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It might sound a bit ironical that the festival called "weekend" lasts for almost a whole week. The organizers of Atlas Weekend have demonstrated strong eagerness to work and the desire to learn from their mistakes, so there is nothing impossible for them. The fourth Atlas Weekend has beaten a whole bunch of new records, pleasantly surprising the public. But first things first.
First Atlas Weekend was held at Art-factory Platforma. Total of 30 artists played at the festival and the event itself gathered more than 20,000 people. A year later the festival moved to a much more spacious Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh), assembling an impressive lineup of more than 150 international artists. This year was the most difficult one in the history of the festival. There was a huge crowd at the entrance and the food court, the schedule was slipping down, the performances were postponed, or even canceled, there was no centralized warning system, the mobile network was weak. Visitors were terribly angry at the lining, and the residents of neighboring houses were constantly calling the police, complaining about the 24-hour noise.
Feel the difference
Having learned all the mistakes, in 2017, the organizers have finally elaborated on the optimal scheme of the festival. The first day was free for all, its headliner was epatage Ukrainian artists (then it was Verka Serduchka), and the lineup was composed in such a way as to collect in one place the maximum number of fans of very different music. And it immediately brought its results – attendance of the festival in those days broke a half-century record. Visitors responded reciprocally, and the atmosphere on the territory of the festival was very friendly. Despite the fact that there was plenty of alcohol, there was no need to call the police concerning quarrels of fights. And this is really a reason for pride.
Figures and new records
Before the end of the festival, VDNKh General Director Eugen Mushkin expressed confidence that this year Atlas Weekend would gather more than half a million viewers. The final figure was 527,870 visitors. So the goal of the organizers to enter the top ten most popular open-airs of the world would surely be achieved.
According to Mushkin, each hryvnia spent within the VDNKh was covered with 4 hryvnias spent by the festival guests (for goods and services in the city - accommodation, meals, entertainment, taxi, etc.). So Kyiv has benefited a lot, although it sponsored a free entrance to Atlas Weekend on its first day.
Ten locations (four main scenes and six small ones) were performed by more than 250 artists. The designs of the main stage weighed 250 tons. There were 1200 light devices on the main stages, and the total sound power was 700 kW.
At the same time, the founder of the festival Dmytro Sydorenko stressed that this year everything possible was done not to disturb the residents of the VDNKh area.
Creative director of Atlas Weekend Vlad Fisun believes that the festival is treated as the sight, as an inevitable part of Kyiv, and this is true. The locals are really fond of this huge open-air, its various lineup, and gladly welcome the visitors. This year, there were about 10 thousand people from 70 different countries. "Give us two more years, and the whole world will come to visit Atlas Weekend," Dmytro Tymchenko, co-founder of the festival, stated at the final press conference.
What was not good
Of course, we cannot say that everything was just perfect at this year’s Atlas Weekend. For example, Russian band “Zveri” and Ukrainian “Yeyo” refused to participate in the festival because of some organizational disagreements. British Tom Odell and Russians rap group "Krovostok" could not come too, so their performances were postponed to 2019. This year, Ukraine’s Security Service and the border service decided not to spoil the festive mood with bans on entry, as it happened a year earlier with the Krematory group, rapper Delfin, and rocker Nike Borzov.
The new location of the festival was not opened; I mean a beach area on the territory of VDNKh, which was to become one of the key entertainment locations. Kyiv has suffered heavy rains few days before the festival, so the pool was just totally flooded.
What to expect from Atlas Weekend 2019
Given that Atlas Weekend festival is growing at a crazy rate (according to Vlad Fisun, its growth is completely unprecedented), and only one third of the territory of VDNKh was used this year, the open-air still has plenty of place for expanding. The organizers plan to arrange a special covered night scene. The site will accommodate several thousand people simultaneously and at the same time absorb a part of the noise due to the cover.
Speaking about the lineup, we already know the names of the two participants. We keep a secret on the names of the headliners but Dmytro Sydorenko has already assured journalists that negotiations with them are at the final stage and.
But who will lead a free day of Ukrainian music? It is quite difficult to find someone more epatage that Oleg Vynnyk. However, the company of young festival artists, who vividly discussed this difficult issue, already proposed our journalists two options - Dzidzio and Pavlo Zibrov. Atlas Weekend 2019 would be held July 8-14. That is a musical weekend next summer will last for a week.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 112.International and its owners.