Thursday, 1 September 2022

Festivals in September to Look Forward to in Croatia

September 1, 2022 - Autumn in Croatia is possibly the most beautiful time of the year. The air begins to cool down, leaves begin to turn brown, life returns from the beaches to the streets. One of the bast parts is the festivals in September that take place all over Croatia, from Ilok to Dubrovnik.

Journal lists seven out of many festivals worth visiting. These events will take us on a cultural journey along and across Croatia. 

Split Film Festival

The International New Film Festival will be held in Split from September 1 to 9, 2022. After last year's 'online edition', this year we will have the opportunity to watch films live again in the Karaman cinema. The twenty-seventh edition of the festival will once again show films in the feature and short international competition. The audience will have the opportunity to get to know the new films in the Croatian program, and a detailed overview of all screenings is available here.

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Milan Sabic / Pixsell

Dimensions Festival

On Thursday, the jubilee 10th edition of the Dimensions Festival starts, with which we traditionally say goodbye to the summer at The Garden resort in Tisno. The famous electronic music festival takes place from September 1 to 5, and for its jubilee, a real treat of a line-up is coming. You can check it out at this link.

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Dusko Marusic / Pixsell

Ogulin Fairytale Festival

This traditional cultural and tourist event will from September 9 to 11 make Ogulin a center of entertainment, good mood, fairy-tale creativity and a cultural program for children, youth and adults. This is an ideal opportunity for the whole family to spend quality time together and go to some of the festival scenes around the city with appropriate names - Regoč, Đulin vrt, Neva Nevičica, Stribor, Potjeh, Kosjenka and Domaći (characters from the fairytales of famous Croatian author Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić). The detailed program of the festival can be found here.

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Ogulinski Festival Bajke

Four River Film Festival

Karlovac will host the 15th edition of the Four River Film Festival from September 6 to 10. It is an international festival intended for high school films. Along with it, the 27th Youth Film Festival will take place, which will feature works created by young people aged 14 to 20. The festival program can be found here.

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Kristina Stedul Fabac

Vinkovačke Jeseni (Autumn in Vinkovci)

September also brings the 57th edition of Vinkovačke Jeseni. Our tradition will shine in full glory from September 9 to 18, when the sounds of the tamburica will resound in Vinkovci, and the gathered guests will have the opportunity to see what lies beneath the golden Slavonian sun in early autumn. Detailed information about the event celebrating traditional culture is available here.

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Dubravka Petric / Pixsell

Goulash Disko

From September 14 to 18, the island of Vis will host a special music festival - Goulash Disco. It is a festival that gathers artists who can be classified under the heading of underground music. In the description of the festival, it is pointed out that it combines "positive music, virgin nature and collective incredibleness". You can check the program of this year's edition of the festival here.

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Zeljko Lukunic / Pixsell

International Puppet Theater Festival – PIF

The impressive 55th edition of the International Puppet Theater Festival will be held in Zagreb from September 16 to 22. During the seven days of the festival, we will have the opportunity to enjoy twenty professional and amateur puppet theaters and troupes, which perform shows for children and adults. The entire program of the oldest and largest international puppet theater festival in Croatia is available here.

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PIF

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Travel section.

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Has Croatian Festival Tourism Made a Successful Comeback?

August the 31st, 2022 - Has Croatian festival tourism made a successful post-pandemic comeback? The organisers of music festivals across Croatia and the region can breathe a sigh of relief given what they've experienced over the last two years.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, festival organisers got to see the end of the summer season without any new closures due to the pandemic, all announced and planned large and small festivals took place. The global geopolitical situation didn't stop partygoers from Croatia's immediate region and the rest of Europe, including British guests who had available low-budget flights, crucial for the realisation of traffic. Croatian festival tourism is a huge, lucrative business that generated around 4.5 billion kuna in revenue in the years before the pandemic struck, and is an important base for the development of tourism in destinations such as Pag and Tisno.

Precisely how the Croatian festival tourism industry fared this year, and what the biggest challenges in terms of the organisation and implementation of all of the events were, from inflation and price increases to staffing challenges, will be discussed at the beginning of September at the second edition of the Croatia Beach Music Conference, which will be held from the 7th until the 10th of September in Novalja on the island of Pag. The conference will be held under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, with the support of the Croatian Association of Employers (HUP).

This year, international experts and organisers of successful festivals, well-established and popular ones, as well as younger and promising electronic music performers, production teams, publishing houses and all lovers of musical beats will be present at the CBMC stage.

