It may be no surprise to our regular readers that Croatia enjoys a very healthy cultural calendar each year, with some wonderful film, dance, theatre, art and other events taking place each summer, all across the country. We’d like to use this post to highlight the Boombarstick Festival which will take place for the first time in July in Vodnjan, Istria – an independent, urban arts and music festival that will feature a full line-up of art exhibitions and concerts, as well as featuring workshops and also showcasing locally made products.
Of great importance to the festival and something that plays a large part in its background is the setting in Istria. This particular region of Croatia is one has a very vibrant history – having been under the rule of numerous tribes, leaders and countries over the centuries – but one that has also been peaceful, meaning that today, different ethnic groups and cultures coexist in harmony. Boombarstick’s aim, in a year that Croatia is to join the EU (on 1st July), is to show that Istrian and European cultures can (and should) influence and enrich themselves, but also that Istrian people should treasure their culture – one that is unique and constantly evolving – and share it with others, and not seek to replace what they have with some kind of European dream. Boombarstick will offer up a kind of “momento” for Istrian collectivity, but also show that the town of Vodnjan has much to offer artistically, musically and culturally – three “languages” that can be understood by anyone, wherever they are from.
What’s on at the Boombarstick Urban Arts and Music Festival
The art programme at Boombarstick will see a fantastic collection of outdoor wallpaintings, showcased in some of the less fancy spots in town, plus installations set up in hidden parts of Vodnjan. An indoor art show will also exhibit the works of some of the local artisans. Artists exhibiting their works include Croatian sculptor Franco Manzin; underground, UK-based comic-artist Phlegm; street artist OKO from Croatia; Sam3, a wallpainter from Spain; Italian graphic designer and urban artist Giorgio Bartocci; Ukrainian wall-painter duo Interesni Kazki; graphic artist Ludo; NeSpoon from Poland; and Croatian illustrator Miron Milic. Below you can see the works of some of these artists (click on any image to enlarge).
Local bands and artists will make up part of the musical element to the festival, which will also see international DJs and acts perform…with a few secret parties thrown into the mix too! Acts appearing include funky, punky hip hop outfit Debout Merci!; Croatian DJ Sisma; folk-poet Ardzen; French beatboxer Spleen; Brixton, London-based ska-gypsy band Drunken Balordi; swing/rock ‘n’ roll band Minima Social Club; and Croatian hip hop band Soundcheck Regaz.
As mentioned, Boombarstick will also host workshops during the Festival’s run, and these will be dedicated to local students although some will also allow entry to all. These seek to teach culture and explore creativity, whilst also establishing a connection between the people attending and some of the artists taking part in Boombarstick.
“Local heros” from Vodnjan will also be on hand, showcasing their tasty products – from food to oil and wine, and more!
It’s free to enjoy all the events at Boombarstick – how fantastic! If you can make it to Vodnjan in July, we’d highly recommend you visiting and joining in with this arts and music festival!
Accommodation for Boombarstick
For those attending the festival, there are a number of easy accommodation options available to you. An improvised campsite will be set up a short distance from the Festival; the site will have full facilites including toilets and showers, food and beverages, and will also provide tents to rent. Camping will be a great way of mingling with fellow festival-goers, allowing you to get to know each other!
It will also be possible to rent apartments and private accommodation in Vodnjan, for those looking to explore and experience the town a little better.
The above options can all be booked via the Boombarstick Accommodation page at www.boombarstick.com/accommodation. There’s a whole host of different packages on offer, including those that offer airport transfers, boat trips, excursions and a beach chill out day, so be sure to check these all out!
The above link also lists all the ‘extras’ that are available in addition to the Festival – from the aforementioned boat trips and beach chill out day, to a Cheese Appreciation Day and a Arts of Istria Tour!
Boombarstick is a fully independent festival (and, as mentioned above, there’s no entry charge to any of the events), so if you’d like to help support its first edition and the great team behind it, check out their Indiegogo campaign: www.indiegogo.com/projects/boombarstick-street-art-music-festival. There’s a number of great perks on offer if you contribute to their campaign.
More on Boombarstick
For full details about the Festival and all of the artists and musicians taking part can be found on the official Boombarstick website. Do also keep with with the latest Festival news on their Facebook page!
3rd – 7th July 2013
Vodnjan (Digano), Istria
As part of the celebrations in the run up to Croatia’s accession to the EU on 1st July 2013, the British Croatia Business Club (BCBC) is hosting a couple of exciting events this week!
