BALKAN:MOST Festival Announcement: A Celebration of Balkan Culture and Music

13 Maj 2023, 12:29Culture TEMA

The BALKAN:MOST Festival, held in partnership with world music expo organization WOMEX, is set to showcase fresh talent from the Balkans, featuring six headliners, 24 showcase bands, and a three-day conference to be held in Veszprém, Hungary, as part of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture. Among the performers are Dubioza Kolektiv, Marina Satti, and Daniele Sepe, who will entertain the crowds during free open-air concerts. Meanwhile, over 200 experts in world music will convene in Veszprém between September 7th and 9th, 2023.

The festival aims to go beyond stereotypes and showcase the richness and vibrancy of Balkan culture and music, which has long been misrepresented. The event is unique in its scope and significance, with never-before-seen numbers of Balkan bands and music professionals participating in a single festival. Moreover, it is the first professional event to attract such a wide range of participants united for the cause of promoting Balkan music.

The festival is the culmination of the MOST project, which is co-financed by Creative Europe and led by Hangvető. The project aims to showcase fresh regional talent and provide a bridge or stepping stone to wider markets. The Balkans, which is the birthplace of brass bands and a crossroads of cultures, have a rich heritage and natural beauty that are often overlooked due to stereotypes. BALKAN:MOST aims to offer a true and diverse representation of the region through music, the most powerful medium for cross-cultural communication.

The festival will feature a range of musical styles, from the rebellious sound of Dubioza Kolektiv to the sensual stylings of Marina Satti and the Bohemian tunes of La Caravane Passe. Other performers include the Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra; Oratnitza from Bulgaria; and Divanhana, the interpreters of Bosnian sevdah. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience various music genres, such as Bosnian blues (sevdah), neofolk, gipsy hop, and upland electronica, in the Veszprém Castle and City Center’s three open-air stages.

MOST, which means “bridge” in Slavic, is a four-year-long project that seeks to revitalize the Balkan music industry. Hangvető has invested over 4 million euros in elevating regional artists and building connections, partnerships, and new initiatives with the rest of Europe. The upcoming conference in September will summarize and extend the project’s efforts while providing another platform to showcase regional talent.

The three-day conference, held in collaboration with WOMEX, a major international platform for world music, will feature discussions on the strengths and challenges facing the Balkan music industry. There will also be workshops and networking opportunities for attendees. With its top-notch venues and picturesque location, Veszprém is an ideal host for this event, which promises to add to the city’s musical life and heightened buzz. The BALKAN:MOST Festival offers a unique opportunity for professionals and audiences alike to explore the rich and largely unexplored musical landscape of the Balkans.

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