"The CBMC's goal is to gather people from the music industry in one place, especially those focused on the Croatian festival tourism and club scene, where they will be given the opportunity to exchange new information through networking and sharing experience with their colleagues from all over the world. The main guiding thought is that with the quality of the speakers and the solutions that our lecturers will convey to the participants, the conference will gain a reputation and status among its target group, and thereby include Croatia as one of the leading places in Europe when it comes to events like this,'' pointed out the main organiser of the conference, Ivan Jokic, the co-owner of the famous Noa Beach Club in Zrce.

One of the topics of the conference will be how much music festivals contributed to a successful tourist season and media promotion at the global level.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Saturday, 20 August 2022

24th Špancirfest Varaždin Kicks off Expecting 300 Thousand Visitors

August 20, 2022 - Another Špancirfest in Varaždin has kicked off. This year's is the festival's 24th edition, and the organisers are expecting three hundred thousand visitors.

As Poslovni reports, On Friday 19th August, the 24th Špancirfest began in Varaždin, which is one of the longest-running Croatian summer events. Over the space of ten days, it brings more than five hundred programs, concerts, street performances, plays, dance and other contents, reports HRT.

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Photo: Matija Habljak (Pixsell)

The soul of Špancirfest, which will last until August 28, are the street performers who will come to Varaždin this year from all over Europe. The street performer list is made up of mobile performers, among whom there will be drummers, costumed performers, stilt walkers, etc.

The musical part of Špancirfest will offer its audience a diverse program on four main and several smaller stages on the streets and squares of the historic core of the city. An essential part of the Festival is the theater program at Villa Bedeković.

Director of the Varaždin Tourist Board, Jelena Toth, told Hina that more than 500 different programs will be held as part of Špancirfest in the next ten days on the outdoor stage of Varaždin's historic city center. The program is diverse and expects a large number of visitors. Toth reminded that last year the official number of visitors was 230 thousand, and in 2019, before the pandemic, it was 300 thousand.

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Photo: Matija Habljak (Pixsell)

"We hope that this year we can approach the figure of 300 thousand again. Of course, a lot depends on the weather. We really did our best to organise Špancirfest, to equip the space, and to design quality content", said the director of the Varaždin Tourist Board, noting that the only thing that is not within their control is the weather.

All festival programs will be held outdoors, while tickets only need to be booked for the programs at Villa Bedeković.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not?! Festival Announced

August 7, 2022 – September in Croatia is just the most beautiful time. For the best possible experience, in Virovitica-Podravina County they decided to make it wine month. Wine Not?

According to Press 032, the most anticipated wine event Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not!? will once again gather lovers of wine, fine snacks, unique environment, art, and untouched nature on the famous Noble Route. The festival was announced in Orahovica, in the Patkoš boutique winery on the slopes of Krndija and Papuk.

The pink nocturne in noble dress in the unique Janković Castle on September 3 is the best introduction to as many as six exclusive wine events. A completely different experience awaits wine lovers on September 11 at a picnic in the beautiful Jankovac park forest of the Papuk Nature Park. Wine and art will be discussed on September 17 at Wine&Art in the Pejačević Castle in Virovitica, and on September 22 it’s all about Graševina in Dravska Priča in Noskovci. On September 24, a wine marathon will be held in Orahovica, followed by Wine and Poetry on October 1 in the Interpretation Centre – Petar Preradović's House.

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Pexels (Taryn Elliott)

“I am extremely happy that after last year's events, more winemakers want to get involved in this beautiful story. Three criteria are decisive for the selection of wines to be tasted at the six wine events – top quality, all wines must be from the area of ​​Virovitica-Podravine County and, of course, they must be available on the market”, noted the well-known oenologist Ivana Nemet, ambassador of the event Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not!?

“In recent years, Orahovica has been developing in the direction of wine tourism. In our area, the green Silvanac produces excellent results, and we have become known in the wine world for that variety. I am happy that in addition to the famous PP Orahovica winery, we also have beautiful small boutique wineries with excellent wines that attract an increasing number of wine lovers to our city”, said Saša Rister, mayor of Orahovica, at the presentation of this year's manifestation Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not!?

Martina Jakelić, director of the Virovitica-Podravina County Tourist Board, which in cooperation with the local tourist boards organises the six wine events, pointed out that this year's manifestation brings together important points on the Noble Route.

