New Festival, New Concept

Dear friends,

This year’s 16th Street Musicians Festival will be held from 1st to 3rd September at the Suburbium, the Lower City of the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad; when the same as each year the spirit of street art and their native cultures artists from our country, region and the world will awaken a new, fresh energy into the city.

The Festival this year be held at a new location – the Suburbium, Lower City of the Petrovaradin Fortress, to bring the elemental goals of this event closer to success: the refinement of streets and city public spaces in general that possess valuable architectural heritage, but also through the decentralization of the city’s cultural offer and specific cultural contributions to the local community. This decision is therefore a natural continuation of the Festival’s development, which we have made after a series of talks and consultations with our partners and friends of the festival. For decades, we are faced with a problem: we pass the Lower Town only to reach the fortress. But, it can be a completely different story! We envision the Suburbium as an elegant little Baroque town on the bank of the Danube, with a spirit and ambience that still preserves, nurtures, and resonates the time whence it was created – early 18th century. Cozy, tightly-knit houses with their decorated facades and narrow cobbled streets, the magnificent church and its monumental walls, and the renowned Belgrade Gate, all by themselves a spark a romantic feeling, impelling art and adventure. It could become a meeting place for artists and fellow craftsmen, a place where refined gourmets gravitate in search of tastes, where new love is born, and first photographs of kids chasing birds are created, where tourists flock not just to climb to the fortress, a place that inspires song.

The Festival has always strived for clean, acoustic concert spaces, which allow intimate interactions between performers and the audience. Therefore, we believe the ambience of the Suburbium is very compatible for this kind of event, contributing to the immediate connection between cultural heritage, public space, street performance art and visitors.

Same as the previous 15 years, the lineup will include performers from Serbia, the region, Europe, America and other geographically distant countries, consisting of musical concerts, performances, ambient plays, film and video projections, artistic installations, public space interventions, but also workshops, conferences, lectures, guided tours… However, the concept of the program will in part differ from previous years, having an incomparably more important role within the project, which means the program will adapt to the location, not the other way round. The Suburbium and Powder-Mill were precisely chosen to be the key and starting points at which the festival will build itself. Additionally, performers and the audience will become active participants not just of the event, but the precise cultural changes the festival will take part in.

During the concept and realization phase, the Festival will try to use, as much as possible, existing infrastructure of the Suburbium, including numerous local organizations, businesses and individuals, to achieve the goal of adapting the festival to correspond to the real needs of the community and actively include the residence into the project.

Many of our partners and friends have already joined this new concept, program and visual identity of this year’s festival, conceived in partnership with Scenatoria and Suburbium from Petrovaradin, and the Faculty of Technical Sciences (Center for Stage Design, Architecture and Technology).

Locations of the festival will be: Belgrade Street, Vladika Nikolaj Square, Štrosmajer Street together with its side alleys, Ramp Road, and the Old Joseph Powder-Mill with its surroundings.

The Street Musicians Festival will this year have a new location, giving a chance to artists, visitors, native residence and the entire city alike, to actively participate in creating a new artistic and urban environment, one which we all want and which is, above all else – necessary. Let us build a new Festival, and together become a part of this great new story, which opens a series of possibility for the future of our urban community.

We are building our city, because we live here!