Tatarstan Ministry of Culture to support AWAZ festival with 5,5m rubles from the budget

Moral and material support

Kazan will host AWAZ festival in May. It is a big music event that will last for four days in which, as its organisers claim, over a hundred musicians will perform. As the website of the festival indicates, the event is held with the help of the Tatarstan Ministry of Culture, and this support materialised: the ministry is intending to cover the costs on tickets and accommodation of the participants at up to 5,5 million rubles.

According to the documents of a tender announced by the ministry, it is planned to accommodate and transport 276 performers and delegates of the festival as well as 12 organisers. Moreover, they will travel and be accommodated without exceptional luxury: if they arrive by plane, it will be an economy class, if they choose the train, both second class and third class, accommodation means a hotel or hostel, requirements for rooms aren’t specified. The Ministry of Culture will spend a bit more than 19,000 rubles on one participant, including transfer in Kazan.

The festival has a wide geographical footprint: some of them will have to be brought from Berlin, Barcelona, Belgium, Serbia, Minsk. While the band Los Pirañas will come from Colombia. The total distance is 5,000 km, the tender’s documentation reads.

Last week, the festival organisers said that the authorities of the city and republic “support the event mainly morally due to the reasons that are beyond their control” and that the Tatarstan Ministry of Culture doesn’t shower the festival with money.

“The tender includes only the costs on logistics and accommodation of artists and delegates in Kazan. We aren’t talking about costs on production, honoraria for musicians and so on. At this moment, there is no financial support for the festival from the Ministry of Culture. This is why there is no point in spending hypothetical money and thinking which part of the total cost sheet it will cover. At the moment, the Ministry of Culture has just provided information support regarding administrative issues of the festival,” the organisers of the event replied to Realnoe Vremya.

The newspaper has also sent a request to the Ministry of Culture of Tatarstan.

Clubs, library and synagogue

A team of promoters who hosted large Moscow festivals Pain and Moscow Music Week is organising AWAZ. The organisers call the festival “one of the largest festivals in summer 2021”. Since the coronavirus restrictions haven’t yet been lifted, this can seem be far from the truth. They will have to fight against huge open-air concerts like Invasion for this title.

The event will take place from 20 to 23 May on ten different sites — both Kazan clubs and art spaces and the Tatarstan National Library, the Kazan synagogue, the Lutheran church are among them.

The word awaz in Tatar means “sound”. As the organisers themselves write, the festival aims at “cultural exchange between visitors and participants in the programme in music and performance”.

The duet AYGEL consisting of Petersburg drummer Ilya Baramii and Tatar writer Aygel Gaysina who recently released an album in Tatar named Glass is probably the most recognisable band on the list of performers. However, there are a lot of other remarkable and unusual artists, for instance, the same Colombian Los Pirañas whose sound is described as “South American psychedelic music”, Aisha Devi who is a performer of Nepalese-Tibet origin who was born in Switzerland and plays dance electronic music.

By Alexander Artemyev