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Madness, Lectures And Paella at Picnic

AfishaVisitors at last year’s Afisha picnic.
The Afisha Picnic Festival will take over Moscow’s Park Kolomenskoye this Saturday with the biggest event in its five-year history. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend.

There will be the usual mix of picnic entertainment, board games, Twister and kite flying as well as an impressive musical lineup.

British legends Madness will headline as they play in Russia for the first time.

“I couldn’t even hope to see them ever, but now my dream is about to come true,” wrote one fan on Afisha’s web site.

Somewhat younger acts include Amanda Palmer, formerly of the Brechtian punk cabaret group The Dresden Dolls, and post-punk darlings of the British music press, These New Puritans.

Taking up a large area of the park, Afisha is offering a downloadable map from their web site for visitors to find their way around what’s on offer.

Among the activities of the day will be table football, ping-pong, badminton, a flea market, lectures, football and much more.

Some of Moscow’s most popular restaurants will also be offering food at picnic prices.

“We have a huge paella pan that will be brought from Spain especially for the picnic. Our restaurant will also offer fresh lemonade and sandwiches with Iberian ham,” said Yevgeny Samolyotov, from Tapa de Comida restaurant.

The festival, Afisha's web site boasts, is the one day in the year when Moscow turns into the city many people would like it to be.

The festival is an alcohol-free zone.

Afisha Picnic Festival will take place from noon to 10 p.m. on Aug. 8 at Park Kolomenskoye, 39 Prospekt Andropova. Metro Kolomenskaya. Tickets cost 700 rubles. Tickets are sold on the day, but organizers say lines may be big and it’s better to buy in advance via Parter.ru. Children under the age of 10 accompanied by an adult get in free. Afisha.ru/msk/picnic2009/ for more info.

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