Saturday, 28 January 2023

Pula Arena as an Exclusive Wedding Venue on Harper's Bazaar Cover

January 28, 2023 - No one can resist the imposing charm of the Pula amphitheater. There isn't a performer who doesn't want to perform in it, and as the situation is developing, there isn't even a millionaire, especially an Indian one, who wouldn't want to get married under the Roman arches of the Pula Arena.

So writes Poslovni, and the reason is a recent cover by the world-renowned women's magazine Harper's Bazaar, which was shot in the Pula Arena this spring.

The cover is adorned by a beautiful Indian newlywed couple. For that occasion, the Pula Arena was lavishly decorated, and the combination of two cultures made it look like a fairy tale, which, after all, is the goal of every wedding.

With this, Istria, known as a wedding destination, raises the bar and opens up to a new market with a high paying power, writes Glas Istre.

Many wealthy Indians look for unique locations for their fateful "yes", inviting 200 to 300 of their family and friends who like to spend lavishly, enjoy good food and expensive things and, in accordance with the times, stay in five-star hotels. So, this is about five-star weddings - that is the conclusion of the person responsible for the realization of the whole story, Velka Šuran. She is the owner of the company Weddings in Istria by LF and LF catering, a kind of brand in the organization of events and weddings, and the person who is behind this fantastic worldwide media success.

The Glas Istre journalists caught her for a chat with her American colleague and business partner Erica Jones, an interior designer for weddings and the best florist for Indian weddings who arrived to Pula from Boston. They are already making arrangements and preparing for another luxurious wedding that will take place this year, to be held in spring at the Pula Castello. She also took part in the realization of the Indian wedding, as did Pervez Taufiq, a famous American musician and the owner of a luxury wedding recording company who is also responsible for the editorial in the Pula Arena that ended up on the cover. Harper's Bazaar devoted several pages to Velka and Pervez.

Just as big events use big machinery in the Arena, so do preparations for a big wedding. Global production - the models were the Indian celebrity couple Monica Vaswani and Anthony Gomez. In addition to the famous wedding photographer Pervez Taufiq, his team also includes Joy Strotz, who publishes in Glamour and Vogue, among others. There was also the American Denise Lillie O'Neal, a wedding planner for Indian weddings. Local forces were also involved in the project - such as BelIstria, Florami, Tea Makeup, flower shop Leona. The tourism boards of Istria and the city of Pula, as well as the Cluster of Southern Istria, participated in the implementation of the project. In addition to Pula, the shooting took place in Motovun, Rovinj and Brijuni.

The serious story about Istria as a wedding destination, however, began with the visits to the DWP Destination wedding planners congress. In 2016, in Florence, Velka came into contact with the world's wedding organizers and received valuable information on how to create a destination for weddings. She began to apply her knowledge in Istria, and in 2021, at the DWP congress in Rhodes, Greece, representing Istria, she captured American wedding planners who recognized Istria as a new "hot spot", i.e. a new destination for weddings. It was a significant moment, because until then the wedding industry in Croatia had taken off seriously only in Dubrovnik, where spectacular weddings of world celebrities were organized, as well as a number of "normal" weddings of foreign tourists, especially Irish and British.

Her goal, just as it was then, is to develop this highly valuable tourist product and bring Croatia and Istria closer to wedding organizers from all over the world.

"My goal was to connect a colleague from Istria with the wedding industry from around the world. With our offer in Istria or Croatia, we do not deviate much from the rest of the world, and in terms of equipment and services, we are close to the trends. At the same time, we also have advantages, which is that we are still an undiscovered destination, kind of exotic. When I showed them the Arena and told them what I would like to do", they were delighted, she recalls.

"Secretly, since we started this project, we aimed for the pictures to appear on the cover, because when Taufiq saw the location, he freaked out and said that it would end up in a big newspaper, and he knows what he's doing," she said, revealing that Taufiq is a kind of rock star who has in a short time become the best videographer of Indian weddings, with Netflix filming a documentary about him.

With this move, Istria is opening the door to a new clientele with high paying power that we have not had the opportunity to see here so far. This means that weddings are becoming an important economic segment in Istria. No, the story doesn't stop there. A DWP (Destination wedding planner) congress is also in the works, which would bring 300-500 of the best from the world of weddings to Istria. Bride Looks, which gathers designers and wedding planners around the world, is also interested and could bring wealthy clients.

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

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Gladiator To Be Screened In Pula Arena On 24 July

ZAGREB, 21 July 2022- The International Sound & Film Music Festival (ISFMF), which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, will mark the 22nd anniversary of Ridley Scott's historical masterpiece Gladiator in the Pula Arena on 24 July.

The film Gladiator will for the first time be screened in the only place that truly deserves it, in the Pula Arena, one of the largest and best-preserved amphitheatres in the world, the festival's organisers said.

