Yesterday, 24 May, a press conference of Osokins’ Freedom Festival dedicated to Ukraine was held at the Shopping Centre Spice, during which three new concerts and more than ten new participants were announced. The festival programme will be enriched by Igo, string quartet Estonia for Ukraine, opera singer Marlēna Keine, hip-hop artist Fiņķis, men’s group VILKI, Mariupol Theatre actress Anna Nimayer, director and actress from Kiev Larisa Semirozumenko, Ukrainian musicians Constantine and Victoria Pritulyak, pianist Sofia Varchenko and many others. The Third Freedom Festival by pianist Andrejs Osokins will take place from 25 May to 8 June, and all proceeds of the festival will be donated to support the people of Ukraine. Special minivans will be placed at the venues of the biggest concerts, providing the opportunity to donate the necessary things to Ukrainians.
Anna Nimayer, actress from the Mariupol Theatre, will take part in the opening concert of the festival on 25 May. At the press conference, she revealed what happened: “After everything we have gone through, participation in this festival is like a breath of fresh air. At the beginning of the war, we could not have imagined that Mariupol would be almost completely destroyed. We saw the hatred with which our houses were destroyed and our people were killed. 16 March is the most terrible day for me, because this is when our home, the home to actors – the Mariupol Theatre – was destroyed. The bomb hit the scene, the heart of the theatre. Even the fact that the inscription in large white letters showed that children were inside the theatre did not stop them. I was amidst that horror for a whole month. Now, being in Latvia, I want to thank everyone who supports Ukraine and our people.”
More than 50 musicians and actors will come together for this festival, including Dita Lūriņa, Chulpan Khamatova, Ģirts Krūmiņš, Igo, Georgijs Osokins, Ralfs Eilands, Raimonds Tiguls, Žoržs Siksna, Katrīna Dimanta, Ieva Parša, Iveta Cālīte, Roberto Meloni, Katrīna Gupalo and Andrejs Osokins himself, as well as Fiņķis, Rihards Plešanovs, Gints Smukais, Rihards Lībietis, men’s group VILKI, group Sub Scriptum, Freedom String Quartet specially formed for the concert, united artists Latvia for Ukraine with the song Resistance and the quartet of Estonian and Ukrainian musicians Estonia for Ukraine, which will perform for the first time in Latvia. During the festival, Ukrainian musicians and actors will have the opportunity to collaborate with a multitude of Latvian artists and get to know the cultural life of Latvia. One of the goals of the festival is to enable Ukrainians to continue pursuing their occupation, so that cooperation born during this time may develop and enrich Latvian and European culture.
One of the three concerts to supplement the festival’s programme is the night concert by Igo and Katrīna Gupalo, which will take place at the Anglican Church on 5 June, bringing the two musicians together for the first time in a concert programme specifically made for the festival. It will feature songs from the cycle Fire with music by Jānis Strazds and lyrics by Igo, other musical works from Igo’s repertoire, as well as Latvian and Ukrainian folk music.
At the special initiative of the Ola Foundation, the festival will also include two charity concerts for friends and supporters of the festival with the participation of Katrīna Gupalo, Andrejs Osokins and the Estonian and Ukrainian music quartet Estonia for Ukraine, giving attendees of the concert the opportunity to explore both the Ola Foundation Art Gallery and the new complex of premises, and donate to the account with Ziedot.lv specially created for Ukraine.
Other upcoming concerts during the festival:
The press conference was also attended by Oleksandr Mischenko, Ambassador of Ukraine to Latvia, who emphasised the following in his speech: “Ukraine is currently struggling against evil that is contrary to all of humanity. I believe that the best example of Europeanness is that people are capable to taking care of, and worrying about, the problems of others, while being in very good and comfortable conditions. Latvia became such a model country for me. I would like to thank Mr Andrejs Osokins, his creative family and all the musicians for the fact that, yes, you cannot take up arms, but with your talent and your creativity you are able to draw the public’s attention, which is of very high relevance and importance in these times. I would like to remind you that there is a very short way between the concerts of Baskov and Kirkorov, the Russian propaganda and the Ukrainian city of Bucha, so let us talk about it out loud and on a daily basis, until the war ends. We will win – Ukraine, Latvia and the whole civilised world!”
In cooperation with Viche, the confederation of associations of Ukrainians living in Latvia, special minivans will be placed at the venues of the biggest festival concerts – next to the House of the Blackheads, the Anglican Church and the Hansa Platform, providing the opportunity to donate the necessary things to Ukrainians an hour before the concerts and during them. New summer clothes, shoes, socks, underwear, flashlights, portable navigation equipment, medicines (painkillers, antibiotics and haemostatic agents), diapers for children and adults, large backpacks, canned food, dried food, long-life food and food for children aged 0-2 years are especially welcome. All donated goods will be delivered to Ukraine.
A short video insight into the press conference: Osokins’ Freedom Festival for Ukraine
More information about the festival and its concerts is available at www.alartists.com. Tickets are available at all Biļešu paradīze ticket offices and on the Internet: https://www.bilesuparadize.lv/lv/custompage/3074. The fee for using the internet system to purchase tickets to the festival concerts is not being charged.