Üstüu-Xüree – is an international festival of live music and belief, dedicated to uniting people of every nation, belief,and tradition in order to forward the ideals of humanitarianism, tolerance, mutual understanding and harmony through music. The festival engages with the issues of spirituality, enlightment, and the development of musical culture.
This project, which over time has become one of the most recognized brands of the republic, started in 1999. Its main mission was the reconstruction of the great temple of Üstüü-Xüree in the city of Chadaana. This unique buddhist temple, built in the beginning of the 20th century, was the only temple in Russia built in the Tibetan construction style, having been commissioned by the 13th Dalai Lama. In the years of repression the temples of Tuva were destroyed and burned, including Üstüü-Xüree. In 2013 the festival succeeded in its mission, building an exact copy of the old temple next to the ruins of the original, whose clay walls remain as a memory of the past.
Having realized its main mission, the festival has not rested. Every year guests from Tuva, Russia, and other countries come to the festival. Beginning musicians play on the same stage as professionals, and the audience come with their families, pitching their camp on green fields under the crowns of larch branches. The festival addresses problems connected with eco- and ethno-tourism, questions of spirituality, respect for religions, cultures, folk traditions, and natural values.
One of the nicest features of the festival is the camp for guests and participants, located in a little forest on the other side of the Chaadana river from the city itself. The festival camp is great fun for both families and music enthusiasts who wish to engage with each other musically into the wee hours of the morning. A shared love and respect for Tuvan culture unites campers over the course of the festival in the setting of the picturesque forest of Borbak-Aryg. Campers can walk across the river to and from the stages and vendors of the festival itself. Üstüü-Xüree festival truly has a long history of enchanting visitors with the hospitality and beauty of Tuva.