As I've mentioned in the reviews for Gadi Festival and Roktys Naktys, there's very little better than a music festival in Lithuania. Whilst both of those are more geared to the hard rock or metal fan. ZooFest is a bigger mixture of music but predominantly Punk, Ska, Psychobilly, Hardcore, Alternative with some metal bands usually attending.
The festival takes place in the small town of Alytus in the southern corner of Lithuania by Belarus and Poland, the town itself has quite an alternative scene and Zoo Club which organises the festival is a regular gig for bands touring in the region.
The club and organisers of the festival are also particularly active in contacting and being active with young Lithuanian bands that have just started out. The crowd is drunk and friendly and alerts you to the fact that there are a lot more punk and hardcore fans than it may appear on first sight in the country!
This year's festival will take place over the 25,26,27 July and sees the following bands headline it:
Brosided [Hardcore from Lithuania],
Faust Again[metal from Poland],
My Machete rock/garage from Sweden]
Nine Eleven [harcore/metal from France],
Offbeat Heroes [ska-punk-reggae from UK],
Officer Down [hardcore from UK]
Versus You (indie from Luxembourg]
365 Dni [hardcore/punk from Poland],
Avarinis Iejimas [punk from Lithuania],
Brigadniy Podriad [folk rock from Russia]
Funny Rot [punk/alternative from Lithuania],
Lack [indie/alternative from Denmark],
My Ocean [harcore/emo from Belarus]
Naktine Pufaika jam band [jam band from Lithuania]
P.O. Box [ska/rock from France]
The Lucky Gang [pop-punk from Lithuania]
Sunday 27th -
Bu-By [Alternative from Lithuania],
Critical Hit [Hardcore from Lithuania],
Groove Solid [rock/groove from Lithuania]
Lenino Pr. [punk from Lithania],
Mister X [streetcore from Belarus],
Moj Rakety [alternative/indie from Russia],
Netvarkoi! [streetcore from Lithuania],
The Blank Heads [punk from UK]
The festival is Open-Air and tickets for the whole thing cost a mere 30LT (8 pounds), there are all-night after parties held in the Zoo Club as well as other events like eco-sculpture workshops and an organised sub-culture football competition will take place.
There is camping available by the Nemunas River where the festival will take place, within close distance to the center of the town but still in a natural location. You will find it by either the signposting or the amount of people heading in that direction!
This is a good chance to watch some great underground bands with a nice crowd whilst drinking cheap beer in a wonderful location. A downside is I've left it a bit late to inform anyone about it, so make sure you book a flight which co-incides with next year's festival!
More info can be found at www.myspace.com/zoounderground