“For everyone who wants to be a part of this beautiful wine story, it is important to note that the number of places is limited, the registration fee for participation per event is HRK 100, except for the Wine Picnic in the Jankovac Forest Park, which will cost HRK 150, and the registration fee includes the rental of a picnic basket for two people. Registration forms and more information about the event can be found on the website of the Virovitica-Podravina County Tourist Board”, said Martina Jakelić.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 4 February 2022

Adriatic Festivals to Return With Higher Prices Following Stagnation

February the 4th, 2022 - Adriatic festivals up and down the Croatian coast are set to make a return, albeit with higher prices included, following two years of painful stagnation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and its accompanying restrictions on gatherings.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, although they still have some reservations about the continuation of the global coronavirus pandemic and the issue of limits being placed on things such as international travel, and there are even more worries about inflation, the organisers of music festivals in Croatia seem to be relieved after two seasons of pure stagnation.

Adriatic festivals are set to return, and the famous Zrce already has a record booking with the return of some old and some new projects, Ultra is preparing for this year in Split and on the Dalmatian islands, Sibenik's Martinska, which last year showed impressive resilience to dire circumstances, is preparing for the summer and some new cooperation, and some Garden Resort festivals are already sold out.

Although only time will tell if the party business will return to the tracks off which the pandemic forced it back in 2020, optimism is currently high when it comes to Adriatic festivals in 2022.

Ivan Busljeta, the owner of the Papaya club on Zrce, is making no attempt to hide his sense of optimism. The most famous location of the entertainment industry in the entire country has been alive for the last two years with guests from across Croatia and the country's immediate region, without the usual international audience and the festivals that used to put this place firmly and at the very top of the Adriatic festival map.

Everyone missed the British market in the first place, which is crucial for the entire festival scene whether it be regarding guests or business partners, and the opening policy for travel now announced from the United Kingdom for the coming summer is an important stimulus.

"All of the old festivals are returning to Zrce this year, we start on May the 15th and the season will last until September the 15th. We'll start with the Zrce Spring Break festival, which brings 5,000 people to Novalja, the English festival Hideout with 15,000 visitors, then Sonus, the largest techno festival with 15,000 guests. At the end of June, the Fresh Island will return, and we have new partners from England who will also bring us several thousand people.

So, the numbers are phenomenal at the moment and I hope that the current narrative will be maintained, that all of the epidemiological measures will cease in the spring and that the novel coronavirus will be treated as a cold or flu and we will live a normal life again,'' Ivan Busljeta hopes.

In that light, Ryanair’s announcements are good, and reservations continue to be record-breaking for the low cost Irish airline. At the same time, enterprises working on Zrce are happy with Novalja's plans to invest more cash in local infrastructure, from a new marina and reception port to more roads, which is the basis for further investments in other facilities.

"There are new investments in 4 and 5 star accommodation, camps, a lot of private villas are being announced and realised, which could encourage the development of new segments of tourism on the island of Pag, for which there is a lot of potential. Just as Zrce still has a lot of potential for development, in which we have great support from the local community, the whole destination has the potential for the development of sports, adrenaline, gastronomy and even family tourism,'' said Busljeta.

What is worrying is the situation surrounding inflation and the rising prices of just about everything, which will spill over into the prices charged for varying services in all segments of tourism, from accommodation to catering and hospitality to basics like transport.

Although ticket sales are currently in the early bird phase, final festival ticket prices as well as other ancillary services are likely to rise, in order to maintain the viability of the business, especially after two years of stagnation.

Vedran Meniga, the co-owner and director of the company Positive Rhythm, one of the pioneers of the festival business in Croatia, is still looking forward to the next season and for Adriatic festivals to hopefully make at least a semi-normal return.

In addition to the famed Martinska location in Sibenik, Positive Rhythm, in partnership with Garden Resort, organises festivals in Tisno, and this year important anniversaries of their events are being prepared. The current state of reservations looks good, but Meniga also cautiously remembers last year's relaxation just before the summer.

“Although we strive to maintain the same standard at this early stage of ticket sales, we're part of the rest of the world as well and it's logical that we;ll have to adjust to prices as time goes on. We're also continuing to work in uncertain circumstances, although at the moment the situation looks better than it did last year. Still, let's remember that at the beginning of last summer there was an optimistic announcement from the British market, and later that all changed. In addition, the policy of adopting anti-pandemic measures in Croatia last summer worked against event organisers, we had to cope with the adoption of measures overnight, there were double standards, which is why last year was more stressful for event organisation than 2020.

Due to all of the above, we still have valid reservations, because we're aware that for sustainability, in addition to the local audience, we need foreign guests,who buy tickets in advance and plan a full trip. That said, we're currently working on Plan A, as if everything was normal, but we're ready for Plan B, depending on the situation as it unfolds,'' explained Vedran Meniga.

It's worth noting that Positive Rhythm was declared a possible world record holder in the number of festival and club events held in the two pandemic years behind us, with more than 10 thousand visitors in 2020 alone.

