KaZantip | Republic of Z
Recently, it turned 15 years old to the most famous youth project of Ukraine - the festival “Kazantip” or “Republic Z”. We visited the territory of the Z-Republic and decided to share our impressions with the reader.
A small story of the creation of KaZantipa
How it all began and what it led to ... Nikita Marshunok in the Russian show business is an odious figure. His project "Republic of Kazantip" - a major youth music festival, held in the summer in the Crimea, gathers thousands of dance culture fans from all over the CIS. For some, Marchhok is the president of the Orange country, while others try to catch him in the drug trade. As they say, business is business.
The following spring, he set up a windsurfing school in Strogin, fencing off half a hectare of land and putting slipways. “None of the municipal authorities checked me,” he says. - It was enough to have business cards and forms for which I wrote letters with requests not to object to the organization of a windsurfing school. No one objected. And if I asked someone for permission, I would not have done anything in my life. ” The RFA school existed until 1998, bringing $ 25,000 to the entrepreneur and his two partners each summer. In addition, about 400 members of the association paid regular fees ($ 20 per year), brought money and annual winter tours for surfers to Egypt. At the same time, the businessman continued to carry out surfing championships and organize music parties.
In the spring of 1995, seven kilometers from the Azov town of Shchelkino, the place where surfers rode, Nikita came across an abandoned nuclear reactor. The launch of the station did not take place due to the termination of funding. The idea of how you can use 10 square meters. km to nobody needed territory, was born instantly. The map of the reactor and the keys from it to an entrepreneur who has already become a celebrity in the Crimea, the locals brought for free. For one night, he moved the equipment there, paying $ 50 for delivery, and organized a big party on the day of the closing of the championship.
The businessman spent the second party at the nuclear reactor a year later - in honor of the closing of the next championship. About 2,000 people arrived at Kazantip then. Seeing that the matter was becoming increasingly large-scale, in the fall of 1996, Nikita Marshunok began negotiations with leading youth magazines and radio stations about the information support of the project. The result was a large advertising campaign, after which in August 1997 the festival gathered 6,000 people. Although not everything went smoothly. The launch of the project - the creation of infrastructure, the construction of the stage, the rental of sound and light equipment - required about $ 50,000, half of which the organizer did not have. The calculation for sponsors was not justified, and the media partners refused to allocate the missing amount. In order not to disrupt the festival, I had to borrow the missing amount from my friends.
The turning point for Russian business in August 1998 became such for Kazantip as well, though not for economic reasons at all. “Back in 1995, I began to realize that the party, which I had been collecting for so many years, began to break up both in terms of material wealth and in terms of their musical preferences,” says the entrepreneur. “I knew that one day I would have to choose between surfers and the rest of the youth.” It was necessary to decide whom I would support, and whom I would lose. ” The reason for the controversy was the change of priorities: the popularity of DJs and musicians gradually overshadowed the glory of the "wave kings", and Nikita Marshunok himself, who organized musical parties, contributed a lot to this. As a result, in August 1998, surfers refused to participate in the championship. Despite this, about 6000 people visited Kazantip. The history of the non-existent association of windsurfing and the school is over.
But the real problem was not the abolition of the championship. Two days before the opening of the festival, after the truck with equipment worth half a million dollars, employees of the prosecutor's office arrived, accompanied by 15 machine gunners. Law enforcement officials said they had $ 1 million worth of drugs in the car and searched. They did not find any drugs, but they found errors in the paperwork for the cargo and brought a criminal case to the organizer. The businessman persuaded the prosecutors to allow him to play on the rented equipment, but left Kazantip only in November, giving, according to him, everything that he had.
Returning to post-crisis Moscow, Nikita Marshunok decided to transform the project, guided by the unwritten rule that a new wave must be found in show business every two years. Flipping through a travel magazine aimlessly, the businessman came across the word republic in the advertising of a travel agency. “It was very difficult to stand out against the background of various music festivals,” he says. “And then I decided that it was necessary to turn the Kazantip into a republic.” The businessman wrote the constitution of the new state, in which he called himself the president, several of his friends - the ministers, and the guests of the festival - the Great Kazantip People. Then he introduced the visa regime in the republic. The cost of one visa was $ 20. It remained only to notify the Great Kazantip People, whose representatives were scattered throughout the territory of the former USSR.
The main means of communication was the mailing list on the database, which Nikita Marshunok began to collect from the first windsurfing championship. The result was impressive. According to the Kazantip census in August 1999, the republic was inhabited by about 10,000 people. However, few of them knew that this time the festival was in jeopardy. “When a truck arrived with equipment, for the rental of which I had to immediately pay $ 20,000, I had only $ 400 in my pocket,” says Nikita. - Therefore, the guys who brought the equipment openly said that they could either turn around and leave, or believe me and stay. I’m supposedly starting to sell visas, tickets to the reactor, souvenirs and all the money will be returned. They believed. ” The required amount was collected before the closing of the festival. At the atomic reactor in August 1999, the last party of Kazantip took place.