On the 23rd & 24th May – this coming Thursday and Friday – they will be hosting a Croatian Products and Services Fair, which will be the perfect opportunity to sample and purchase Croatian food and drinks – whether that’s something you’re trying for the first time, or something you know and love well! This fair, the first of its kind in the UK, will see a number of well-known Croatian companies gather together to showcase their wares, with over thirty companies taking part. Well known names such as Croatia Airlines, Croata, Jamnica, Maraska, Paprenjak and Podravka will all be appearing, amongst many others. The Croatian Products and Services Fair will take place in the Battersea Arts Centre in south London, a wonderfully historic venue – built in 1893 – that’s been host to many important events over the years.
The Fair will be open to the public from 11am to 7pm on both Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th, and entrance is free. Do register your attendance for the fair via firstname.lastname@example.org as every fifth entry will win a prize!
If you’d like to celebrate in some additional style and glamour, the BCBC is also hosting a wonderful Gala Dinner on Saturday 25th May, also at the Battersea Arts Centre. The four course dinner – a Croatian menu, of course, created by Croatian and British chefs – will be accompanied by a fine selection of Croatian wines. There will also be a full entertainment programme featuring both Croatian and British artists, as well as a raffle and auction with some exciting prizes – the proceeds of which will be going to the Croatian charity, Anima Caelestis. Popular TV personalities will introduce the evening, and a welcome speech of distinguished British and Croatian guests will also take place.
Tickets cost £45 per person (£30 concessions), which includes the four course dinner and a limited selection of wine and soft drinks. There’s only a few tickets left, so do be quick to snap one up! They can be bought online via the BCBC website at www.bcbc.org.uk/fair.html.
10am – 7pm, Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th May 2013
Croatian Gala Dinner
6.30pm – 10.30pm, Saturday 25th May 2013
Battersea Arts Centre
Join the contemporary dance festival – Dance and Non-Verbal Theatre Festival San Vincenti – in Istria this July!
The Dance and Non-Verbal Theatre Festival San Vincenti returns this July for another wonderful event! Now in its fourteenth year, this contemporary dance festival will take place from the 19th to the 22nd July in the very pretty town of San Vincenti (known as Svetvincenat in Croatian), which is located in inland Istria. A number of wonderful and varied performances of contemporary dance, physical theater, mime, circus performances and street art will take place, as well as educational seminars and workshops, with artistic groups from both Croatia and abroad both being featured.
The Festival was founded in 2000 by the Zagreb Dance Company, a contemporary dance group who have performed at many top events in Croatia, including the very famous Dubrovnik Summer Festival, one of the country’s most well-known events. The group have also performed at a number of festivals abroad, including events in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Korea and Egypt.
Over the years the San Vincenti Festival has seen more than 150 Croatian and international dance groups perform 190 plus productions. The Festival’s aims to promote contemporary dance in Istria and Croatia for the enjoyment of both locals and visitors have clearly been realised, and the event has also helped promote creativity and inter-cultural dialogue.
Last year saw a full programme of events, with dance groups from Croatia (of course!), Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and France all take part. Performances included the circus show De pied ferme by Belgium group Wazovol; Animal by Spanish choreographer Daniel Abreu; and Sad Sam Lucky by Croatian artist Matija Ferlin, a piece that evolved from the Festival’s residential programme.
All performances take place in three venues in and around San Vincenti – in the Renaissance Square (where free performances take place); at the Art Centre; and also in the wonderful Kastel (Castle) Grimani. Tickets for performances at the latter two events can be obtained in advance via the Festival website, or on the day of the performance.
This year’s programme is due to be revealed very shortly, so stay tuned to the Festival website for full details: www.svetvincenatfestival.com.
Dance and Non-Verbal Theatre Festival San Vincenti
19th – 22nd July 2013
Those in London who are interested in enjoying a bit of rock – Croatian style – may be very pleased to hear that new young band Gruhak are to perform at the 100 Club on Oxford Street on 27th March 2013.
With elements of Led Zepplin, The Doors, Pink Floyd and The Who, Gruhak are the first Eastern European band that compose their own music and lyrics for English speaking audiences. Having previously achieved cult status on YouTube – they were voted as “The Best Ever Classic Rock Cover Band” in 2010 – they are now branching out with their own material, which will be featured at this promotional concert in London. Their album ‘Make A Stand’ has also been very well received in the UK music press, acquiring a number of top mark reviews.
Tickets for the gig cost £13.50, and can be purchased online at http://www.wegottickets.com/100club/event/200243.
In the meantime, check out the band’s official website where you can stream songs from their album, or join the mailing list to get updates on future gigs, albums and free downloads. They also have a Facebook page - www.facebook.com/GruhakClassicRock - which is a great way to keep in touch with the band.
Do also check out their YouTube channel - www.youtube.com/gruhak - for live performances of the band’s own material, as well as some of their twenty famed live video covers. These videos really showcase their extraordinary live music talents.