All six Adriatic festivals will be held on Martinska again this year at about 50 percent of the capacity from back in pre-pandemic, record 2019, with the 20th edition of their festival Seasplash and the tenth edition of Regius set to take place. The Slurp Festival will host a small overseas collaboration, for which the campaign will start in a couple of weeks, in addition to which the punk festival Kanal Fest, Membrain and Blast Fest are expected.

On top of the above, the Garden Resort in Tisno will be hosting the Outlook Festival, for which the first performing names have been announced this week, with tickets starting to be sold this Friday, while Dimensions is due to take place as ''normal'' in September.

Due to cost-effectiveness, Brexit and even the coronavirus pandemic, these Adriatic festivals eventually transformed into smaller ones, but apart from the local audience and the expected return of the British tourists and business partners, guests from distant, non-European markets such as America and Canada also showed interest.

For more on Adriatic festivals up and down Croatia, check out our travel section.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Festival Showcases Female Animation Authors

September 29, 2021 - The Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Festival online event presents Croatia with thirteen female animation authors who talk about gender inequality and other issues of the modern world.

Online event hosting obviously gained momentum during the coronavirus pandemic, as going out became risky for public health. The advent of the vaccine has seen Croatia slowly but steadily returning back to public event hosting, but there are some exceptions. Maybe it's the extra precauiton due to Croatian vaccine scepticism, or maybe just the possibility of less expensive organisation and more potential for attending regardless of your location on the map, but some events have remained online.

One such event is the Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Festival, a Vienna Film festival described by Culturenet as the only animated film festival focused on female authors. Organised by the Vox Feminae feminist news portal and the Austrian Culture Forum (AKF), the festival is being streamed on the websites of the organisers until October 10, making this an official (but only online) visit of the festival to Croatia. 13 short animated movies are selected for the online screening.

''From gender equality to digitalisation, from human and workers rights do social, economic and ecological issues, the Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Festival questions social and political reality from the feminist art perspective, pointing out social inequality in a new and innovative way,'' describes the Culturenet website.

The festival usually occurs on March 8 to commemorate International Women's Day. TCN is also no stranger to writing about noted women from Croatia's history or about current issues with gender equality, on March 8 and of course on many other days too.

The authors whose short animated work the festival presents are: Maya Yonesho, Susi Jirkuff, Ani Antonova, Rebecca Akoun, Veronika Schubert, Sabine Groschup, Beate Hecher i Markus Keim, Billy Roisz, Kathrin Steinbacher and Anna Vasof.

The films showcased are subtitled in English, making the event approachable to non-Croatian speakers too. As the 2021 edition is in progress, the plans for the 2022 edition are already ongoing. Interested female authors can apply for their work to be shown by October 4 this year, and the 2022 festival screening is scheduled from March 9-13 in 2022.

''We're proud to be able to announce a new award: The Maria Lassnig Golden Film Reel for outstanding animation will be awarded for the very first time in 2022. Sponsored by the Maria Lassnig Foundation, it is worth 10,000 euros and will be awarded annually. An international expert jury will select the winner from the films shown in the International Competition of our festival,'' announced the festival's official website.

The award, named after Maria Lasnig (1919-2014), who was a pioneer of experimental animation and one of the first women in the German-speaking world to be appointed to a professorship in art, shows this valuable festival is here to stay.

Learn more about Filming in Croatia in our TC guide.

For more about culture in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Zagreb Subversive Festival 2021: Progressive Films and Discussions in October

September 28, 2021 - The Zagreb Subversive Festival 2021 will present movies and discussions on alternative, progressive solutions to burning global issues throughout October.

After the iconic Kino Europa (Europa Cinema) in Zagreb's centre closed down (despite huge support for it to remain, as well as protests), many cultural festivals that called the venue their home weren't sure where they would continue their cultural programmes.

However, many programmes successfully moved on, and the Zagreb Subversive Festival is no exception. The 14th edition of this progressive culture event is making a return to Zagreb and will last from October 3-23.

The Tuškanac Cinema, the Cultural Informative Centre (KIC), the Prosvjeta Serbian Cultural Centre (SKD Prosvjeta), and the Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography joined forces to host the programme. Additionally, the online Volimdokumentarce.net (Ilovedocumentaries.net) programme will live stream online for those unable to attend the events in person.

''The Zagreb Subversive Festival 2021 is a multi-disciplinary platform inside which political theory and film join forces to shake up the status quo, identify the aesthetic of resistance and nurture a more radical approach to film, theory, and practice. We're interested in the potential transformation of our neoliberal daily lives, and the role art and culture could play in this endeavour,'' writes the official website of the Subversive Film Festival.

