There are festivals and there are festivals and Ukraine’s ‘Krayina Mriy’ is one that is starting to set itself apart.
Loosely translated, ‘Krayina Mriy’ means
‘dreamland’ and, for those attending the ninth annual edition, there is really something special in the air.
This year, thousands more are here because of the football taking place in the country and there is plenty for them to see.
Vyacheslav, a Ukrainian fan, told euronews: “Don’t think that football fans are just beer-lovers, people who are not interested in culture, who have just one interest – football. We also love world music, we respect our traditions and we’re interested in the work of folk artists.”
For the event’s organisers, the football taking place down the road has forced them to think bigger and better, because this may be some people’s first and only visit to Ukraine.
Evgeniya Stryzhevska is the festival’s media coordinator: “It’s like Euro 2012’s cultural capital. We are trying to combine culture and football and, I think, this is absolutely normal,” she said.
The main idea behind the festival is a revival of
traditional Ukrainian culture and musical, ethnic styles.
Our correspondant Evgeniya Rudenko says it is also a chance for visitors to become better acquainted with Ukraine’s history.
“The organisers can’t totally ignore the big football festival taking place so, as well as listening to Ukrainian music and learning more about Ukrainian culture, they can, of course, watch football matches,” she said.