Annual Folk Festival Art-Gene to Kick Off Monday

Folk Festival Art-Gene is to open within the grounds of Museum of Ethnography near Turtle Lake (Kus Tba), Tbilisi, on July 17 and run until July 24. The details were confirmed on Friday at TBC Bank’s head office, it being one of the supporters of the festival. 

Folk Festival Art-Gene, which opened with a regional tour in Surami on July 10, promises many novelties this year, arriving in Tbilisi under the framework of the ‘Check in Georgia’ project and opening with a concert by Sophie Villy, a young Georgian singer-songwriter, who has been successful internationally. 

The band Asea Sool will be performing for the first time on the Art-Gene stage on July 18.

Robi Kukhianidze and Outsider are to perform on July 19, followed by the band Region on July 20, and by Prani on July 21. Nino Katamadze and Insight will be headliners of Art-Gene on July 22, and Niaz Diasamidze and 33a will perform the following day on July 23. A concert of the Sukhishvili National Ballet will close the festival on July 24.

For the entire week of the festival, exhibitions of traditional Georgian crafts will be held throughout the Museum of Ethnography, an exhibition entitled “Europe in the eyes of the 19th Century Georgians” to be a part of it, alongside musical performances from different regions of Georgia, and  ‘Shavparosnebi’, a Georgian martial arts show. As per tradition, there will also be Georgian cuisine and hammock zones.        

“We are delighted to be the supporters of Art-Gene festival; it’s a very important platform for promoting and popularizing our cultural heritage among the younger generations. Art-Gene has also been introducing new emerging artists and folklore representatives through the festival for thirteen years now,” said Nino Egadze, TBC Bank Marketing Director.

As a supporter of the event, TBC Bank offers specially organized entertainment zones for festival visitors, with photo stands, rugby-themed activities, and a write in Georgian (#წერექართულად) corner, for children and youngsters, with numerous games planned.

Founded in 2004, the Folk Festival Art-Gene has collected and archived unique ethnographic materials from all of Georgia's regions, many of them in danger of being lost. Bringing together folklore and contemporary music, the festival plays a significant role in folklore popularization among the younger generation and in assisting the development of regional folklore collaborations.

“It is one of the first festivals to give folk groups the possibility to introduce their art to new audiences throughout the country,” said Tamar Melikishvili, Art-Gene festival organizer and founder. “It has always been the festival’s priority to introduce young artists to the audience, as well as bringing traditional and modern music together”.

Art-Gene widely supports young artists, introducing new musicians and bands by promoting live music. For many of them, Art-Gene has become an extremely successful jump-start in their careers.

Apart from promoting folklore, traditional Georgian crafts and live music, the festival pays attention to regional development and tries to promote places which have historical, cultural or touristic significance, carefully choosing locations for the festival's regional tour each year. This year, it was Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.    

PHOTO: Tamar Melikishvili, founder amd organizer of Folk Festival Art-Gene

By Nino Gugunishvili

14 July 2017 21:52