Marcin Konkel

Gruppirovka Leningrad

One of the great Polish historians, publicists, writer, journalist and diplomat, Władysław Bartoszewski, once said that:

"Certainly not all that is worthwhile pays-off but most surely (...) not all what pays-off is worthwhile"

I recently found this to be true in terms of travels. Few weeks ago I saw that one of my favourite bands "Leningrad" (ru. Ленинград), with it's charismatic frontman Sergey "Shnur" Shnurov, had a tour around Europe. This year they did not visit Poland (as in 2013 on Woodstock festival) and went to Hungary on Sziget Festival. The group is from Saint Petersburg in Russia (called Leningrad in the times of USSR). and gained considerable world-wide attention in the years 2003-2006 when they were banned from playing in Moscow and, some other cities followed, went to play gigs around the world. They're famous not only by the music they play (rock with vulgar lyrics) but also great video-clips and satire on Russia including Novyj Russkij (ru. новые русские) class. Their last stop on 2016 tour was Saint Petersburg in late November. This happenstance sprung a spontaneous idea in my head..

Winter Sunset by Farhad Sadykov ( Used under CC BY 2.0 licence.

It's much cheaper to visit Hungary (which is in visa-free Schengen zone and has two major cheap airlines flying there) and see many other world renown artists during Sziget than to visit Saint Petersburg in the late autumn.  Somehow this idea resonated with me to an extent that I could not miss this opportunity.. After a fortnight from when the thought come to my mind the concert tickets were bought, a team of eager travellers set and airplane tickets booked. At the beginning I thought this will be a lone journey yet when you have people around that are spontaneous and eager for adventures it might end up differently (in a positive sense of course). 

To make the journey more interesting we will first fly to Moscow for 3 days and then move on via night train towards St. Petersburg in platzkart class (same as in #transsib2014 project two years back). After spending few days and attending the concert we'll head back to Moscow (also via train) and then back home. The tickets for the concert were almost sold-out when I was buying them though the event is held in a large Ice Palace arena and there is still couple of months to go. I guess, that's what it means to be popular in a country as vast as Russia. Ahh.. I can't wait for it all to begin!

All in all, there is this one song (a recent one) that I'm really looking forward to hear in Saint Petersburg ("Peter" in short)..

This satire on corporate life is probably of the moment in many countries around the world, not only Slavic countries and is about easing your stress in Petersburg (as you noticed). An interesting and ridicullous turn of events.