By the way, now the Kazan Open Championship of Windsurfing is taking place at Kazantip, to which Nikita Marshunok has nothing to do. The number of guests at the cape last year was 1,500
After returning to Moscow, Nikita got a job as art director at the Territory club and in the same year, through the Artifact agency, began negotiations with Procter & Gamble about the sponsorship of the project. However, this time it was not without difficulties: when the entrepreneur went to the Crimea in May 2000, local officials were banned from holding the festival. Then he went to Koktebel. Two days sunbathing on the beach and thinking how to get out of the situation. The decision was made: for the republic it was necessary to find a new place and come up with a new concept for this business.
The biggest mistake, he says, was that the name of the festival repeated the geographical name, which cannot be registered as a trademark. To solve this problem, an entrepreneur began to write Kazantip through z, and to protect his project, he started his own PR. Choosing a place - the bay near Sudak - he made several amendments to the constitution of his state. “The Republic of Kazantip has borders, but does not have territory, being a state that from time to time freely moves in space to where it is better. The capital of the republic is any settlement that, even if unexpectedly for itself, turned out to be in the very center of the republic. The Republic of Kazantip is a democratic state headed by a president. Once a year there is a presidential election in which the president chooses himself, ensuring the continuity of democratic power. ”
It remained to convince the sponsors. Oddly enough, this businessman succeeded. “Procter & Gamble chose Kazantip as a place to promote its Head & Shoulders Menthol shampoo, aimed at a young audience,” said Alexander Shumsky, CEO of Artifact. “For a conservative company like Procter & Gamble, it was a risky but justified move. We then found a lot of non-standard solutions. ” For example, to advertise the shampoo, Nikita Marshunok announced that “in the Republic of Kazantip there is the only menthol deposit in the world and this product is the national wealth of the republic”.
Procter & Gamble allocated more than $ 100,000 for the festival. The construction of the stage alone cost $ 30,000. The night clubs of ten cities opened embassies of the Republic of Kazantip, and local radio stations scrolled about 5,000 commercials, the text of which changed every week. As a result, about 10,000 people visited the festival. In the same year, Nikita Marshunok received the first state diploma "For the promotion of the Crimea as a center of international youth tourism." The following year, in 2001, the Republic of Kazantip moved again: the living conditions near Sudak were not suitable for a major show festival. The republic stopped near the village of Popovka, 30 km from Evpatoria. At the same time, Nikita Marshunok decided to legally protect his project from encroachment. Together with two companions close to the government of Ukraine and the Crimean administration, he registered a company whose name he did not disclose, and within a month issued a land acquisition for 4 hectares, which he protected with the "Great Kazantip Wall". The game of the republic became even tougher, and for the first time he managed to structure his business. In August 2001, 17,000 people “broke away” on the four dance floors of the Kazantip. The entire project then cost $ 150,000 taken on credit.
“The financial success of this project is due to the fact that it was initially conceived as non-commercial,” says Alexei Zubov, art director of the Heart club and part-time minister of sound of the republic. - “Kazantip” still remains a game for initiates. As soon as the project becomes massive, it will die. ” Nonetheless, the Kazantip, which took place from July 20 to August 20, 2002, turned out to be the largest in its history. The sponsor of the event was the Baltika brewery, which allocated $ 300,000 for TV advertising only. The territory of Kazantip Republic expanded to 6 hectares, on which eight dance floors were built. The launch of the project cost $ 178,000, and the population of the republic has grown to 30,000 citizens. Even if each of them spent $ 200 this month, the turnover of the event was $ 6 million. In addition to the rest, about 300 Interpol employees, security services and other law enforcement agencies attended the festival: they were looking for drugs, but not a single criminal case was opened.
Of course, the festival has enough problems and in addition to the keen interest on the part of officials and special services. “Due to the fact that the event is taking place in another country, it is difficult to negotiate with sponsors,” said Harry Chaglasyan, president of the promotional group “XIII”, who organized tours to Ibiza. - Therefore, the festival has small budgets that do not allow inviting eminent Western DJs. It is necessary to improve the image of the festival, although for its long-term history Kazantip gradually becomes a brand. ” In Chaglasian’s opinion, the next step for President Kazantip and his partners would be to issue CDs, as Buddha-Bar or Cafe del Mar does. “When you buy these CDs, you immediately imagine chill-out, lounge-style music,” continues Chaglasyan. “Kazantip is not yet associated with any particular musical style.” Youth tourism and round-the-clock dances remain the main source of income for a small mobile state.
KaZantip is a disease.
The Republic of Z has all the characteristics of a sovereign state - it has its own territory, the president, the government (the cabinet headed by the prime minister), the anthem, and national attributes. KaZantip is a constitutional republic with presidential rule. The lifelong president of the republic is the Moscow athlete and entrepreneur Nikita Marshunok. The symbol of the Republic is the Yellow suitcase with metal corners, and the sacred animal of 2006 is the Ladybird. The national color has always been orange, but in the light of the latest political events in Ukraine in 2006, it was decided to change it to orange in black peas of various sizes.
