Flash mob, quidditch and carnival: how Moscow’s parks will greet the New Year

Flash mob, quidditch and carnival: how Moscow’s parks will greet the New Year
A party with DJs or a musical kaleidoscope, magic competitions or a dance flash mob with sparklers? How about a carnival, or a game of chess with the White Rabbit? Perhaps you want every hour to be different? It’s all possible, as Moscow’s parks are offering New Year programmes for all tastes.


Twenty-one parks are offering New Year programmes. Most of the holiday programmes will start at 10 pm. Just before the Kremlin chimes strike midnight, the Russian President’s and the Mayor of Moscow’s New Year addresses will be broadcast, and at 1 am, most of the parks will put on a fireworks show. 

A stylish party with hot air balloon

Visitors to Gorky Park can go open-air club-hopping on New Year’s Eve. Well-known DJs and rappers, including Kashin, Nel, Romsta, Fookin, and Fake DJ will perform at the Style party on Lenin Square, taking their place at the turn tables suspended several metres high between the central entrance’s columns. 

Lenin Square will be transformed into a dance floor with two light diode screens showing the party live. Later, after midnight, a large air balloon with a Go Pro camera will be launched and will film live video of the party, which will also come up on the screens.

The party will start at 10 pm. At 11.45 pm, partygoers will see the Mayor of Moscow’s address, followed by the President’s address five minutes later. At 1 am, the sky will light up with fireworks, and the hot air balloon will be launched 15 minutes later. The party will end at 3 am. 

1990s-style New Year, quidditch battle and street performance

Sokolniki will be playing 1990s music on New Year’s Eve. Father Frost and the Snow Maiden will welcome visitors at the park entrance with tangerines and holiday greetings. On Fontannaya Square, the groups Propaganda, and Total will play, along with DJ Groove. The programme also includes a dance flash mob with sparklers.

Tagansky Park has gone for a magical theme this year. Visitors can celebrate the holiday together with the heroes of the Harry Potter series. Here, you’ll be able to play quidditch on the ice rink, with magical brooms instead of hockey sticks, and rings instead of goalposts. Magic competitions and master classes in ballroom dancing will take place on the main square, and the group Bratya Grim will perform on stage. Visitors dressed in costumes to suit the theme can use the ice rink for free.

Brevis Brass Band, Meydelekh, Cheese People, Needshes and Mana Island will perform in the Krasnaya Presnya park on New Year’s Eve. The street show Sketches in Space and the Alfa Domino interactive theatre performance will take place at 10.30 pm.

Events in all three parks will run from 10 pm to 3 am

New Year’s world tour, ball, and musical kaleidoscope

The Hermitage Garden will become a ballroom on New Year’s Eve. The stage will be lit with candles and decorative lighting. Visitors can have photos taken in a baroque style frame, try on wigs and have masks and fans made in the costume workshop. The café and ice rink will be working. The Vtoraya Liniya band will play dance tunes, New Year hits and improvisations. Father Frost and the Snow Maiden will hand out sparklers, confetti, tangerines and sweets. The ball starts at 10 pm and runs until 3 am. 

Celebrations at the Bauman Garden will start earlier, at 9 pm. Chimes will strike every hour on the band shell and the MC will announce which part of the world is already celebrating the New Year. Visitors will dress up in the spotted fabrics traditional in the Philippines, nibble on Georgian nut snacks, have the task of eating 12 grapes, like in Spain, and let off a couple of bangers, like in Berlin. The music too will continue the holiday traditions in a mix of styles ranging from ethnic and modern to jazz and indie. Performers at the garden will include Namgar (Ulan-Ude), Zubaan (India), Plum Sauce (Tbilisi), Iva Nova (St Petersburg), Kimbata (Congo) and DJ Flashback. The event will end at 3 am.

The Sirenevy Garden is putting on a musical kaleidoscope. From 9 pm to 2 am, groups will perform in a variety of styles, including rock, jazz and dance hits from various years. Rock group Lazy Days will play its own songs and cover songs by Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Frank Sinatra. Also performing will be the Black Keys, Naverkh, and Snegiryov Band, whose music blends pop, blues, soul and funk.

