Moscow has just hosted the Russian Field Festival of Slavic Arts for the fifth time. This year, 198,000 people relaxed, sang, danced, and tried their hand at crafts at Tsaritsyno.
This year’s Russian Field festival had the slogan “Visitors come to Moscow – Moscow goes visiting.” People from 48 of Russia’s regions took part in the festival. Performing on the different stages and at the theme areas were around 1,500 members of folklore and academic ensembles, craftspeople and manufacturers, horse riders, members of re-enactment groups, and volunteers.
As it celebrates its fifth anniversary, the festival gained international status, with participants from Serbia, Belarus and Moldova, who took part in the concert and culinary programmes and also presented their national crafts.
“Moscow is the Slavic world’s spiritual centre”, said Vladimir Chernikov, head of the Moscow Department for Ethnic Policy, Interregional Ties and Tourism. “The number of participants and visitors at this festival shows Moscow’s significance and importance for bringing Slavic peoples together. It’s clear that Russian Field has become a real tourism event and Moscow is a city that attracts travellers from around the world.”
History and crafts
Visitors to the festival this year could sail on historical boats on the Upper Tsaritsyno Pond and learn about Russia’s cities at an interactive pavilion. As in past years, the Zaryadye and Zamoskvorechye venues, presenting the work of 350 craftspeople and manufacturers from 50 Russian regions, gathered many viewers.
Cossack Lane was a favourite with adventure lovers. Here, people could watch trick riding performed by equestrian sportspeople from the Russian Federation of Equestrian Sport and the General Baklanov Equestrian Sports School. At the Russian Cuisine venue, visitors could try okroshka soup made with Vyatka kvass – the festival’s signature dish – and take part in master classes held by some of Moscow’s top chefs.
Music and fireworks
Following tradition, a classical programme opened Russian Field’s musical events. An orchestra conducted by People’s Artist of Russia Pavel Ovsyannikov performed Russian national anthems from four different periods, from the 18th to the 21st century.
Top professional and folklore groups succeeded each other on the stage throughout the day, including the Kuban Cossack Choir, the Sretensky Monastery Choir, the Northern Russian Folk Choir, and the Novospassky Monastery Choir.
At the festival’s second concert venue, Russian Field’s honoured guests and headline acts took the stage: Alexander Sklyar and the group Va-Bank, the Turetsky Choir, the Belarus Pesnyary, and Goran Bregovic and his orchestra.
The composition Mt Athos – Paradise on Earth, prepared by the festival management and Kvatro group, was another musical gift for visitors. The piece was composed to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of monastic life on the holy Mt Athos, presenting spiritual traditions through classical and modern music.
The festival’s brightest highlight was the light show organised in the best traditions of fireworks shows from Peter the Great’s time.