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.
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.
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.
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.
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