Each year, Azerbaijan’s glitterati descend on the Sea Breeze coastal resort outside Baku for the summer’s hottest ticket, the Zhara international music festival – and this year was no different
Coachella, Eurovision and Lollapalooza move over. Come July, music lovers in Baku know that the only place to be is the annual Zhara Festival, a four-day celebration of music, that takes place at Sea Breeze resort each year, by the Caspian Sea. With a line-up of 75 performers (that is: over 1200 musicians from across the world), it’s not hard to see why it’s considered by many to be the most popular festival in Azerbaijan.
Preparations for an event this size take time, and the Zhara Festival spends most of the 12 months between editions getting the perfect line up together. “This year’s Zhara festival in Baku would be even more exciting and fabulous,” said Emin Algarov, pop icon and one of the organizers. Algarov’s co-organizers include Sergey Kozhevnikov, the founder of Russian Radio and the Golden Gramophone Prize, and Grigory Leps, an honored artist of the Russian Federation, who performed on the first day of the festival. Other performers across the four days included Monati, Loboda, Dima Bian, Polad Bagirov, A Studio, Jigan, Dan Balan, and Mozgi. The festival ended with a bang, with all the singers performing ‘Azerbaijan’ together on the last night. Here, we round up some of our favorite paps and snaps of the weekend.
Images courtesy of Elmar Mustafazadeh and Habib Samadov