Summing up “Urvakan”: Results, Feedbacks, Objectives

22 May, 2019
In early May for the first time ever, Yerevan hosted still-internationally-much-talked-about “Urvakan” festival of contemporary culture, supported by “My Step” Foundation. For three days, around 3000 festival visitors, including 1000 tourists having arrived in Armenia particularly for the fest, had a chance to spectate a saturated program – from the Opening Concert at Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall up to Children’s Railway’s three stages and Mirzoyan Library’s Night Program.

Festival program featured both diverse genres of music – from avant-garde jazz to electronic and hip-hop music, digital and street art, as well as discussions concerning urban environment and urban planning.

More than 80 independent artists from 22 countries insured an undisputed international coverage, which guarantees “Urvakan” is going to become a significant worldwide event.

Why “Urvakan”?

“Last year, in December we made a sudden decision to leave Moscow for Yerevan. From that day on, we almost paid no visits to Russia. Our lives took a real twist after the trip. We were immensely impressed, but at first, it didn’t come to us to organize something of that scale. We walked the city, toured around the regions keeping a curious eye on buildings and noticed that though representing an architectural interest they have turned into ghosts. Those were places once truly alive, where people had workplaces and now have turned into nothing but bare wall sand muddy windows. The name “Urvakan” emerged impacted by that emotional situation, and we decided to organize a festival attempting to bring such kind of places back to life, stimulate tourism development as much as we can,” Hamlet Movsisyan, the festival co-organizer says.


Day 1:The festival started on May 3, at Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall with a roundtable on “Public Spaces Changing Citizen Behavior”. The public talk was conducted by UNDP and UrbanLab representatives. Urban planning experts and architects discussed new strategies of development and interventions.

The Opening Concert also took place at Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall: “ethno-folk-electro performance with mad Persian national music elements. Arash Bolouri & Behrouz Pashaei were playing, while Tarik Barri was voodooing on the huge screen. Yes, Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall heard electronic music”, writes

Day 2:“The second day was chock-full; everyone was heading to railway not knowing what we were going to see. The Children’s Railway was split into three – Dambaran Stage, Vagon Stage & Tunnel, all of them more than not lacking experimental and electronic music.

Not fearing the terrible sudden rain, people took plastic bags and raincoats, tied their shoes tight and began to dance.” (

Day 3:Wolfram, Mujuice, Mamba, mveq, Garage Records, Hov LIVE։That was the last day, so sunny, and the Children’s Railway had never looked so peaceful and kind. Everybody was an Urvakan (ghost), even out of the festival. City center was witnessing Urvakan-people wearing white wristbands, waiting for artists & moving to the music.” (

Anna Hakobyan, the RA Prime Minister's Wife, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of "My Step" Foundation was present at the Children’s Railway on the festival’s 3rd day, on May 5. Accompanied by Hovhannes Ghazaryan, the CEO of the Foundation & Hamlet Movsisyan, the “Urvakan” festival co-organizer, Anna Hakobyan walked around the music stages at Children’s Railway, communicated with festival members and guests.


Besidesdeveloping musictourism,the core objectives of the festival are environmentally friendly and sustainable behavior and awareness raising, protection and revitalization of cultural and urban planning heritage and the realization of population’s creative potential. In this context, particularly within the scope of the festival the territory of Children’s Railway was cleaned, the railway’s “Hayreniq” station was partially restored and the park was improved.

Thanks to “Climate Uturn” organization, Urvakan Festival provided solar panels that served as a source of solar energy during the fest days. The waste wassorted and recycled.

Contemporary Armenian experimental music attracted international curators, artists and guests. “Urvakan” is planning worldwide projects aiming to enhance contemporary Armenian music. This time the festival featured Armenian FIX, a project by “Bambir” band, as well as “TmbaTa” ethnic rock band and “Jrimurmur” duo.


Seda Grigoryan, Head of the Desk at Creative Europe Armenia, documentary filmmaker, posted on her Facebook profile:

“It was worth it, worth it to believe that we would someday experience something like this) “Urvakan” opened up a completely new Yerevan beyond this tunnel – different nations, languages, rhythms, sounds, smells… If I didn’t happen to see familiar faces, I’d think I’m at some European festival.

… Thanks to all organizers and “My Step” Foundation for bringing this fete to us. I’m much anticipating it’s going to become an annual festival. I’m sure “Urvakan” has made a proper noise in the region and will make even greater success next year”.

Karen Avetisyan - a filmologist, Program Director at “Golden Apricot” International Film Festival also reacted to the festival descriptively presenting the feedbacks of spectators on his profile.

“Azatutyun” Radio Station’s “Art” program about “Urvakan”։


22 May, 2019

date piker 30 December, 2021
The Foundation has provided the equipments of regional Cultural Centers
In the framework of the "Reviving Cultural Centers in the Regions'' program, the MY STEP Foundation has provided the equipment of Cultural Centers.
date piker 30 August, 2021
Youth of Artik and Stepanavan communities went on a study tour to Gyumri
Within the framework of the MY STEP Foundation's "Reviving Cultural Centers in the Regions'' program, the volunteers of Artik and Stepanavan Cultural Centers visited Gyumri.
date piker 27 August, 2021
The directors and employees of 9 Cultural Centers from 8 regions of Armenia participated in a two-day training in Gyumri
The directors and employees of 9 Cultural Centers from 8 regions of Armenia, the beneficiaries of the MY STEP Foundation's “Reviving Cultural Centers in the Regions” project, had a two-day training in Gyumri, August 23-25.