Just like it is all over Europe, summer in Ukraine is the time of various music festivals. Only one of them takes place in Kyiv – to attend the others you’ll have to do quite a bit of traveling. But if you feel like spending some time in a joyful friendly atmosphere of ethnic music gathering, it’s time to make plans, according to an aritcle by Maria Leontieva, Kyiv Post.

During June 21-22 International Festival of Folk Music Krayina Mriy will welcome musicians from Ukraine and abroad who will perform at festivals’ traditional venue, Spivoche Pole. Festival founder and main organizer, musician Oleh Skrypka (frontman of Vopli Vidoplyasova) aims to revive Ukrainian traditions and introduce his country’s rich cultural heritage to guests from all over the world. Folk music festival Krayina Mriy has become an annual event in Kyiv, bringing together folk and ethno rock musicians, craftsmen and applied art artists.

This year the festival will begin with the lighting of a fire, which will be carried by the Kupalskiy procession from Andriyvsky Uzviz to the Spivoche Pole, where the Kupalskiy games will begin in dedication to the traditional Ivana Kupala ancient holiday. A festival "village" will accommodate the "alley" of artisans and craftsmen, Kobza-players’ stage, various Cossack activities and much more. And certainly, folk songs of various styles and genres will be constantly heard on the territory.

On the six stages of the festival, such Ukrainian and foreign folk bands are going to perform: Huliayhorod, Buttia band of authentic Ukrainian music, folk band Drevo, Kobzars Taras and Svyatoslav Sylenkys, Vadym Shevchuk (a.k.a. Yarema), Bohdan Cherevyk, Eduard Drach, band Tsarstvo Nebesne , accordionists from Zhashkiv, Taras Kompanichenko, Yurko Phedynskiy, Mykola Tovkaylo, Volodymyr Bukov, Mykhaylo Koval, Kost Cheremsky, Fanfare orchestra and Nina Matvienko. The foreign line-up includes: Les Karpat (France), Psio Crew (Poland), Gipsy (Czech Republic), Karavan Familia (Hungary), Stary Olsa (Belorus), Kal (Serbia), Koubasonic (Canada), and Karavan Familia (Hungary). Naturally Oleh Skrypka will highlight the show performing together with Lybid orchestra. Admission to the festival is free.

Fortetsia festival will celebrate its fifth anniversary, being held from June 27 to June 30 at the Akermanska Fortress, in Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky in the suburbs of Odessa. Organizers of the Festival Fortetsia are willing to attract more attention of the public, tourists and sponsors, to the unique European open air monument – the medieval Bilhorod-Dnistrovskiy fortress. And discover new music groups at same time. All young musicians (participants of the festival) will perform on the big main stage with well-known bands. This year’s headliners are TNMK, Pavlo Hudimov, DesPoruch, Piatiy Ugol, Dazzle Dreams and others. Besides the live shows, daily beach discos and volleyball tournaments will take place.

International Ethnic music and land-art festival Sheshory at Podillya will be held on the same dates as in previous years – on July 12, St. Peter and Paul’s Day, the most honored summer holiday in rural Ukraine. The festival will continue for three days. Among the activities to be expected are: authentic folk and world music concerts, open-air galleries, numerous workshops, nighttime performances, documentary film showings, getting acquainted with various musical instruments, and jam sessions. Food will be for sale in kiosks throughout the festival, but be ready to stand in a long line.