A jazz-themed holiday

Jazz fans can choose between two parks on New Year’s Eve. The party at Sadovniki, running from 10 pm to 2 am, will be opened by Jazz Forever, a band which is a regular guest at festivals such as Usadba Jazz, Triumph of Jazz, and the Montreux festival. They will be followed by Alfa Music Jazz and the group The BeatLove – Russia’s only Beatles tribute band. 

Izmailovsky Park will start celebrating its jazz-themed New Year at 5 pm. Singers, trumpeters and jazz cover groups taking the stage will include Helios Jazz Band, Jazzplay Band, Smitana Band, Nata Pontiani & Funky Tools, and FV Brass. Dixie Providance Band will play early 20th century hits from America and Europe and jazz covers of modern songs. The headliner act will be 1/2 Orchestra. Actors from street theatre group Pololo will perform on the ice rink.

Retro, disco and carnival

Perovsky Park will hold a retro style event from 10 pm to 2 am. Here, you can travel back in time with the help of interactive technology. Media post cards will project images directly onto people and then print out photos. The programme includes an animation show, quizzes, dances, and round dances around the New Year tree. Cover group Platya za 130 will be the headliner. 

Babushkinsky Park will be celebrating not only the New Year, but also the Year of Russian Cinema, with an evening dedicated to the cult Soviet-era movie Karanavalnaya Noch [Carnival Night]. The Zelyony Theatre will host a carnival where you can meet the movie’s heroes – Comrade Ogurtsov and Lenochka Krylova. Performers on stage will include Pensii i Plyaski, cover group Bridge Brothers Band and Real Jam Band with a retro-cinema programme. Also on the event’s programme is dance show Rush Style.

Disco hits from groups Abba and Boney M will play at Fili park from 10 pm to 3 am, performed by Art City Band, and there will be disco with music from Real Time Band and Khittobili. At 1 am, the New Year’s symbol, roosters, in three-dimensional art object form, will take the stage. It will be decorated by 1,000 candy roosters for the youngest revellers.   

Funk, pop music and bangers

At Kuzminki, you can listen to music performed by the group Braska, which mixes pop-rock with funk elements. The group’s arrangements are reminiscent of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jamiroquai. Also taking the stage will be cover group Fors Mazhor and Meydelekh. In the competitions, you can win bangers, sparklers and tangerines. The event will run from 10 pm to 2 am. 

The festivities at Park Pobedy will run for an hour longer. Performers here will include singer Bazil, group Chi-Li, participant in the Golos show Vanya Chebanov, DJ Groove and DJ Sasha Dith, rappers Ptakha and Dino MC 47, and 1990s stars such as singer Nikita, and groups Turbomoda, Reflex, and Propaganda. Revellers will also enjoy a dance flash mob with sparklers.

Father Frost festival and fire show in Wonderland

50th Anniversary of October Park will host not just Russia’s Father Frost but also his colleagues from around the world – from Italy, Finland, America and France. Folklore ensemble Zakrutikha will perform dance versions of folk songs. Other performers include Gavana Moskva, Real Time Band and Art City Band, and ethnic group Namgar. Here, you will also have the chance to ride horses and ride in sleds pulled by reindeers and dogs.

Vorontsovsky Park will turn into Wonderland on New Year’s Eve. Here, you can have tea with the Mad Hatter, play chess with White Rabbit on an enormous chess board, and the Red Queen herself will invite everyone to dance. At the costume laboratory, you can try on costumes worn by the characters in the movie Alice in Wonderland. Cover group Yurana will perform and fire theatre Andromeda will put on a fire show.

The events in both parks will run from 10 pm to 3 am.

New Year events will also take place in the Olympic Village Park, as well as Severnoye Tushino, Lianozovsky, Goncharovsky, and Artyom Borovik parks.