Eight years ago, in 2010, the first ever festival of such format started in Ukraine. It was “KarpatskyProtiag”. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding and armed conflict in the country, the musicians stopped to conducted it. The main aim of the festival was to combine music with collecting rubbish in the Carpathians. The organisers used to say that it only depends on people whether in future we have Carpathian Mountains or mountains of garbage. The initiative was supported by people from all over Ukraine and even from some cities of Poland. It was a truly Ukrainian eco-art festival. Maybe, after reading this article, activists from foreign countries will help to renew this tradition.

It was the first initiative in Ukraine that combined creative work and fight against plastics trash. The point was to engage music lovers in helping our environment. For this purpose, the organisers came up with an unusual idea – they rented a train, invited musical bands and made a campaign to attract as many people as possible. It was successful because the participants were excited to go to the Carpathians and, moreover, to help fighting plastic pollution.

The train with loud music started its route from Ivano-Frankivsk at 03:30 am and went for approximately6 hours till it reached the final destination – Rakhiv. We already published an article about this amazing place so you can see how beautiful it is.

The most entertaining thing was that the organisers rented only two railway-cars and people could buy a ticket for the train and just move between the railway-cars and listen to music as well as communicate with the crowd and musicians.

The festival

It consisted of several parts. The first part was actually going by train from Ivan-Frankivsk to Rakhiv and listening to music. This part was also about laughing, joking and drinking yogurt, provided by sponsors. It is the most amazing time because you can see through the window how mountains wake up in the morning and how the fog disappears under the warm sun.

The second part was all about arriving to Rakhiv and going to the main square situated at in the mountains. There the organisers gave rubber gloves to the participants as well as bags to collect all the garbage that was there. The results were absolutely amazing! From the beginning up to the end of the festival the participants collected shocking amount of plastic trash. It is surprising how irresponsible people can be, polluting the area where they live.

Cleaning in the mountains
Cleaning in the mountains

After collecting plastic in the mountains, the crowd of people who care used to go to the café and restaurants to lunch and communication with each other, share their thoughts, exchange their contacts or just spend a wonderful time on the bank of the mountain river.

The last part of the fest was all about returning to Ivano-Frankivsk. Of course, there was the music all way back, too. The musicians were different. The organisers had their own band and they used to perform as well.  The way back was more relaxing, peaceful and

warm. The strangers, who were not the participants of the festival, were amased to see trembitas (national musical instrument) in the train. Everyone was happy and smiling, a bit tired but caring about nature. The mountains were dancing as the train moved back. The train used to come back to Ivano-Frankivsk the same day in the evening.

Trembitas, KarpatskyProtiag
Trembitas, KarpatskyProtiag

The bands

For the period of festival existence, a lot of bands took part in it. Among these bands were

«LosKolorados» from Ternopil, «Fiolet» from Lutsk, «Trystavisim» from Uzhgorod, «Perkalaba» from Ivano-Frankivsk, «PropalaGramota», «Pan Pupets», «OtVinta».

Theorganisershavetheband«Koralli». It was also one of the festival participants.

An art part of the festival was not only about music, it was also about the workshops that were conducted by artists and poets. There was even the contest for the poets. There was also a free mic where everyone could read their poems. Young people could be heard.

As organisers used to say, the festival was only for real activists and foolhardies.

Trystavisim, KarpatskyProtiag, 2012
Trystavisim, KarpatskyProtiag, 2012

When it happened

There are two important periods for the mountains – the beginning tourist season and the end of this season. Maybe, the main purpose for that was to show people how much trash there is before people come and after.

The active hiking season starts in April-May and ends in August-September.

Once the festival was conducted on Easter holiday. It was the beginning of May. Another time it was conducted on Independence Day (August 24). It was a wonderful time! People carried flags and celebrated right in the train.

The aim of this festival was to show how people impact the environment. And choosing these exact periods for the festival, was a strategic move that organisers made. All the participants felt huge responsibility for every plastic bottle that they found in the mountains.


Another brainchild of “KarpatskyProtiag, is Fenomen hostel. It is worth mentioning in this article because most of the bands who participated in the festival stopped in this hostel for one night.

Fenomen islocated in the central part of Ivano-Frankivsk (green area of central city lake).  It is one of the most popular hostels in the city. We mentioned it before in our article about Ivano-Frankivsk. It’s really worth visiting.

As the festival is not conducted anymore, you can simply come to Ivano-Frankivsk and then enjoy your way to Rakhiv in an early morning diesel train. You will be surprised how meadows change for the mountains in a short period of time.

Diesel train Ivano-Frankivsk – Rakhiv
Diesel train Ivano-Frankivsk – Rakhiv

Visit Fenomen website again:

Music and Literature

In 2012, “KarpatskyProtiag” was combined with literature festival “Potiag do Yaremshe”. Yaremche is one of the most popular touristic places n Ukrainian Carpathians. That’s why “Potiag do Yaremche” attract a lot of people from all over Ukraine. For this reason, it was not hard to combine to festivals.

Many modern Ukrainian writers took part in the festival. They conducted workshops and moderated the literature readings. They analysed the books, some exact works of foreign authors as well as Ukrainian translations of foreign authors. There were conducted autograph sessions.

The organisers managed to harmoniously put together musical and literature parts. That year, such famous Ukrainian writers as TarasProkhasko and AndriyLubka took part in the event.

Example to follow

As Europe slowly moves to banning plastic packaging and protecting the nature, it is very important for German society to find world examples of plastic pollution and fighting against it. As most of the countries only started to care about the environment now, it is amazing to know that Ukraine started such splendid campaigns in 2010!

It is disappointing that this initiative wasn’t supported by the government. But people make difference! You can change the situation today! You can contact the activists, you can join forces or you can just go with your friends to any place in Ukrainian Carpathians not only to have rest but also to collect the garbage and give it to the recycling places.

Visit Koralli website:

Koralli performing
Koralli performing

Your creative work can help the environment! Take this idea and put it forward in Germany or in any other country. No matter where you are, you can sing and clean.