The festival began back in 2008, marking the 40th anniversary of 1968 global protests, and since then, it has evolved into one of the most important progressive festivals in the region. The festival is split into two sections: The Subversive Film Festival and the Subversive Forum.

The film part showcases movies that deal with topics of social injustice, social change, women's and minority rights, LGBTQ+, student and workers' issues and movements, as well as post-colonial heritage. The screenings also have a competitive nature due to the ''Wild Dreamer'' Award for the best feature, documentary, and short film categories.

The Subversive Forum portion of the festival holds conferences that present ''tools for the deconstruction of the offered normalised story about the world'', as well as the articulation of a possible alternative reality and its foundation.

Noted international movie directors, philosophers, social scientists, and activists such as Oliver Stone, Toni Negri, Slavoj Žižek, Michael Hardt, and many others have attended and participated in the Zagreb Subversive Festival over the years.

The 14th edition has a central topic, ''A Post-COVID Democracy: The Ethics of Fight and Solidarity Poetics'' and thirty movie titles are confirmed for the programme, which will be filled with exhibitions, lectures, and discussions that will stretch throughout the month of October.

Learn more about Zagreb in our TC guide

For more about culture in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Fiumare Festival, Rijeka Boat Show Open

ZAGREB, 24 Sept 2021 - The ninth Kvarner Fiumare festival of the sea and maritime heritage and the Rijeka Boat Show, featuring nautical and boat equipment, opened in Rijeka on Friday.

The Fiumare festival, taking place at several venues in downtown Rijeka, will be open until 29 September while the Rijeka Boat Show will run until 26 September at the Caroline of Rijeka pier.

The Rijeka Boat Show's theme is "The City is the port, the port is the city", and visitors can see new small vessels made in Croatia as well as world brands and nautical and fishing equipment.

"Rijeka's potential has been recognised by the world's largest groups - the attractiveness of the marina in Porto Baroš has been recognised by the Lürssen Group, the world's biggest producer megayachts. The Zagreb Pier future container terminal has been recognised by Maersk, the largest shipping company in the world. That means that in the next three to four years, Rijeka will definitely change its face as seen from the sea," Mayor Marko Filipović said.

The Fiumare festival will feature lectures, exhibitions, interactive workshops, rowing demonstrations, presentations of historical events and a fair of autochthonous products from the Kvarner region.

For more on travel, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

72nd Edition of Dubrovnik Summer Festival Kicks Off

ZAGREB, 11 July, 2021 - The 72nd of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival began on Saturday evening at the traditional ceremony which included the hoisting of the festival's Libertas.

The ceremony was addressed by Mayor Mato Franković who, among other things, spoke about the importance of freedom.

In attendance at the ceremony were Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Josep Borrell, as well as some of the guests who had participated in the Dubrovnik Forum earlier in the day.

This year's festival will run through 25 August, and its programme includes over 60 plays, concerts, dance and folklore performances that will take place at a dozen venues,

The budget of the 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival is nearly HRK 8 million, which is HRK 1.5 million more than in 2020. The festival's own funds, including revenues from sponsors, donors and tickets, account for 30% of the budget.

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival was founded in 1950. Unique ambiance of indoor and open air venues of the historical City of Dubrovnik makes a perfect stage for many theatre, music, opera and dance performances during the festival.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

European Short Story Festival to be held in Zagreb, Hvar and Vis on 6-11 June

ZAGREB, 16 May, 2021 - The 20th European Short Story Festival will be held on June 6-11, and the event will be held both online and live in Zagreb and on the islands of Hvar and Vis.

US authors Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, Lydia Davis and Lorrie Moore will discuss this year's festival topic, "Islands", with Croatian authors.

The festival has so far taken place in Osijek, Beli Manastir, Hvar, Zadar, Rijeka, Split, Dubrovnik, Pazin, Varaždin, Šibenik and other cities.

"We are exploring topics that are more relevant than ever - what kinds of isolation are we faced with and how do we overcome separation in a post-pandemic world? Is travel really necessary? Is technology a cure for loneliness or does it contribute to it? Is each one of us an island and what are the new languages the human need for closeness is beginning to express itself in?" reads an announcement of the festival.

In addition to online sessions with the four US authors, the festival will also feature live meetings with a number of regional and domestic authors.

The festival is organised by the Croatian Writers Society, with the help of the Culture and Media Ministry, the Zagreb City Office for Culture and partner cities, as well as a number of cultural institutions and foreign embassies in Croatia.

For more news about events in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more news about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

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