Belarus: Stars of Eurovision shine at Slavonic Bazaar Festival

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On the 10th of July 2014, the International Arts Festival Slavonic Bazaar started in the city of Vitebsk, Belarus. A host of Eurovision Song Contest artists performed at this festival, together with international stars such as Britisch singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

The festival was organized in Vitebsk for the 23rd time. This years’ Eurovision winner, Austria’s Conchita Wurst, did not perform at the festival.

Originally intended to promote Slavonic music and culture, the first Slavonic (or Slavianski) Bazaar festival was organized in Vitebsk, Belarus, in 1992 by Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. It developed to become one of the major arts and music festivals, promoting cultural dialogue. This year, about 80 events were spread over 14 festival sites. Events included the annual International Song Contest and the International Children’s Song Contest. Participants form 39 countries presented themselves at the festival, including newcomers such as Mexico. The main stage of the event is the Summer Amphitheatre, which this year was  visited by some 100.000 people.

Although it is somewhat of a tradition that the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest performs at the Slavonic Bazaar festival, 2014 winner Conchita Wurst did not perform at the festival: the organizers decided not to invite her. However, the musical line-up included many former Eurovision participants: Filipp Kirkorov, Ruslan Alehno, Alyona Lanskaya, TEO, Alexander Rybak, along with international stars such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Moreover, judges of this years’ International Song Contest included Alexander Rybak, Donny Montell and Samanta Tina (participant of the Latvian national selection for Eurovision in 2012, 2013 1nd 2014).

The winner of the 2014 International Song Contest was Rodrigo de la Cadena form Mexico, while Ukraine’s Anastasia Baginskaya won the International Children’s Song Contest.

The International Arts Festival Slavonic Bazaar was held form July 10th to July 14th 2014 in the city of Vitebsk, Belarus. Performances in the Summer Amphitheatre run form July 8th until July 16th.

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