Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk
|Founded by||Belarusian Government|
|Genre||Folk, pop, folk-rock, classical|
The International Festival of Arts "Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk" (Belarusian: Міжнародны фестываль мастацтваў «Славянскі базар у Віцебску», Ukrainian: Міжнародний фестиваль мистецтв «Слов'янський базар у Вітебську», Russian: Международный фестиваль искусств "Славянский базар в Витебске") is an annual festival held in Vitebsk, Belarus under the auspices of the Belarusian Government since 1992. Its main program is devoted to Slavic music. The main participants are artists from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, countries of the former Yugoslavia, Poland and Bulgaria with guests from many other countries, both Slavic and non-Slavic. It is a member of the International Federation of Festival Organizations (FIDOF) since 1998.
The predecessor of the festival was “Polish Song Festival in Vitebsk” (Polish: Festiwal Piosenki Polskiej w Witebsku) that was held in Vitebsk. Vitebsk was chosen to host the festival according to the agreements with polish city Zielona Góra where “Soviet Song Festival” (Polish: Festiwal Piosenki Radzieckiej) was held since 1965. The main venue of the present-day festival, the Amphitheatre, was constructed especially for such occasion in 1988. Except from scenic area there were tennis courts, aerobic gyms, restaurant and a coffee-bar.
Only two editions of the “Polish Song Festival in Vitebsk” were issued: in 1988 and 1990. After the Dissolution of the Soviet Union the cultural ties between the former soviet bloc countries have broken. So there emerged an idea to organize a cultural arrangement in order to show the cultural diversity of Slavic nations. The first Slavianski Bazaar was opened in 1992. It was organized by the Belarusian Government with the financial support from Russia and Ukraine. The main goal of the very first festival was an attempt to acquaint Belarusian audience with pop and folk trends from Slavic countries.
In 1993 the festival has become a member of the International Federation of Festival Organizations (FIDOF). Cultural variety has grown as the representatives from non-Slavic countries expressed their interest in participation in the festival. Since 1995 Slavianski Bazaar has acquired the new concept and changed its name to the International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar”.Cinematographic presentations and folk art fairs have become the recurrent events in the festival’s calendar. In 1998 the festival has become an inter-state cultural project of Belarus and Russia and suffered another name change that fixed the festival’s affiliation to the city of Vitebsk: International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk”.
The festival was awarded the diploma 'FIDOF Festival of the Year 2000' "for impeccable quality of organization, professionalism, hospitality, and promotion of noble humanistic aims on the international level", 'FIDOF Festival of the Year 2004' and other awards.
The contest 
During the festival the contest of young singers under the name "Vicebsk" is held . It has two stages, each held in a separate day. In the first day the contestants should perform the song in a national language of the country the contestant represents. All vocals are sung live using backing track. In the second day the contestants perform the song written by a composer from any Slavic country in any of the Slavic languages. On this stage all vocals must be sung live with the National Concert Orchestra of Belarus under Mikhail Finberg's conduction. The final decision is made by the international jury usually consisting of 10 people who are usually the former winners of the contest, the former contestants or the other celebrities. After the performance each jury gives points from 0 to 10 (although the nil has never actually been given). At the end of the second day all the points are summed up and the Grand Prix winner and other places holders are defined.
The most successful country in the contest of young talents that is held during the festival is Ukraine having a record of five wins. During the first six years of the existence of the contest Ukrainian performers shared the dominance with Yugoslavian ones. The festival also became a startpoint in the careers of such singers as Ruslana, Taisia Povaliy, Toše Proeski, Pyotr Elfimov and Željko Joksimović.
Children's contest winners 
Children's contest during the festival in Vicebsk was first held in 2003 thus becoming one of the stages of expansion of the cultural and artistic diversity of the event. It has also become one of the main events in the East European countries for children performers who are making their way to Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
|2003||Romania||Noni Razvan Ene|
|2009||Romania||Maria Cristina Crăciun|
- "Festiwal Piosenki Polskiej w Witebsku (in Polish)" (in (Polish)). Pl.wikipedia.org. 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
- "Festiwal Piosenki Radzieckiej (in Polish)" (in (Polish)). Pl.wikipedia.org. 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
- "International Federation of Festival Organizations Praised Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk". Mfa.gov.by. Retrieved 2012-03-17.