If years of City Day celebrations have taught Muscovites anything, it's that this is a day better spent elsewhere, away from the ubiquitous metal detectors scattered all around the city center and the badly organized festivities.
However, all that began to change two years when a new team at the city's culture department revisited the concept of City Day and decided to turn it into a "festival of festivals" with better planned activities spread all over the city, not confined to the congested center.
Among the reasons one would want to stay in Moscow this weekend is the special edition of the Usadba Jazz Festival, which will take place at the Kuskovo estate instead of the traditional Arkhangelskoye estate. Kuskovo is much more accessible by public transport, so this is good news. Headlining the festival are British acid-jazz pioneers Brand New Heavies, who will present their brand new album Forward.
Among other artists who will be performing on the two stages in Kuskovo is Jenia Lubich, a Russian singer-songwriter who first became popular as one of the singers in the French band Nouvelle Vague. Apart from her first hit "Russian Girl," in which she famously sang "I am just a simple Russian girl, I've got vodka in my blood," Lubich has already got an LP and two EPs under her belt. Another artist of notice is Therr Maitz, a Moscow-based band playing a mix of electronica, dance and trip-hop.
Usadba will not be the only jazz festival taking place this weekend: The Moscow Jazz Festival will be going on simultaneously in Sokolniki Park. Moscow Jazz will feature Plastow from Switzerland, Alexander Sklyar, Markscheider Kunst and many others playing on three stages.
For those not interested in jazz, there are plenty of other options: Luzhniki stadium will host a rap festival where some of the leading Russian artists in that genre will perform, including Noize MC, Kasta and Triagrutrika.
A more hipstery crowd may gravitate to Shestnadtsat Tonn (Ulitsa Presnensky Val 6, Bldg. 1) for Indiushata 2013, which will take place Sept. 8 to 9. An indie-rock festival and competition, Indiushata will feature 11 groups out of more than 300 bands that applied to take part in the festival. Representatives of the media and recording companies will be present to judge the groups over the course of the festival.
For those who just want to dance, the most promising party to join is the traditional All Stars Day & Night at Strelka Bar, where 18 DJs will play for 12 hours straight from Saturday afternoon until early Sunday, including the famous juke masters Rashad & Spinn, a double act from Chicago.