Belarus Visa-Free: Now For 30 Days
Official Website of the Republic of Belarus
Year of Native Land in Belarus
Press centre
Belarus Events Calendar
Belarus’ Top Tourist Sites
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belarus
Belarusian sanatoria and health resorts
Souvenirs from Belarus
| Home | Press centre | Photo | Great British Festival in Minsk

Great British Festival in Minsk: Irish pipers, a parade of elite cars, a fashion show and an open-air concert in the Upper Town

Great British Festival in Minsk: Irish pipers, a parade of elite cars, a fashion show and an open-air concert in the Upper Town
16 Jun 2018

Unforgettable sounds of royal bagpipers, an open-air showcase of the famous MINI cars, best cover bands performing legendary British music hits, an improvised pub, a mini-Wimbledon and a golf field right in the center of the Belarusian capital… The first Great British Festival drew hordes of British fans to Minsk downtown, Upper Town, on 16 June.

Cold weather and grey clouds over Minsk were no obstacle. Quite the opposite, said Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the UK to Belarus Fionna Gibb. Such typically British weather was a perfect addition to the atmosphere of the festival.

The festival kick-started with a beautiful show of bagpipers from the Second Royal Irish Regiment. They marched from the British Embassy to the Svobody Square. At the same time a car parade started near the Palace of Sports. The parade showcased the pride of the British motor industry - Land Rover, Bentley, Jaguar, and MINI. One of them was driven by headliner of the festival Sian Evans, a former front woman and singer-songwriter of the band Kosheen, a trip-hop/drum and bass group from Bristol. 

At 13.00 sharp Ambassador Fionna Gibb and Minsk Mayor Andrei Shorets gave a ceremonial start to the festival on the main stage near the Minsk Town Hall. The concert program was opened by the Irish bagpipers and the Exemplary Orchestra of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, which is well known to the UK music lovers: the team has toured different cities of the country. The program continued with Scottish dances and greatest hits of the Beatles, Queen, David Bowie, and Ed Sheeran performed by the cover bands The Apples, Somethin’ Regenerated (UK), the chamber choir Polifonika. Folk melodies for flute, accordion and bagpipes, which were for centuries performed by street musicians in old London and Edinburgh, created a special festival atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the Upper Town was zoned into 10 themed areas dedicated to business, culture, sports, fashion, cuisine … For example, the University Courtyard offered an opportunity to learn more about British education, test knowledge of English, pass an IELTS language express-test or join the game of scrabble. Down Zybitskaya Street visitors could take a tennis lesson on the mini version of the famous Wimbledon court, take a selfie with a cup of the ten-time Grand Slam winner Max Mirny of Belarus or have a golf practice session.

For just one day the streets of the historic center of Minsk turned into famous London areas: the business City and the Bohemian Soho. Visitors could pose with royal "guards" for photos and see the famous red telephone box. A great variety of food courts featured chefs of 17 Minsk cafes and restaurants who cooked about 40 variations of favorite British dishes and drinks, such as roast beef, fish and chips, meat pie, strawberries with cream and traditional English tea.

The evening program of the festival included a fashion show from the famous Longshaw Ward brand, a performance of drummers Melodians Steel Orchestra, a concert of popular singer Sian Evans (ex-Kosheen), DJ Blaise and a party from the London club brand Ministry Of Sound. The Great British Festival in Minsk concluded almost at midnight.

Great British Festival in Minsk
Great British Festival in Minsk
Great British Festival in Minsk: Irish pipers, a parade of elite cars, a fashion show and an open-air concert in the Upper Town
Great British Festival opening ceremony in Minsk
Bagpipers of the Second Royal Irish Regiment
1 2 3      next