Opening of Boris Gleb Bar
|Wednesday 12th Feb|
In the summer of ’65, at the height of the cold war, there popped up a bar where Norwegians and Russians could meet. In the winter of 2020, a new pop-up bar will spring to life, a festival hangout that will capture the same fraternity of peoples.
For fifty-nine intoxicating days in 1965, the original Boris Gleb bar served up vodka, propaganda and possibly a little espionage to curious Norwegians. The small visa-free enclave where the bar stood was a crack in the iron curtain, where the chill of east-west tensions thawed to the sound of live music and dancing.
It wasn’t only cheap booze that drew more than four-thousand visitors through the now overgrown boom gates at Boris Gleb. The restaurant, cinema, art exhibition and tour of the newly completed hydro-electric station made for a wholesome Soviet day out.
The blossoming cross-border friendship was not to last. As a chill wind of scepticism blew from the west, the Norwegian authorities moved quickly to ban the visa-free program, bringing to an end this curious time in border history.
Opening night with:
Kirkenes’ own Gruppa Krovi is a five-piece band of Norwegian rockers who honour the timeless anthems of Viktor Tsoi and Kino, The Kirkenes locals have toured north-west Russia, connecting with enthralled crowds through a shared love of iconic Soviet-Russian rock music.
Shish da Malina is the most eccentric musical duo north of the Arctic Circle. Lyrics from the suburbs and the apartment blocks — simple, fun, naïve and innocent. Stories of people who love, believe, live, work and die with all their heart. A morsel of painless reflection about what once was and what deserves to be remembered.