The program of the International Festival of Arts Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk should be forward-looking, Belarus Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko said at an on-site meeting of the Slavianski Bazaar organizing committee, BelTA has learned.
“This year's festival should not be overshadowed by other politically and socially important events. The cultural program of the festival should not only follow contemporary trends but also look into the future,” Igor Petrishenko stressed. He also noted that new events announced earlier will make the program of the festival more diverse, attract attention of the youth, and leave an even better impression on guests of the event.
According to Igor Petrishenko, the Belarusian Culture Ministry, the Vitebsk Oblast Organizing Committee, the Vitebsk City Hall, and the Vitebsk culture center have done a great job to organize the Slavianski Bazaar festival and prepare the city infrastructure. However, some issues have not been addressed yet. The minister believes that the organizers should step up the information and advertising campaign. “The festival should attract more non-budgetary funding. This year's festival should be at least 87% self-sustaining, but we have not achieved this yet,” he noted.
Igor Petrishenko also focused on Vitebsk preparations for the festival. “The first events of the forum are usually held on 8 Jule, so the city should be 100% ready by Independence Day on 3 July. This is the deadline to finish all preparations in order to celebrate the Independence Day and hold the festival without a hitch,” he said. Vitebsk should also use all means to attract more tourists.
Vitebsk Mayor Viktor Nikolaikin also spoke about measures to prepare the city for the festival. The plan of action covers 151 facilities. Most of the work has been finished or nearing completion. The city authorities focus on improving the festival venues, sprucing up the city. Work is underway in Millennium Park near the Ice Palace and Slavianski Park in Vitebsk's Bilevo District. The city will also install modern bus stops in the downtown. Vitebsk has also been adorned with topiaries, more than 10,000 trees and over a million flowers. Plans are in place to finish all the construction works by Vitebsk City Day on 28 June and to complete the landscaping works a few days after.
On 11 June, Vitebsk hosted an on-site meeting of the Slavianski Bazaar organizing committee. Participants of the meeting visited the main venues of the forum, including the Dukhovskoy Kruglik exhibition hall and the Summer Amphitheater in order to assess state of the venues and artists' accommodation conditions ahead of the festival.
In 2019, the festival will be held on 8-17 July. An opening ceremony and a gala concert will take place in the Summer Amphitheater on 11 July, and a closing ceremony on 15 July. Additional events will be scheduled for 8-10 and 16-17 July.