June 26– July 20, Poznan, Poland
The festival actually emerged as a reaction to the social and political changes in Poland and its society in 1991 and to this day, brings together not only musicians, but also artists, writers, film experts and theatregoers. This year, it is the music program that deserves particular attention. After all, it’s not often that it is possible to see the legendary electronica band, Kraftwerk (see photo) and, for example, Tom Yorke on the same stage. It is also worth seeing the German band’s supporting band, the electronica-experimental band Niwea, which is one of the most interesting modern Polish projects. The programme also includes Atoms for Peace (USA), Cat Power (USA) and the Owiny Sigoma Band (Kenya – Great Britain).
July 10–14, Unizh, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast
Every year, this festival becomes ever more compact, cosy and home-like. It always offers surprises with its lineup, which rarely coincides with other festivals. ArtPole is a small event, but nonetheless, it is one of the most vivid ones in Ukraine. This year, there will be some very interesting presentations beyond the actual festival grounds – on the closing day, elderly ladies from Drevo (see photo) will be singing in the field above the village. The organizers plan to engage the residents of Unizh in the festivities. There will also be a water-stage at ArtPole, so part of the music will resound directly from the River Dnister. There will be a stage for the most hardy of listeners – a night-time public- stage with DJ sets and open jam sessions. At the fourth experimental stage stories will begin at midnight. In spite of the rapid rotation in the lineup at each festival, the irreplaceable headliner is always the Ivano-Frankivsk orchestra of joy and luck, Perkalaba. The programme also includes performances by Yoriy Klots, Hych Orchestra (Ukraine), Fantazio (France), Evolution Dejavu (the Czech Republic), Enchanted Hunters (Poland) and Napra (Hungary).
July 11–13, Trencin, Slovakia
This is even closer to the Ukrainian border than the Hungarian Sziget festival. It is the biggest Slovakian music open air festival, which first and foremost, always stood out with a great selection of performers. Bazant Pohoda is more than just a festival. It’s a meeting place for artists from around the world: musicians, artists, writers and performers. They include Australian Nick Cave, Atoms For Peace (USA), The Smashing Pumpkins (USA), Bonobo (UK), Kate Nash (UK), Midi Lidi (the Czech Republic).
The Best City
July 12–14, Novoselytsia Recreational Park, Novomoskovsk County, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast
The festival will feature some of the top Ukrainian bands – VV, Kozak System, TNMK and Motor’rolla, and Russian rock bands, such as Leningrad, Spleen, Dolphin, Mumiy Troll and Bi-2 – alongside international headliners, including Scorpions, Hurts (see photo), Guano Apes, Enter Shikari and Lacuna Coil. The festival also has a competition for young musicians, in which anyone who has registered for the event on-line, can enter.
Colours of Ostrava
July 18–21 Ostrava, the Czech Republic
Ostrava is a Czech mixture of Donetsk and Troyeshchyna. It’s an industrial region, one of the few in the Czech Republic, where it’s not recommended make acquaintances on the streets at night. The festival has been held here for 11 years, and its existence, without doubt, has influenced this depressing place. It is necessary to come here with a tent or stay in the nearby town, there are many stages, plenty of entertainment, fairs and performances. It is the stage of the largest Czech alternative Indie label and, of course, the main stage, which this year will enslave the hearts of many visitors: Jamie Cullum (Great Britain), The xx (Great Britain), Sigur Ros (Iceland), Dub FX (Australia).
July 19–21, the Khotyn Fortress, Chernivtsi Oblast
A new festival will be held in Khotyn, on the banks of the River Dnister, which sets the scene for a relaxing break with a tent, swimming in the river, bonfires and good music. The list of participating bands is certainly worthy of note: Ti Shcho Padayut Vhory (Those who Fall Upwards), Vivienne Mort, O.TORVALD, the OT VINTA Ukrabilly Band, Nameless, Zapaska and BeBoBul. In addition, this is really a unique opportunity to be in the Khotyn Fortress – one of the seven wonders of Ukraine.
