On 27 and 28 January, the 20th Winter Festival of Original Songs and Poetry “The Sail of Hope” was held in Voronezh. The event was organised by the club “Parus”, the Nikitin Regional Scientific Library, and Voronezh State University. The festival was dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Voronezh and the 85th anniversary of Vladimir Vysotsky.
The opening ceremony took place in the bookstore “Amital” on Pushkinskaya street where visitors could see an exhibition of literature dedicated to original songs, guitar playing, and the icons of the genre: Vladimir Vysotsky, Bulat Okudzhava, and Yuri Vizbor. Among the speakers at the opening ceremony were the members of the jury, organisers of the festival, and friends and guests: Sergey Oleinik, Olga Lukasheva, Elena Mishchenko, Yuri Zhdanov, Evgeny Nazariev, Evgeny Borozdnetsov, Lilia Sotnikova, Vladimir Sapanyuk, and others.
Then, the festival moved to the Nikitin Library. The first stage of the festival included auditions of the participants, among whom were songwriters, poets, singers, and music groups. The youngest contestant was 8 years old and the oldest was 79. This year, the main themes for the poems and songs of the contestants were the Great Patriotic War, Voronezh, and Russia. The most popular authors were Vysotsky, Okudzhava, Trofim, and Tretyakov.
The jury was comprised of well-known Voronezh and Moscow songwriters, singers, poets, and teachers: Svetlana Polunina, Gennady Timoshenko, Andrey Studenko, Mikhail Orlov, Yuri Korchagin, Gennady Bolgov, and Olga Kozhina. The chair of the jury was Larisa Diakova. The final concert took place in the large hall of the library.
Among the winners of the festival were Maxim Makagonov (poetry), a student from the Novousman Lyceum, and Voronezh music groups “Tonika” and “Pchioly”. Among the diploma winners were: Vladimir Zhukov, a former military pilot, Alexei Selivanovsky, aircraft technician, Anna Lomantsova, employee of secondary school No. 73, Ivan Pleshkov, Sofia Kashkarova, Vera Pustovalova, Elizaveta Zvereva, and Alexandra Merkulova, schoolchildren, Anastasia Chernyshova, Ivan Taldykin, and Marina Rebrishcheva, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and Tamara Partolina and Mikhail Nikolishin, pensioners. All of them were awarded with certificates and books of the VSU Publishing House.
The concert included not only the performances of the winners and laureates of the winter festival, but of organisers and guests: Oleg Pozharsky, Sergey Tkalich, duet Tymoshenko-Studenko, Eduard Karpukhin (Lipetsk), Mikhail Orlov (Moscow), Irina Khrebtova, Voronezh journalist and volunteer, and other songwriters. Among the performers were also children and poetry lovers: Ivan Telegin, Konstantin Kataev, and Sabina Shakhlarova.
The festival “The Sail of Hope” is held in Voronezh in summer and winter. Its main organisers are Alexander Demidenko, a geologist and a graduate of VSU, and Larisa Diakova, VSU lecturer.