Festivals

Press Office of the Ural Industrial Modern Art Biennale

The Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, launched in Ekaterinburg in 2010, is hosted by the Ural Branch of the National Contemporary Art Centre. Once every two years, Yekaterinburg citizens and visitors get to see a lot of modern art on a given theme, on display from September through November.

All kinds of places suddenly reincarnate as exhibition and performance venues for the duration of the Biennal: factories, hotels, and even print-shops. More than 50 exhibitions are on at the same time in Ekaterinburg and other Ural cities. Along with the art shows, the Biennal includes performances and art residences for artists. The 2015 festival, which was configured to raise the awareness of constructivist architecture, featured the works of 61 artists from 21 countries, including projects by Yoko Ono, Alfredo Jaar, Keith Lee, Tino Sehgal, Alisa Yoffe, Yurko Koval, and others.

Gastronom Press Office

Gastronom is a traditional outdoor festival staged in summer, usually in one of Ekaterinburg's parks. Gastronom is the place to sample food prepared by the chefs of the city's top restaurants and by young self-styled chefs, to attend some culinary master-classes, buy cookbooks, tableware, cookware, and local produce. Gastronom also features healthy nutrition lectures, speeches by gastronomy gurus, sports competitions, and concerts by local musicians.

Donat Sorokin/ТАSS

Ekaterinburg is recognized as Russia's street art capital – the unofficial title awarded to the city a few years ago. In the first days of each year, the organizing committee of Stenograffia Street Art and Graffiti Festival announces a theme, requesting entries from street artists around the world. The creators of the short-listed sketches receive invitations to visit Ekaterinburg in July, in order to give flesh to their ideas.

Great artworks suddenly appear in public areas like shopping centres' parking lots, sidewalks, underpasses, fences and tower facades. Thanks to a decade of street art infusions, the austere industrial city of Ekaterinburg now looks quite gentrified.


Yuri Smitiuk/ТАSS

Holi, the Hindu spring festival, happens off and on at various outdoor venues around Ekaterinburg all summer long. Guests of the Holi Festival of Colours buy sachets of colourful dry paint made from corn flour, and toss the multicoloured paint mixes at each other. Dry paint forms amusing ornaments when it gets mixed. Holi paint easily washes off of the body and clothes. All this fun is accompanied by live music. There is a market on the premises, selling Hindu clothes, spices and decorative items. Master classes are taught. Street food and non-alcoholic cocktails are available on the festival grounds.


Donat Sorokin/ТАSS
The International Modern Drama Festival, Kolyada Plays, takes place in Ekaterinburg every summer since 2008. Credit for the idea of the festival and the implementation belongs to playwright and director Nikolay Kolyada.

Theatre directors from all over the world present their new productions, based on modern plays, on stages around the city for several days. Reputable drama critics sit on the jury, which reviews the performances and names the winners. Prizes for best acting, directing, artwork and composing are awarded on the last day of the festival. Kolyada Plays runs an off-programme, featuring film viewings, play and book presentations, creators' talks, and theatre variety revues. It is customary for the band Kurara to play at the festival's closing.
Donat Sorokin/ТАSS

Ekaterinburg cemented its claim to fame as one of Russia's two "rock capitals" years ago. The other unofficial "rock capital" is Saint Petersburg. Old New Rock is a high-profile music festival held in Ekaterinburg since 2000. The festival happens twice a year: at old New Year's Eve (January 13) and on a random day in summer (at Volna Recreational Centre). Big-name acts and young promising performers play the same stage.

Most or all famous Russian rockers have played at the Old New Rock Festival over the years: Splean, Pilot, Chaif, Smyslovye Gallutsinatsii, Picnic, Aria, and others. Young performers get to play the festival if the expert jury likes their demos. International artists have performed at the festival quite frequently in recent years.


Anton Butsenko/ТАSS

The Barbecue Festival comes to Ekaterinburg on the first weekend of summer. The event consists of two parts: the barbecue competition between professional chefs and amateurs, and an entertainment programme for the guests. In the first part, the contenders cook and present their food, prepared according to proprietary recipes, to the professional jury. The jury samples the dishes and determines the winning entries by a vote.

The entertainment part includes live music performances, pig and rabbit races, a local farmers' market, and a lavish food court, catered by reputable local restaurateurs. Various samplings and culinary master classes also take place. The festival ends with an award ceremony, gala concert and a fireworks show.