The program will feature performers from Ukraine, Georgia, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, UK, Sweden, Germany and France. On July 12 expect Bai (Hutsul region), Anchiskhati (Georgia), Chopova Krynytsia (Podillya), Folk Now (Sweden/Ukraine), Village Quartet (Poland), Nourou (France), Propala Gramota (Ukraine). On July 13:  Kryachkivka (Poltava), Guda (Belarus), Berehynia (Podillya), Maraca (Czech Republic), Kharkiv-Klezmer-Band (Germany/Ukraine), Ghymes (Hungary/Slovakia), Pupet-show Lisen (Czech Republic). On July 14: Strila, Derbeniovka (Russia), Skiffle-group of Preorky village, Gudaky, DakhaBrakha, Trans-global Underground (UK/France), Perkalaba, and Modern Arts Center “DAKH.”  Every day there are going to be environmental excursions, master classes in handicraft, Hutsul glass-painting, patchwork, pottery, Hebrew paper decoration – “mizrakhim,” Georgian polyphony, Hebrew beard singing – “nigoons,” dance workshops, including traditional, Hutsul, Oriental, and Hindu dances.  Tickets are Hr 50 to Hr 7. For Hr 50 you’ll receive a colored wristband which is a pass to the fest zone, the tent locality,  concerts, workshops, performances and the cinema hall. Ticket for Hr 75 gives an opportunity to visit different festival events during the year with discounts for tickets and CDs. For those who would like to attend only the concerts an entrance ticket fee will be Hr 5 per day (giving no opportunity to live in the camp, attend the workshops and the cinema hall).

Ethno Festival Pidkamin is being held from July 25 till July 27 in Pidkamin village of Lvivskiy region. The festival program is expected to include fire shows, knight tournaments, tastings of local cuisine, bicycle trips to ancient castles and  picturesque landscapes, Cossack games, sport-military competitions, gallery of traditional handcrafts, rock-climbing lessons, literary court at coffee house Cabinet, master-classes, children playgrounds and a variety of folk band gigs. The Festival’s main line-up is Gudaky, Hutsul Calipso, Drymba Da Dzyha, Zamkova Tin, Komu Vnyz, Lomaha’s Band, Liudy Dobri, Orchestra VITO, Polina Viardo, Propala Hramota, Tarasova Nich, TIK and other bands. The free tent festival village will be open all three days of the festival. Furthermore, you may take up your residence with local landlords. Estimated cost is Hr 15 per day for living in a house with toilet in the yard and Hr 25 per day for a house with all comforts. As for catering you may arrange it with landlords where you would stay, buy products in point-of-sale tents, or try traditional cuisine, prepared by local masters on the festival. Those who arriving by cars will be able to leave it at one of two paid parking lots for about Hr 5 per night. 

Motto of the International rock-festival Slavske Rock-Fest is “I Love Karpaty.” Festival annually takes place in Slavske village, in Skolivsky region of Lviv oblast and continues for three day from July 25 to 27 July. The aim of Slavske Rock-Fest is to popularize Ukrainian rock music, promote active recreation among the youth, and involve the youngsters into the solution of ecological issues of the Carpathian region. The festival will include sports, artistic, ecological and musical parts. The sports part of the program will feature competitions in tourism-oriented sports. Each guest of Slavske Rock-Fest will also have an opportunity to try hand in horseback riding and mountain biking under the supervision of professional trainers. The artistic component of the event will include exhibitions of modern Ukrainian and foreign artists. The festival will also feature events, promoting the ideas of nature preservation, clean environment and healthy lifestyle. Each evening rock groups from Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Belarus and Germany will give concerts at the main stage of the festival. The list of the acts includes: The Ukrainians (Great Britain), 100 C (Czech Republic), La Skarnemurta (Italy), Giri (Sweden), Koniec Swiata (Poland), Direct-T (Turkey), Mamasweed (Germany), Farben Lehre (Poland) and Ukrainian bands Mertviy Piven, Chilibombers, Propala Hramota, Faino, and Green silence. Tickets are Hr 25 for the three days of festival, including living in tent village and free CD as present to every guest.

Kraiyna Mriy (Kyiv, Spivoche PoleMetro Arsenalna). On June 21-22. www.krainamriy.com

Frstival Fortetsya (Bilgorod-Dnistrovsky village, Odessa region, 80 km from Odessa). On June 27-30. www.fortecya.org.ua

Sheshory (Vorobiyivka village, Nemyrivsky district, Vinnitsa region, approx 60 km from Vinnitsa). On July 12-14. www.sheshory.org

Pidkamin (Pidkamin village, Brodivsky district, Lviv region). On July 25-27. www.pidkamin.ridne.net

Slavske Rock-Fest (Slavske village, Skolivky district, Lviv region). On July 25-27. www.slavskerock.in.ua

By Maria Leontieva, Kyiv Post