Aksenov Fest


The well-known Soviet writer Vasily Aksenov was born in Kazan, and wrote about his hometown. The Mayor's Office of Kazan came up with the idea to celebrate his 75th jubilee in the city in 2007. The event, christened Aksenov Fest, would feature jazz performances as well as poetry and prose readings. The debut festival was attended by the writer Mikhail Veller, poet Mikhail Gendelev, poet Bella Akhmadullina, saxophone player Aleksey Kozlov and rock singer Andrei Makarevich. Everyone loved the festival, and it was firmed up as annual. The Aksenov Fest has featured young writers' Star Ticket Awards (named after Aksenov's early novel Star Ticket) since 2008. The award is the sum of 100,000 rubles and a copper statuette in the form of a punched old-timey train ticket, where "you can see the stars through the punch-holes in it."

The House Museum of Vasily Aksenov opened in 2009 on Ulitsa Karla Marksa, 55/31 (Karla Marksa Street, 55/31). Here the writer lived with his uncle who took him in from the boarding school where the boy ended up after his parents had been sent to Gulag.

Nowadays the Aksenov Fest includes master classes and roundtable debates, as well as prose and poetry readings and jazz concerts. A new venue has been recently added to the fest, the Aksenov Garden behind Mir Movie Theatre.