The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world of music and art festivals forever. Who knows when we will be ready to come together to enjoy fun and culture again? Ukrainian music and arts festivals have been hit along with those everywhere else. Many organizers have already postponed their festivals, while others are still hoping for the best. Here are 11 awesome summer music and culture festivals across Ukraine that are so far still planned as scheduled (Update: some of these have already been postponed).
UPDATE (30 April 2020): the festival was postponed until summer 2021. All purchased tickets will be valid.
Date: 7-12 July
Place: Kyiv, VDNG
Lineup: Twenty One Pilots, A$AP Rocky, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Placebo, alt-J, Two Door Cinema Club and more
Price: 120 EUR for five days, 50-65 EUR for one day
Atlas Weekend has been held since 2015. In its first iteration, it was a club-based festival with a heavy focus on Ukrainian music. However, this focus has shifted towards a more traditional Western model of week long open-air festivals with camping and numerous side activities. Now, it is one of the two biggest summer events on the Kyiv music scene.
Date: 7-9 August
Place: Lutsk, Rovantsi
Lineup: Bumboks, Tartak, Kozak System, Odyn v Kanoe, Vivienne Mort, Karna, Epolets, Space of Variations, and others
Price: 550 UAH (20 USD) for three days
This open-air festival aims to "promote Ukrainian language, culture, values, and music" and "popularise the Ukrainian national idea among young people." The name "Banderstadt" comes from a song of the Ukrainian rock band Braty Hadiukiny called My Khloptsi z Banderstadtu, which was an ironic and post-modern response to Soviet (and later Russian) propaganda labeling Western Ukrainians (and then Ukrainians in general) for being nationalists. Organisers also promote a healthy lifestyle: the festival is alcohol-free. Banderstadt also positions itself as family-oriented, so admission is free for children under 12. In addition to rock concerts, the festival also offers "hutyrky" (dynamic discussions with famous people), nightly movie screenings, as well as an arts and crafts fair.
Date: 22-23 August
Place: Kyiv, Metrobud
Lineup: Acid Arab, Dbridge Presents Black Electric, DJ Python, DJ Rush. Modeselector and others
Price: 1400 UAH (51 USD)
This one is a festival of independent music and culture that was created by enthusiasts on the premises of a working factory. Brave! Factory is an event which involves everyone from visitors to organisers, from artists to factory workers. Apart from music, the festival also features an exhibition of art objects made by Ukrainian and world artists and sculptors.
Date: 30 July - 2 August
Place: Ternopil, Hippodrome
Lineup: Fever 333, Alestorm, Avatar, Bad Omens and others
Price: 1290 UAH (47 USD) for four days
This open-air music festival presents itself as a "Territory of Free People." It has been gradually developing since 2013 when a few friends at a party decided to create their own music festival. The number of visitors has grown from 1,500 in the first year to 16,000 unique visitors over four days in 2017. A curious feature of Faine Misto is that it's a big, self-organized centre where everyone who wants to can join the development of the festival. The festival is named after the unofficial nickname of Ternopil, which can be translated as "good city" or "city with a nice vibe."
UPDATE (24 April 2020): the festival was postponed until summer 2021.
Date: 25-29 June
Place: Lviv, Bohdan Khmelnytskyi Culture Park, Rynok Square, Pototskyi Palace
Lineup: Richard Galliano & Lars Danielsson, Ibrahim Maalouf, Avishai Cohen Trio "Arvoles," Kamasi Washington and others.
Price: currently unknown; tickets go on sale at the beginning of May 2020
This international open-air jazz festival, formerly known as the Alfa Jazz Fest, has been featured on The Guardian's "Top 10 jazz festivals in Europe." 2020 will be the ninth year for the festival. In addition to concerts by jazz musicians from around the world, there will be jam sessions, master-classes, and autograph sessions involving world jazz stars.
Date: 31 July-2 August
Place: Mariupol, Pischanka Beach
Lineup: Monatik, Anacondaz, Sander van Doorn, Noize MC, MARUV and others
Price: 600 UAH (22 USD) + 30 UAH (1,1 USD) reservation fee
This year will (hopefully!) mark the fourth MRPL City Festival. Located on the coast of Azov Sea, this festival offers numerous side activities alongside musical performances. According to the organizers, the main idea of the festival is fostering a spirit of freedom and unity. This is especially important considering that Mariupol is located only 20 kilometres away from the contact line of the Donbas war.
Date: 28-30 August / 26-28 September
Place: Khmelnytskyi / Kamianets-Podilskyi
Lineup: TBA / TBA
Price: 500 UAH (18 USD)
For the last few years, this festival has taken place in two locations --- in Khmelnytskyi and Kamianets-Podilskyi, both in Khmelnytskyi Region. The organisers strongly emphasise inclusiveness, environmental protection and international exchange between musicians.
Date: 23-24 May
Place: Kyiv, Closer club
Lineup: Abelle, Alex Savage, Deadbeat & Tikiman, Donato Dozzy, Idjut Boys, Molly, Objekt and others
Price: 1135 UAH (42 USD) + 68 UAH (2,5 USD) reservation fee
This festival of modern electronic dance music is named after the famous Kyiv factory that produces ribbons (or "strichki" in Ukrainian). Since 2014, it has been able to combine the best of electronic music, dance, and general culture together on its premises. Unfortunately, the dates of the festival in 2020 are still precariously close to the boundaries of the quarantine.
Date: 26-29 June
Place: Rodatychi, Lviv Region.
Lineup: Counterparts, Wildways, Karna, Latexfauna, Louna and others
Price: 1100 UAH (40 USD) for three days.
The biggest open-air festival in Western Ukraine, ZaxidFest offers a bunch of foreign artists to those who are willing to spend three days in the picturesque Rodatychi village, which is a one-hour drive from Lviv.
UPDATE (05 May 2020): the festival was postponed until summer 2021. All purchased tickets will be valid.
Date: 9 July, 16-19 July
Place: Kyiv, Sky Family Park
Lineup: My Chemical Romance, Sum 41, The Offspring, Royal Blood, Gogol Bordello, and others
Price: 3,499 UAH (131 USD) for three days, 1,499 UAH (56 USD) for one day
If all goes well, this will be the fourth year for UPark, an open-air festival which used to take place at sports arenas in Kyiv (at the Olimpiyskyi Stadium in 2016 and the Lobanovskyi Stadium in 2018). In 2019, the organisers opted for a park near the Dnipro River instead to offer visitors more side activities in addition to music. This was clearly a good move,, as this year the festival decided to stay at Sky Family Park.
This list barely scratches the surface of all the activities Ukraine has to offer this summer. Many other highlight festivals -- Impulse Festival, Koktebel Jazz Fest, Hedonism Festival -- had, as of 20 April, not announced their details. Perhaps this is for the best, as it allows organizers to be more flexible reacting to the COVID-19 quarantine. Hopefully, there will be good reason to lift the quarantine soon, and all these great events will take place and make for an amazing summer around Ukraine!