For a limited time only (until 27th March 2013), Gruhak’s UK fans can download some material for free! The exclusive download link of ‘Make A Stand’ – Gruhak’s first album of their own material – is at http://db.tt/LQBtgT2d, whilst at http://db.tt/V1TjnGXy there’s audio of their famed music covers.
Spread the word about Gruhak, and come enjoy their music at the London gig!
7.30pm – 11pm, 27th March 2013
100 Oxford Street
Europe’s leading independent film festival, the Raindance Film Festival, is now in its 20th year and is returning to London from 26th September to 7th October 2012. The festival has been listed by Variety magazine as one of the world’s top 50 “unmissable film festivals” – so make sure you come and enjoy the excellent line-up of films this year!
Featuring independent films from across the world, this year’s festival will also include screenings of a number of interesting films from the Balkans – from Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montengro.
Croatia’s entry is Vegetarian Cannibal - thought-provoking to the point of shocking, Vegetarian Cannibal is a riveting character study of a ruthlessly amoral gynaecologist aided by a society that prefers not to look too closely. The film will be screened on Saturday 29th September at 1pm, and Saturday 6th October at 9pm.
Slovenia has several entries at the festival, including The State of Shock – a film set in 1986 Communist Yugoslavia where socialist worker Peter falls into a shock-induced catatonic state after winning ‘Worker of the Year’. 10 years later he awakens to a radically different world, where everything he once knew is now history. This will be screened on Friday 28th September at 3.30pm, and Sunday 30th September at 5.45pm.
Shanghai Gypsy is a love story a love story about four generations, narrated by gypsy king, Lutvija Belmondo Mirga, whose business goes bad after the downfall of Yugoslavia. He must decided whether to protect his own family or sacrifice his personal happiness for business ambitions. Screening on Tuesday 2nd October at 8pm.
Good Night Missy tells the tale of Hannah and Sam, a young couple with a house, a wonderful daughter and well paid work. Then the comfortable family routine starts cracking because of lies, a lack of trust and jealousy… Showing on Thursday 4th October at 1.15pm and Saturday 6th October at 8.30pm.
Serbia’s entries include Loveless Zoritsa (joint with Poland/Cyprus and Greece), which is being screened on Friday 28th September at 5.45pm and Monday 1st October at 3.15pm. Is Zoritsa a serial killer or just a girl bearing an extraordinary curse?
The Practical Guide to Belgrade With Singing and Crying (Serbia, Germany, France) is a contemporary romantic comedy about the trials of finding the right person – told through four completely different love stories. Showing on Saturday 6th October at 6.15pm.
All films are to be shown at the Apollo Piccadilly Cinema (19 Lower Regent Street, SW1Y 4LR) in Central London You can book tickets either online on the Apollo Cinemas website or by calling 0871 224 0242.
Full details about the festival and a listing of all films to be screened can be found at www.raindance.co.uk.
Raindance Film Festival
26th September – 7th October 2012
19 Lower Regent Street
In just under a month’s time, the much talked about Museum of Broken Relationships from Zagreb will be presented at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden, London. Winner of the Kenneth Hudson Award for the most innovative museum in Europe in the European Museum Awards 2011, the Museum displays items donated by people from around the world that symbolise or have had significant meaning in a past relationship.
This summer, the exhibition will be displayed in two venues in London – at the Tristan Bates Theatre and at 38 Earlham Street, both in Covent Garden – and will feature objects from the permanent collection, as well as new donations. The Theatre has also commissioned several artists to create original work inspired by items donated meaning that the exhibition will also be accompanied by some wonderful events featuring music, visual art, drama and interactive live exhibits.
Artists featured will include, amongst others, Booker Prize-winning novelist and poet Ben Okri; agony aunt, writer and broadcaster Imra Kurtz; Zimbabwean-born vocalist and musician Eska Mtungwazi; the Guerilla Dance Project, who mix inventive choreography with social interaction; story-makers Firehouse Creative Productions; and photographer Peter Bennett.
Events taking place during the exhibition’s run include a special First Date Night, with the exhibition open only to couples to their first date; a Ceilidh; Midnight Puppetry; an Outdoor Cinema Screening and much more.
As mentioned above, the Museum is looking for new donations to add to this summer’s exhibition. A unique opportunity to be part of the award-winning exhibition, you can find full details of how to donate here. Donations will be accepted up to 8th August, with select items put on display. Items will be displayed anonymously and cannot be returned.
The exhibition will be open Monday to Saturday 10am to 10pm, and on Sundays 10am to 5pm. Tickets cost £3.50, and are valid for repeat visits within one week of purchase.
Full details of the Museum of Broken Relationships at the Tristan Bates Theatre can be found at www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk/Production_Details_museum_of_broken_relationships.asp.
Tristan Bates Theatre Presents The Museum of Broken Relationships
15th August – 4th September 2011