Nashestvie (literally “Invasion”) is the largest summer rock festival in Russia. It was founded in 1999 by Nashe Radio (“Our Radio”), a rock music radio station designed to promote Russian rock bands, as opposed to Western and pop music.

In 1999, Nashe Radio celebrated its 10th anniversary. The station’s founder and producer Mikhail Kozyrev decided to organize a rock festival to promote the station and Russian rock music. The first Nashestvie was held on December 10 and 11, 1999 at the Gorbunov Palace of Culture in Moscow. It was the only edition of Nashestvie to be held indoors. The festival was headlined by popular bands and artists such as Bi-2 (Russia), Zemfira (Russia), Okean Elzy (Ukraine), Zdob si Zdub (Moldova), and Linda (Russia). It attracted around 10,000 attendees.

The inaugural festival was a success so it was decided to make it an annual event. Nashestvie was transformed into an open-air summer festival and moved to the town of Ramenskoye in Moscow Oblast. In 2004, the festival moved to Tver Oblast, first to Emmaus and then to Bolshoe Zavidovo where it has been held every year since 2009.

With an attendance of over 100,000, Nashestvie is arguably the most popular summer music festival in Russia. It has even been dubbed “Russian Woodstock” by media. The name of the festival is a word play in Russian. Although it literally means “invasion”’ it was derived from the name of Nashe Radio.

Over the years, its line up has featured a lot of famous bands from former Soviet republics, including Agatha Christie, Korol i Shut, Leningrad, Lyapis Trubetskoy, Tarakany!, Kirpichi, Aria, Splean, Nogu Svelo, Mashina Vremeni, Nautilus Pompilius, DDT, Alisa, Bravo, Melnitsa, and others. For some of the now-famous Russian artists, Nashestvie has become a launch pad. Bands are not paid for participating in the festival. Instead they use it for free promotion. Emerging bands can play too, but they perform on small stages.

Although Nashestvie has faced criticism for issues such as lack of drinking water, problems with transportation, long lines, etc. it remains one of the most anticipated summer events which attracts lots of rock fans from all over Russia and neighboring countries.


Photo: zarena-sa




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