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Summer Music in Moscow

7 Great Festivals Not to Miss This Season

Arseny Gorshenin / BOSCO Fresh Fest

Fresh air, warm weather and music – summer and festivals have always gone hand-in-hand. In the first of our two-part guide to festivals this summer in Russia, we round up the top open-air music events in Moscow.

Bosco Fresh Fest 

Two days of music next to a palace 

Bosco Fresh Fest has made a tradition of moving to a new venue every year. This time around it will hold court at Tsaritsyno Park amid the Neo-Gothic splendor of architect Bazhenov’s reconstructed masterpiece. It’s a two-day affair and the headliner is British singer John Newman. Best known for his hits “Love Me Again” and “Cheating,” Newman already has two albums under his belt. Other confirmed musicians include Austrian electro-swing pioneer Parov Stelar, another electronic act from Austria - SOHN, as well as Russian rock-n-roll veterans Bravo and alternative hip-hop act Antoha MC. Once again Bosco has announced a night program called “Bosco Fresh Night,” the line-up for which will be announced later. 

Ahmad Tea Music Festival

British music on the embankment 

This festival seems to have found a permanent home on the embankment by Muzeon Park, where it will be held for the fourth time this year. Headlining is UK indie legend Richard Ashcroft, ex-frontman of The Verve, who wrote the words to “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” one of the world’s most recognizable rock songs. Now a successful solo artist, Ashcroft will perform songs from his latest album “These People,” released in 2016. Welsh indie/new-wave band Catfish and the Bottlemen, who won a Brit Award as “best new band” last year and Seafret, indie folk duo from Yorkshire, will also perform. 

Usadba Jazz 

Jazz in the park 

Moscow’s favorite summer jazz event will take place at the Arkhangelskoye estate once again this year, focusing on jazz and world music in green and luxuriant surroundings. Festival-goers will be able to see Grammy Award winner Bootsy Collins, who has previously collaborated with James Brown, George Clinton, Fatboy Slim and Snoop Dogg, and has been a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame since 1997. Other headliners include Georgian singer Nino Katamadze with her band Insight and Israeli soul musician Ester Rada.

Park Live 

Bol

As alternative as it gets 

Probably Moscow’s only alternative music festival now that Outline is gone, for the second year in a row Bol (Pain) will be held at Pravda, a former printing house. It might be headlined by Danish post-punk band Iceage and British electro-pop band The KVB, but Bol will showcase up-and-coming Russianlanguage bands like rapper Husky, LSP, a hip-hop artist from Belarus, indie-pop queen Naadya and her new band, post-punk band Pasosh and garage rock band Sonic Death. 

Lastochka 

Indie-pop at Luzhniki 

Lastochka (“Swallow”) will be held at the Luzhniki sports complex for the second time. Organized by the same team that held the “Subbotnik” festival in Gorky Park a couple years ago, Lastochka is putting on some big names. Ellie Goulding, known for her contributions to the “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Hunger Games” soundtracks, will headline the festival alongside Years & Years, an electro-pop sensation from the UK. Also on the bill is singer-songwriter Ivan Dorn from Ukraine, whose music ranges from house to hip-hop and from mainstream pop to jazz. Dorn has just recorded an English-language album in California and will present it at Lastochka. The rest of the line-up looks like this: French band Her (often compared to The xx and Rhye), Alexandra Savior, who hails from Portland, Oregon but is produced by UK musician Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys fame, as well as ALMA, a rising pop star from Finland. lastochkafest.ru

Afisha Picnic

The oldest festival in town marches on 

Afisha Picnic, the pioneer of Moscow’s festival movement, will take place at its traditional spot in Kolomenskoye Park. This year’s headliners are UK rockers Kasabian with their new album “For Crying Out Loud” (released this May) and Griby, the Ukrainian hip-hop and electro-pop band whose hit “Tayet Lyod” broke all records on Russian YouTube. Math-rock band Foals, UK rockers Everything Everything and Russian bands Glintshake, Kito Jempere and Husky are also confirmed. 

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