Those who Fall Upwards – Bizarre city
Art. Design. Photography
July 4 – 20 Shcherbenko Art Centre (22v, vul. Mykhailivska, Kyiv)
The project of Maryna Shcherbenko as a gallery curator is to discover the impact of the location on the perception of artwork. In the project, the accents on the sacral and everyday function of art shift affected by two domains, art and design. Gallery space arranged to reflect everyday life will hardly give the audience the intensity of aesthetic joy it would provide as art space. Yet, it creates new senses worth looking at. The project presents over 20 artists, including Tiberiy Silvashy, Oleksandr Roytburd, Maria Kulykhovska and more.
Velyke i velychne (Grand and Great)
July, 26 – September, 22, Mystetskyi Arsenal (Art Arsenal) (10-12, vul. Lavrska, Kyiv)
The exhibition of over a thousand pieces from Ukraine’s top 35 museums will show the impact of Christianity on cultural development. It will cover the time span of five millennia, from the Paleolithic Age through the Trypillian Era, from the classical settlements of the Black Sea Coast to those of the ancient Rus, and on through periods of Baroque, Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau, Modernism, and Post-Modernism. This long and exciting travel in time and space will help the understanding of history through art.
July 19–28, the villages of Popovychi and Nahuyevychi, Lviv Oblast
The newly-created union of two different initiatives – Franko Fest and Fort. Мissia. The festival will start in Popovychi on July 19–21, then the organizers allow several days for the transfer to Nahuyevychi, and will continue in the native town of Ivan Franko on July 26–28. A grandiose lineup is expected, from Nino Katamadze to the new Misko Barbara project with the legendary musician Joseph Ostrzhanski, from Oleh Skrypka to Le Grand Orchestra to Katya Chilly and Krykhitka. Other participants include The Washing Machine and The Stylacja (Poland), Corna Kruswa (Germany), Agabeyli Brothers (Ukraine – Azerbaijan) and Ukrainian bands AtmAsfera, ShockolaD, Rock-H, Marinita &, Abu Kasymovi Kaptsi, Rutenia, Mandry, KoraLLi, Zapaska and DrumТyАtr. The festival’s literary stage is also impressive; it appears that it will be possible to meet all contemporary Ukrainian literature writers. Performances and landart-objects will be created by several dozen artists from various cities of Ukraine and from abroad. The curator of the visual part will be the renowned artist, Vlodko Kaufman.
July 27–28, Muzeon Sculpture Park, Moscow, Russia
It is one of the oldest indie-festivals in Russia. It is not only interesting because of its programme of Russian and world music, but also because this year, a special place has been allotted for an alternative Ukrainian stage, represented by the Zapaska (see photo), BeBoBul, Kakaxa and Singleton bands. In addition to the music part, the event will hold workshops, readings and discussions, at which it will be possible to listen to the organizers of leading European festivals and discuss with them the trends and problems facing the world music space. Participants include: CocoRosie (France – USA) and the Russian Silence Kit, uSSSy, Weo and Jet Plane.
August 2–4 (near Katowice, Poland)
The alternative music festival is one of the most famous in Poland. According to the concept of its Director, Artur Rojek, OFF Festival’s goal is to support new avant-garde projects. Every year sees the revelation of new names on the modern Polish music scene. The festival is also visited by world-renowned electronica and experimental musicians. Actually, as the organizers themselves like to point out, it is possible to hear things at the festival that another event would not dare to show. The participants: Poles Stara Rzeka and Piotr Kurek, US bands Blondes, Woods, Thee Oh Sees and Guardian Alien, as well as My Bloody Valentine (Ireland), Goat (Sweden) and many others.
August 5–12, an island on the River Danube, Budapest, Hungary
For Ukrainians, this is probably the most well-known East European Festival. Ukrainian bands have often performed on its various stages. This year’s list of performers features Nick Cave and Franz Ferdinand. Editors (UK), Dub FX (Australia), Bat for Lashes (UK), Regina Spektor (USA), ZAZ (France) and Mika (UK) have to be seen without fail. Leningrad is representing Russia for probably the fifth time. The territory of the festival hosts an unbelievable number of music and theatre stages, performances and laboratories. Over the course of several days, a visitor can learn Hungarian, right on the island, and meet festival-lovers from the whole world.