How to get there?
The festival takes place on the outskirts of the village of Popovka, Saksky district, 30 km from Evpatoria and 112 km from Simferopol. Directions to Popovka from Evpatoria by suburban bus from the bus station for 2-5 hryvnia and 40 minutes, by taxi 60-150 UAH. and 15-20 minutes. Each driver of a taxi and bus knows what Kazantip is and any number of people and at any time of the day will get to it without problems. Only a question of price! At the entrance to the village. Peace should be turned left at the sign "Border Out" and in a couple of minutes you are in the central square of Popovka. On the one side of the square, there is the only grocery store in the village, on the other - a cult restaurant for the residents of Respublika Z - the Roman-Kosh bar. Turning behind a cafe, you will see a 30-meter narrow passage between two shell walls - this is a stylized entrance to the territory of the Republic Z, separating it from the rest of the world. Through the “passage in the wall” you get to the field filled with cafes, Tatar shalmans, stalls, and behind them you can see a huge building with a triumphal arch - this is the ENTRANCE!
How to get inside?
The visa is bought at the entrance to the visa department, you are photographed and handed a yellow plastic card with the inscription "Great People" with an individual electronic code. At the entrance there is a serious security and you are passed through a computer terminal that scans your visa. Thus, no one except for you on your visa can go inside. All attempts to cross the borders of the state through fences or the sea are brutally suppressed by guards.
What to do inside?
Inside the Republic there is a special atmosphere of universal happiness and freedom, a huge number of non-standard personalities, special rituals. Every day there are various events, celebrations and competitions. Therefore, on the territory of Kazantip, you just need to enjoy life, swim in the sea, dance, drink tasty drinks, meet and have fun.
The main thing at Kazantip is music. Here the most famous and fashionable DJs of Russia and Ukraine "make music" around the clock. From such famous gurus with a great past, like Lena Popova or Mitrofanov, to beginners with a great future. Each dance floor and bar differ from each other in style of music, original design, assortment of drinks and prices. On many dance floors, music plays around the clock. A lot of original souvenirs are on sale. On the territory there are various religious buildings: stone-henge, triumphal arch, palm alleys, and many other interesting objects, the meaning and purpose of which can be understood only when you find yourself inside.
Residents of the republic have a similar biorhythm.
17.00 - 20.00 The best hours of life. This time you definitely need to spend on the beach, find out all the gossip, sunbathe, meet a girl, and meet the signature sunset on the beach with beautiful music. Sunset is seen every day, looking at the solar disk, listening to music and meditating - whoever he wants. As soon as the sun platter touches the water surface on the horizon - a few hundred hands clap their hands!
20.00 - 22.00 The easiest way to “secure” acquaintance with a girl is to invite her to have lunch. After lunch, offer the girl a “siesta” (afternoon nap) or say that you have hot water in your room (it works flawlessly).
22.00 - 5-6 in the morning. Live concerts of live bands begin on the main stage. Time for action.
Who is there?
Citizens of the republic, indulging in idle fun and joy all day and night are protected by serious security guards from the encroachments of the evil outside world. Thus, there are no conflicts inside. Security also vigilantly monitors violators: lovers openly take drugs, manifestations of passionate love in public, etc. By the way, the use and distribution of drugs on the territory of the Republic is prohibited, and this idea is strongly supported by the Government.
What for what?
Food and drink rises in price towards the center of the festival territory. The highest prices in the Republic of Z, the cheapest - in the area of Rybalko street. On Rybalko a bottle of beer costs 3 hryvnia, on the dance floor the same bottle will go away for 12-14 hryvnia. Inside the Kazantip walls there is an Italian cafe, a sushi bar, a cafe with set meals for 25 hryvnia. The most popular drink of Kazantip people - Burn, one of the sponsors and partners of the festival - “inside” costs about 10 hryvnia. The average price threshold in the “local eastern catering” zone is plov, shashlyk, lagman at a cost like everywhere else in the Crimea. The most cheap and tasty you can eat in the famous house on Rybalko number 5, as they say "among the Tatars." The usual mid-budget catering with an oriental slant. Everybody likes.
For those who need to share impressions with friends in another city there is an Internet center (20 hryvnia per hour). By the way, the mail.ru portal is also one of the sponsors of the festival. For those who suddenly felt a sharp surge of sexual energy and saw a desire in the eyes of a partner, surrounded by the famous Kazantip palm trees, there are reed huts with mats-mats on the floor for 30 hryvnias an hour. A red lantern hangs over the hut.
To understand what is Kazantip and whether you need it, you need to go and get inside yourself. Wander between the palm trees, dream to the music of the sunset on the dance floor of Medusa, dance under the spotlights from Stonehenge, drink Burn'a with new friends to the music of Lena Popova on the dance floor of St. Petersburg Schastye. While there is still time until August 26, take a ticket and head for the sun in the direction of country Z.
Official site of the Republic of Kazantip - www.kazantipa.net