to classical music and symphony orchestras, and the second one will be occupied by jazz bands.

8. Classics in Kuskovo

Time and location: May 27 – September 2, Kuskovo Estate, Moscow

It is arguably the longest of Russian summer festivals and it is actually a series of classical music concerts in an old aristocratic manor. Once Kuskovo was located in the capital's vicinity, and today, it has become part of its suburbs, blending astonishingly well into the endless sleeping neighborhoods of Moscow. Nevertheless, the manor still holds its old-time luster. It is especially enjoyable to appreciate the old-time atmosphere to classical music. Opera arias and chamber ensembles, songs and romances, as well as jazz compositions will be heard in the Ballroom of the palace throughout all summer.

A series of classical music concerts is held in an old aristocratic manor. Opera arias and chamber ensembles, songs and romances, as well as jazz compositions will be heard in the Ballroom of the palace throughout all summer

9. Musics of the World

Time and location: August 11–12, Sheremetyevsky Palace, Saint Petersburg

It is the third time when the open-air festival at the heart of the northern capital of Russia will gather dozens of Russian and foreign bands playing rock, jazz and electronic versions of ethnic music. Overtone singing, Russian folk music, Celtic tunes, and Belorussian folk — you will definitely not get bored at the Musics of the World. In addition to music, the festival will host meet-the-artist events, master classes, sessions of group improvisation and much more.

10. Ustuu-Khuree

Time and location: July 18–22, City of Chadan, Republic of Tyva

Perhaps, this is the most exotic and original event in our collection. Tyva is a national republic in Siberia, and Ustuu-Khuree is the name of an ancient Buddhist temple near the city of Chadan. This music festival was started to collect money for its restoration back in 1999. Here various kinds of music are performed — from classics and folklore to all modern musical trends: rock, avant-garde, fusion, etc. Performers come from all over the world, and there are no headliners at all. The main idea of the festival is that everyone is equal, and everything revolves around music.

Another key point of Ustuu-Khuree is no alcohol. According to the organizers, music should be perceived only by a clean and sober consciousness. Given the stunning nature of the region, mountain scenery and camping conditions, it's really worth it. You can get to Chadan by car or festival buses from Kyzyl, the capital of Tyva. By the way, the temple, which sparked the festival, has long been restored.

Ustuu-Khuree is the name of an ancient Buddhist temple. This music festival was started to collect money for its restoration back in 1999

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