"Slavonic Bazaar": a celebration of music and friendship

“Slavonic Bazaar” is an important international event in the musical culture of our country. The history of the festival begins in 1992, when the first Slavic Bazaar began its work on a summer July day in Vitebsk. The emblem of the festival was one of the symbols of Belarus - the cornflower, stylized under the note “Do”. The initiators of the event are 3 neighboring countries: Belarus, Russia, Ukraine. The key event of the festival life is an international music competition. His main idea: “live” (without phonogram) performance of songs by Slavonic authors.


Concerts and events of the “Slavonic Bazaar” in Vitebsk

The first festival gathered more than 1,000 participants and attracted even more guests. In subsequent years, he only increased its scale. Days of national cultures, solo concerts of honored artists of the CIS countries and stars from around the world appeared in the festival program. In 2018, the Slavic Bazaar brought together about 5,000 artists, and there are so many guests arriving, it is difficult to count. Traditionally, during the festival there are:

  • The opening ceremony. Always a bright and unforgettable show.

  • International Pop Song Performers Contest "Vitebsk". Representatives of various countries (in 2018 - 41 countries) compete for victory in the competition. Everyone wants to be the owner of the main prize - "Golden Lyra".

  • International Children's Music Competition "Vitebsk". Young talents from all over the world demonstrate their vocal abilities in the struggle for the main prize: the Grand Prix of the competition.

  • Day of the Union State. This day there are official events, cultural meetings and gala concerts. The whole festive program is dedicated to the unity of the peoples of Belarus and Russia

  • Gala concerts of stars of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Every year, folk artists from three states enthrall spectators with colossal festive concerts.

  • Solo performances. Lara Fabian, Nikolay Baskov, Alla Pugacheva, Inna Afanasyeva, Alexey Khlestov and many other popular performers not only participate in gala concerts, but also delight the audience with their solo performances.

  • Closing ceremony. It is a bright end of the festival week, during which the main intrigue is revealed: who among the contestants will be the owner of the main prize.


In addition to the main musical part, the Slavonic Bazaar has a rich cultural program: art exhibitions, a film program for every taste, art projects and theatrical meetings.

What to see in Vitebsk during the “Slavonic Bazaar”

Also, visiting Vitebsk in the July days, you can surely see:

  • Unique, exciting performances from around the globe
  • World stars, such as Philip Kirkorov, Luselia Acosta, Zara, Patricia Kaas, Chris de Burg, Laima Vaikule, etc. Cuban singer Lucelia won a prize in the nomination “Best vocal” at the festival in 2012. For her, this was the beginning of a new path is moving to our country. In the air of the program “Look at Belarus”, the singer told about her fate after the victory. For the singer Zary, participation in the Slavonic Bazaar was an important stage in his creative work. In her interview in the program “Look at Belarus”, she remembered how she had visited the festival for the first time. After that, she had a cherished dream: to give her own recital in Vitebsk. And in 2017, she realized her wish, having collected a full hall of the summer amphitheater!
  • Unique "City of Masters".
  • Vitebsk analogue of "Avenue of Stars", which is not inferior to Hollywood. 


If you cannot attend the festival, watch the festival's concerts online on the Belarus 24 channel. 

Interesting facts about the "Slavonic Bazaar": 

  • The organizers were discussing the project of the future event not far from the restaurant “Slavonic Bazaar”, which in the end gave its name to the festival. Although initially the founders tended to the name "New Europe". 

  • Vitebsk was not chosen by chance as the capital of the cultural forum: at the end of the 20th century, famous jazz meetings were held in the city. 

  • In the "Slavonic Bazaar "was attended by representatives of 5 continents. Thus, only Antarctica has not “reached” Vitebsk. 


  • During the activities of the events, its own currency is 1 cornflower  (which is equal to 1 Belarusian ruble) operates. It appeared not so long ago - in 2017. True, they can not pay everywhere. Not all bars and restaurants accept this currency yet. 

  • In July festival days you can often meet a world-famous star right on the street, walking, for example, along beautiful Vitebsk streets or parks. If you want to take a photo for memory, then in the "selfie" nobody will refuse you. The main thing is to ask politely. 

  • Since 1995 a live online broadcast of the festival has been on TV. 

  • In 2006, the Slavonic Bazaar Museum was opened, which is dedicated to the history of the festival and the city on the Western Dvina. One of the most interesting exhibits is the first microphone with the help of which the “Slavonic Bazaar” was opened in 1992. And it still works! 

  • The festival has its own book of records. All cultural achievements that have been delivered during all the years of the competition’s existence go there. 




Vitebsk in July is a colossal international cultural platform. Here you can enjoy the music of different genres and styles, chat with foreign guests, buy unusual souvenirs, take part in original master classes, watch theater works and movies. 

If you cannot come and see the festival with your own eyes, you can always follow the “Slavonic Bazaar” online. And in the news releases we talk about the preparation and backstage life of the festival.

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