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Ukraine's biggest music festival to return this July - the first time since Russia's invasion

The ATLAS Festival in 2019
The ATLAS Festival in 2019 Copyright ATLAS UNITED
Copyright ATLAS UNITED
By Jonny Walfisz
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ATLAS festival returns to Kyiv, renamed as ATLAS UNITED, for the first time since Russia's invasion.

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Ukraine’s biggest music festival ATLAS is back for the first time since Russia’s invasion.

Ukrainian music lovers will attend the newly renamed ATLAS UNITED festival when it returns to its Kyiv location this July.

Since ATLAS was first founded in 2015, major international acts including The Prodigy, Kasabian, The Chemical Brothers, Liam Gallagher and the Black Eyed Peas have all performed at its Expocenter of Ukraine location in the capital.

The last ATLAS Festival was in 2021 and due to the lasting impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers focused the line-up on local acts. Fatboy Slim was included in a line-up of Ukrainian stars including this year’s Eurovision entry alyona alyona.

Over 600,000 people attended the 2021 edition, making it still the largest festival in the country.

Now, ATLAS UNITED is set to make a return, running from 12-14 July, now at the Blockbuster Mall in Kyiv.

This year’s line-up is entirely made up of Ukrainian acts, with the headliners across the six stages including BoomBox (Бумбокс), Artem Pyvovarov (Артем Пивоваров), and Bez Obmezhen (Без обмежень). There will also be an underground stand up programme of Ukrainian comedians.

Fans with tickets from previous years’ events, cancelled due to the invasion, they are still valid for the 2024 edition.

The festival has also teamed up with UNITED24, the government-run fundraising platform for the war effort. 15% of all ticket sales will go towards a fund to provide drones to the armed forces to help in their defence of the Kharkiv region. The festival’s goal is to raise 100 million hryvnia (€2.3 million).

ATLAS UNITED represents one of the first time major Ukrainian artists have been able to gather and perform since the beginning of the invasion. While that’s a cause for celebration as the country continues to manage the ongoing assault from Vladimir Putin’s regime, safety is still a concern for festival goers.

“Safety is our priority, so in case of air alarm, the most certified DSNS [State Emergency Service of Ukraine] cover in the country will be on location, which can accommodate all attendees of the event,” a post on Instagram explains.

The crowd in 2019
The crowd in 2019ATLAS UNITED

Just two years after they stormed to victory at Eurovision, Ukraine’s entry alyona alyona & Jerry Heil finished in third place at the 2024 competition in Malmö, Sweden. Their song, ‘Teresa & Maria’ about the two saints was created as a “song about two symbols of kindness and love and unity. If you are united, you can win the war, you can change the world and leave something for your children and the children of your children,” alyona alyona told Euronews Culture prior to the competition.

Much like the festival, alyona alyona & Jerry Heil also used their Eurovision competition journey to work alongside UNITED24, creating a fundraiser to rebuild the Velykokostromska School in Dnipro.

ATLAS UNITED runs from 12-14 July at the Blockbuster Mall in Kyiv. Tickets cost 3,250 hryvnia (€75).

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