August and September are wonderful months in Moscow. At this marvelous time, everyone is back in the city, full of excitement after the summer and preparing for the year ahead. The best part is that the weather is still fine – Russians call it ‘the velvet season.’ Another reason this period is a bit exciting for Muscovites is that the city traditionally celebrates its birthday during the first weekend in September.
Big Time Moscow gathered the city’s brightest events during this exciting time:
- Moscow festival of creativity
Flacon Design Factory
If you are creative in any way, then this festival is for you!
The event unites restaurateurs, artists, photographers, designers, masters and connoisseurs of craft items, musicians and music lovers. The festival gathers creators, as well as those who love individuality and innovation, at one venue.
ArtFlection, a famous handmade goods fair, forms part of the festival’s program. Here you will find amazing items made by talented artisans from all over the country. Everything creative from toys and interior objects, to homemade cosmetics, will be available. This is definitely a good place to find a gift for friends and relatives.
In addition to the fair, many food start-ups, a music hall, art installations and master classes will also be awaiting visitors. The weekend promises to be full of fun and creativity. One will be able to touch the art, to taste it and to make something of one’s own. An excellent option for everyone, including the kids!
- MAKS (International Aviation and Space Salon)
This is one of the leading world aviation shows, and definitely the largest one in Russia. MAKS is held in Zhukovsky – the town synonymous with aviation science and technology. It takes place at the airfield of the country’s central test base, the Gromov Flight Research Institute. Guests can familiarize themselves with the largest Russian scientific, production and experimental hubs, located in the area.
The show arouses great interest among people who are in love with planes and technology. Many visitors come to Zhukovsky to witness flights by famous planes.
Tickets should be purchased in advance. A lot of useful information, including the events and flight programs, can be found at the official webpage:
- The day of the city
The city will celebrate its 868th birthday on the 5th of September. The organizers will yet again endeavor to astonish Muscovites and guests of the city with the scale of the events. Parades and fairs, carnivals and concerts, artists’ shows and traditional grandiose fireworks are all planned in celebration of the holiday. The city’s day in Moscow is always a fun holiday for everyone!
The festival venues will be scattered throughout the city, however the main events are traditionally held on Tverskaya Street, in the Red Square, on Vasilievsky Slope, Poklonnaya Hill and Sparrow Hills. In the week leading up to the festival, the city will be decorated with all kinds of illumination and bright scenery. The city’s main museums and cultural centers all open their doors on those days, and entrance is either free of charge or with an admission fee.
- Spasskaya Tower Festival
The Red Square
The eighth International Military Music Festival – ‘Spasskaya Tower’ – will take place from the 5th to the 13th of September in Red Square.
The best of Russian and foreign military bands and folk groups, as well as honorary guard units of the heads of states, will take part in the event. At the end of each performance a joint band of all the participants – around 1,500 musicians – will appear on the Red Square. All the musicians will play the final chords to the salvoes of the salute, with the light show on St. Basil’s Cathedral as the background.
As in previous years, the festival will be timed to coincide with the Moscow City Day. On the first day of the celebration a procession will march along Tverskaya Street, which will include the bands participating in Spasskaya Tower, and on the next day they will present free concerts in the city parks. Following the tradition that has already been established, as part of the festival, the riders from the Kremlin Horse Riding School will perform in a specially equipped ménage on the Red Square, and for the youngest spectators, the project ‘Spasskaya Tower for Kids’ will erect a kids’ village with educational entertainment activities.
- The circle of light
The Circle of Light Moscow International Festival is an annual event in which light designers and 2D and 3D graphic designers utilize the urban space of Moscow as a canvas for multimedia and light installations. The organizer of the Festival is the Department of Mass Media and Advertising of the City of Moscow. For the Circle of Light Festival, Russian and international designers and artists produce light and multimedia shows, creating projection mapping on the facades of the most notable buildings, cultural monuments and other facilities in Moscow, as well as integrating their creative ideas into the architecture of the city. Entrance to any festival venue is free.
Check the official web-page of the event to learn about the venues:
- Summer ballet seasons
Russian Academic Youth Theatre
Until the end of August
The performances of the Summer Ballet Seasons traditionally take place at the Russian Academic Youth Theatre (RAMT) located in the very heart of Moscow – at Teatralnaya Square, next to the Bolshoi and Maly theatres – in a magnificent old mansion, a unique monument of architecture built in the 19th century. This house was always known as the center of Moscow’s cultural life. It was frequented by Anna Kern; this is where the Artistic coterie headed by Alexander Ostrovsky gathered for its meetings; this stage witnessed performances by Fedor Shalyapin and Leonid Sobinov; and from 1924 to 1936 it was home to the Moscow Art Theatre-II, whose director was Mikhail Chekhov.
The Summer Ballet Seasons project seeks to preserve and promote Russian cultural heritage and introduces audiences to the world-famous classical Russian ballet. In the course of the Summer Ballet Seasons’ 15-year existence, the performances have been seen by more than 450,000 people. Initially, the project was conceived specifically for foreign tourists who were visiting Moscow after the closing of the theatre season. However, Muscovites and guests showed great interest in the performances and the Summer Ballet Seasons very quickly became the symbol of the Moscow summer.