The international children’s festival “Golden Dream” has been running for 15 years, has attracted a significant amount of positive public feedback, has been received with gratitude and has become a very important and colorful part of cultural life in many countries. To celebrate the anniversary of the festival, we interviewed the Art Director of the Golden Dream Festival, Eugenia Strimovskaya.

It has been 15 years since the festival first started. How did it all begin?

The idea to organize the festival came up more than 15 years ago. However, it wasn’t until the year 2000 that the first International Children’s Creativity Festival was held in Simeiz, Crimea. The following year, since a lot of people decided to take part in the festival and for technical reasons (the absence of a proper infrastructure) it wasn’t possible to host the festival in Simeiz and, instead, we moved it to the Royal Livadiya, a true pearl of Crimea. The festival itself got a new name, the “Stellar Crimea International Festival!” By 2014, Crimea was no longer big enough to host the growing festival and the international brand Golden Dream was first established. In 2014, the festival was run in Bulgaria and Greece and, in 2015, the list of participating countries included Ukraine, Bulgaria, Greece, USA (Las Vegas) and France (Paris). In 2016, we are hoping to run more than 15 international festivals, contests, and open-air events.

In 2016, we are hoping to run more than 15 international festivals, contests, and open-air events.

It is not easy to organize such a massive event. How did you achieve it?

It is always hard to start something new; however, as the saying goes, you never know what you can do until you try! Our idea was to create a beautiful, honest, kind festival that is filled with friendship and creativity and run by a highly professional and fair team! This has only been made possible through top-level organization with a solid team of professionals.

Tell us about your team, who are those talented people behind the scenes?

Our team includes true professionals, and new, active and interesting people join us every year. Only the jury stays the same. However, they have been through certain changes too. In 2015, the Chairman of the Art Forum, which is held in Dnepropetrovsk, was Yuriy Falesa, the producer. And other judges like Tatiana Koshkarova (Moscow), Natalia Nurmukhamedova (Moskow), Valeriy Shevchuck (Ukraine), Alla Ridosh (Ukraine), were all part of the very first festivals, as they are today. You cannot replace that level of experience, professionalism, kindness, positive attitude towards kids and teachers, and the exceptional standard of their vocal and choreography workshops. So that is why we are still together.

Festivals have become very popular over the last few years. Why should people take part in the Golden Dream?

Nowadays there are, indeed, a lot of festivals and competitions; hundreds or even thousands. And, on face value, it may seem that they are all the same: arrive, check in, perform, rest, go home. But in reality, I think people who have visited two or three festivals will confirm that it is difficult to find two similar competitions or festivals! It is this difference that is the festival’s “soul.” There are a few distinct areas that we need to pay attention to when we organize a festival. Our task is to create a holiday of creativity for our contestants, regardless of whether it is a festival, contest, open-air event or creative trip. We believe that the organizer’s priority should be to create a festival that is as bright and interesting as possible. Our festivals are friendship festivals. We believe everyone should care for and support each other. A real festival is not possible with just one dim lightbulb and a single mike. The stage should be decorated and shining. The sound and lighting equipment should be professional. The hosts of the show should shine with the spirit of the event, and the organization of an international festival must be clear and welcoming. This is how we run our festivals. And last, but not least, we hope that every attendee will remember our festivals, competitions, and trips, and feel a sense of warmth and true happiness when they recall them.

The festival has increasingly gained in popularity in the Ukraine; how about your festivals abroad? Are they as successful?

We are continually evolving and trying to make each festival special and memorable because this is what will make people want to return time and time again. However, each festival has its own spark. For example, the festivals in Bulgaria are held in the summer and are predominantly swimming and sunshine festivals. At those festivals, attendees have an opportunity not only to work on stage but also to enjoy the sun and the sea; there’s no better place to do that. Our Greece festivals have never left anybody indifferent, since it is impossible to resist the charm of Kavala and Saloniki, the wonderful Greek culture and the amazing national cuisine. American festivals are a different thing altogether, you can speak about them forever more. In short, to really understand what we do and how unique each festival is, you need to experience every one for yourself!

Our task is to create a holiday of creativity for our contestants, regardless of whether it is a festival, contest, open-air event or creative trip. We believe that the organizer’s priority should be to create a festival that is as bright and interesting as possible.

Compared to previous years, how does the level of organization change? Has the number of festival countries become any bigger?

Of course! Contestants are constantly developing, so you never know at the beginning who will take the first place; it is often hard to make the decision! A lot of different countries from around the world participate including Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Georgia, Poland, South Korea, USA. In 2014, China, Romania, Serbia, Greece and Mexico joined our list! And we are always open for new friends from around the globe!

A lot of different countries from around the world participate including Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Georgia, Poland, South Korea, USA. In 2014, China, Romania, Serbia, Greece and Mexico joined our list!

Tell us more about the most anticipated festival, the festival in Las Vegas.

This festival is the most bright and memorable one! Have you ever been to Las Vegas? Oh, it is an amazing city: beautiful sights, incredible fountains, and nice hotels… all this is only a small part of the city’s attractions! In 2016, we are planning on holding the festival for six days between the 6 and 11 of February, and we have already prepared an interesting and rich program for our contestants! Las Vegas is a city that never sleeps, and while you are there, you absolutely have to make the most of it. During the Las Vegas event, our contestants are given the chance to participate in world-class shows like “America’s got talent”. “America’s got talent” is a major show that connects people from around the country and gives them an opportunity to showcase their talents. A separate seat of honor is given to vocal and choreography. Honestly, you should see it with your own eyes! I can assure you that you will remember this festival forever.

To take a part in the festival you need to apply at our official page

http://childmusicfest.com/

After that, we will contact you to discuss the requirements in more depth.

How can I take a part in the festival?

It is easy! You need to fill the application form at our official page: http://childmusicfest.com/ – After that we will contact you to discuss the requirements in more depth.

Finally, what would you wish to the newcomers of the festival?

We are planning to expand our festival to many additional countries including Spain, Italy, Japan and others. The main dream is to eventually host a Worldwide Children’s Festival!

I want festival contestants throughout the world to have an opportunity for their stars to shine brightly, warming and lighting people’s lives with their talents!