Sergey Kozhevnikov: "ZHARA unites our peoples"
Zhara-2019 International Music Festival has ended in Baku's Sea Breeze Resort. One of the founders of the Russkoye Radio, Zolotoy Grammofon award and the ZHARA Festival Sergey Kozhevnikov told Vestnik Kavkaza about the project now and about its future.
- Next year it will hold the fifth festival. Are there any plans for the ZHARA anniversary?
- We have plenty of them. We hope that our anniversary will be special. We keep it a secret for now. We have a great deal of work to do: 250 artists, ballet, creative groups. In a day we will take a breath and start preparing the fifth anniversary festival.
- In your estimation, what's the value of the festival in terms of strengthening relations between Azerbaijan and Russia?
- Of course, it's great. Many artists came up to me, telling me that often musicians do more than the ministries of foreign affairs for friendship between people. When people meet here, they understand that they speak the same cultural language, understand the mentality and tastes of each other. Regardless of differences, nuances and national features, we are very close nations, music unites us all.
- Every year more and more tourists from Russia and other CIS countries visit the festival, and many plan to spend holidays in Baku during the festival ...
- I think this is a large reservoir. It is no secret that Jurmala started to prosper again after six years of holding children's festivals there. The combination of new infrastructure, which has greatly advanced in Baku, new hotels and such events as the Formula 1 and the ZHARA festival attract tourists from all over the world.
- Will ZHARA compete with other festivals?
- On the one hand, we compete with the whole world, and on the other hand, with no one. Our challenge is not to do something against someone. We are ready to welcome in Baku everyone we are close to, those sharing our beliefs of friendship and love.
- Grigory Leps said that ZHARA will soon catch up and overtake the Woodstock festival. Do you agree?
- I hope that everything will be more civilized here. But the mood, the spirit and a large number of musicians make our festivals even.
- More and more artists come to the festival each year. Will this trend continue?
- Of course. We consider how he public reacts. Today the Ruki Vverkh band performed at ZHARA for the first time. We saw how the public reacts to this performance, and realized that they have a lot of fans here.
- This year the ZHARA festival was held in Dubai. Do you plan to hold it in other countries?
- Our anchor point is Baku. It was created here, it blossomed here. We are ready to go to other places, but there are scale and abundance of performers in Baku you can't get anywhere.
- Why did you choose Dubai?
- Dubai is a commercial place with a lot of wealthy people, where our festival's target public go on vacation: people who understand Russian, who live in the mentality of the post-Soviet space, have close cultural traditions with us. Baku is a city with a great musical history, but is better known as an industrial center. We hope that soon it will completely become a tourist city, where is visited by people not exclusively for business, contracts and oil, but in order to relax, look at the amazing Caspian Sea and eat tasty food. I think the ZHARA festival can help the tourism industry.