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Summer Festivals Promise Fun and Fresh Air in Russia's Regions

British group Kasabian will be one of the headliners at Subbotnik in Gorky Park on Saturday.

Giant insects headed down the streets of Vyksa, a small industrial town in Nizhny Novgorod region earlier this month.

The mechanical insects, designed by Spanish circus group Sarugga — they have also 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.

Subbotnik, July 5, subbotnikfestival.com

Placebo, Kasabian, electro-pop crooners Metronomy, and the etherial home grown favorite Naadya all play at Gorky Park on Saturday. Tickets start at 3,000 rubles.

Afisha Picnic, July 19, picnic.afisha.ru

Acid jazz king Jamiroquai, psychedelic rockers MGMT and rapper Talib Kweli are among those who will play Afisha Picnic at Kolomenskoye park. Tickets start at 2,500 rubles.

Stereoleto, July 12 to 13, bestfest.ru

Orquestra Buena Vista Social Club and French punk rock band La Femme are among those playing at Stereoleto, St. Petersburg's biggest music fest, which takes place on Yelagin island. Tickets start at 1,500 rubles.

Archtsoyanie, July 25 to 27, arch.stoyanie.ru

Archstoyanie, an annual international festival of public art and architectural design, also has some cool groups thrown in and sculptures are usually burnt in a fiery spectacle at the end. Held in the village of Nikola-Lenivets, in the Kaluzhskaya region. Tickets cost 850 rubles. nikola-lenivets.com

Kubana, August 14 to 19, kubana.com

Kubana, held in the sunny Krasnodar region, has managed to attract fairly decent international groups for the last few years. This year '80s ska legends Madness, Peter Doherty's Babyshambles and Berlin electronic rock band Bonaparte, once called "a trash circus unleashed" are among the line-up. Tickets start at 9,100 rubles

KaZantip, August 20 to 30, kazantip-republic.com

Legendary electronic dance music festival KaZantip, which styles itself as an independent republic has moved this year after Russian annexed Crimea. This year it will take place in the seaside resort of Ankalia in Georgia. Entrance requires a "visa" which costs 6,000 rubles although the price will rise as the date moves closer. DJs Ricardo Villalobos and Seth Troxler are among the stars heading that way.

Contact the author at s.skove@imedia.ru

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