From 6:00 a.m. on May 17, residents of Mariupol started gathering at Illichivets sports complex, where Okean Elzy band gave a free concert in the evening. More than 40,000 citizens came to the place of performance of the legendary band in the evening. Meanwhile, about 20,000 thousand people gathered near the complex. The apotheosis of the concert became the performance of the anthem of Ukraine. All the 40 thousand people sang it.
Those who decided to spend the whole day in a queue came to the stadium with mats on where they sitting with water and food. Many residents brought Ukraine flags, several girls painted their faces with yellow and blue colors. The number of fans started to grow exponentially by lunchtime: the workers put the sequence numbers on hands. The amount of the fans passed for the second thousand.
The first viewers were allowed to enter the hall almost at 18:00. Nearly 10,000 thousand people had gathered by that time – all of them were eager to watch a concert of Okean Elzy. Street traffic was absolutely blocked - those who dared to go here by car, stuck on the road. It was impossible to break through the crowd of fans.
The concert started almost two hours late: the organizers were waiting for all the fans to be inside the stadium. Everything started when Svyatoslav Vakarchuk took Ukrainian flag from the fans at the stage and hung it on the wall. After this Okean Elzy presented its songs 'Sun' and 'Autumn' from the new album.
Meanwhile, about 20,000 people gathered before the sports complex. The apotheosis of the concert became the performance of the anthem of Ukraine. All the 40,000 thousand fans sang it.
'18 thousand residents of Mariupol in Illichivets sports complex and about 20,000 people from the outside (which is almost every 12th resident of the city) are listening to a concert of the Ukrainian band Okean Elzy that has started its world tour with a free concert in the pearl of Ukrainian Priazovye. I know, it can be heard up to the very Rostov. Because Mariupol is Ukraine.'
'Mariupol’s going to a concert of Okean Elzy – unbelveable crowds and incredible security measures. The city sank in waiting for the show,' social networks’ users wrote.
The musicians thanked Mariupol for its fantastic reception on the page of a social network.