One of the most awarded film artists of all time, sound designer Scott Millan, winner of four Oscars, six Emmys, four BAFTA awards, as well as numerous other awards, will come to Croatia for the first time to attend the festival. Millan has worked on films such as Schindler's List, Braveheart, Apollo 13, The Whirlwind, The Passion, The Bourne Identity, James Bond: Skyfall and others.

Millan was awarded an Oscar for his work on Gladiator and will be presented with the ISFMF Lifetime Achievement Award in Pula.

"This is truly a big thing for the film scene in the entire region, especially considering the fact that a person with so many honours has never before officially visited Croatia," the organisers said.

The event is taking place under the motto "Once in a Lifetime". The festival's artistic director is Ozren Glaser, and the executive producers are Marijana Knezoci and Željko Glaser.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Pula Music Week to Take Place on 30 June to 6 July

ZAGREB, 28 June 2022 - Everything is ready for the seven-day Pula Music Week, when some of the world's best DJs will perform in the Pula Arena from 30 June to 6 July, the organisers and city authorities confirmed at a press conference on Tuesday.

Speaking on behalf of Pula Music Week, which is organised by some of the biggest music promoters - ALDA and Insomniac - Baggi Begović said that the details of Pula Music Week are more or less known and that fans can expect top-notch entertainment with some of the most popular electronic music performers.


Image: Pula Music Week/Facebook

"We will have a chance to see a techno line-up that has not yet been seen in Croatia," said Begović, adding that Pula is becoming an unavoidable location for electronic music fans from around the world.

Mayor Filip Zoričić said that Pula needs events like this that bring benefits in economic, tourist and cultural terms.

The festival opens with a performance by South Korean attraction Peggy Gou, followed by performances by Bosnian-German DJ Solomun, British production duo Disclosure, Tale Of Us, Boris Brejcha and Charlotte de Witte.

On the last day of the event fans will be able to enjoy a performance by Black Coffee, this year’s Grammy winner in the category of best dance and electronic music album.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Could Pula Arena Become Host of Fight Nation Championship This Summer?

May the 21st, 2022 - Could the stunning Pula Arena become the backdrop of the Fight National Championship or something very similar in future?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, on Wednesday, the first man of the Fight Nation Championship, Drazen Forgac, and Matej Filipcic, the director of marketing and martial arts promotion, visited Pula, local portal Glas Istre reports.

The kickstarter was a conversation with city's leading names in the company of Zelg Galesic, the coach of the Pula Trojan, and the reason was the desire of the organisers of martial arts events who are continuing to break all ratings records in the entire region, to hold something similar in the Pula Arena.

The date of September the 3rd has been set, and since the City of Pula gave its full support to the event behind which American investors are ready to invest a lot of money in the organisation to make the Pula Arena look spectacular that day, we should expect official confirmation of this event to come in soon.

On the sporting side of the matter alone, it would definitely be a hit, because through several editions of ''Gladiator Fight Night'' in Pula and Medulin we could see precisely how many freestyle wrestling fans there are in this area, and with the Fight Nation Championship as a strong support, it would all rise together to another, much higher level.

Quality fighters would perform in the unique ambience of the ancient Pula Arena, and an additional lure for visitors would be Daniel Bazant. The member of the Pula Trojan should have his first defense of the Fight Nation Championship lightweight champion's belt in Pula, which he won two months ago in Zabok by defeating Brazilian Rony Mariano Bezerra.

"If the Fight Nation Championship comes to the Pula Arena, Bazant will certainly perform, and his opponent will be a well-known face from martial arts. I wouldn't want to come out with the name of said individual because the contract hasn't been signed yet and so far everything has only been agreed orally, the only thing I can say is that he is a former UFC fighter,'' said Zelg Galesic, revealing that Bazant will not be the only ''Trojan'' in Pula's fight card.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 10 March 2022

First Time in Croatia: Tame Impala at Pula Arena on August 17!

March 10, 2022 - One of the biggest concerts in Croatia this year has been announced - you won't want to miss Tame Impala at Pula Arena on August 17! 

For the first time in Croatia, the Australian band Tame Impala, which revolutionized rock with its new sound, will perform at the Pula Arena on August 17, 2022.

Tame Impala is a psychedelic music project by Australian multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker. In his studio, Parker writes, records, performs and produces all the music of the Tame Impala project. On tour, Tame Impala consists of Parker (guitar, vocals), Dominic Simper (guitar, synthesizer), Jay Watson (synthesizer, vocals, guitar), Cam Avery (bass guitar, vocals), and Julien Barbagallo (drums, vocals).

Tame Impala won the BRIT Award for Best International Band in 2016, and in 2021 they were nominated for Best Alternative Album - “The Slow Rush” and Best Rock Song for Song - “Lost In Yesterday” at the Grammy Awards. This was their third Grammy Award nomination in the Best Alternative Album category, and they were previously nominated with “Currents” and “Lonerism.” “The Slow Rush” was also nominated for two Billboard Music Awards and the American Music Award (AMA).

Tame Impala has headlined numerous festivals in recent years, including Splendor in the Grass, Coachella, Primavera, Lollapalooza, ACL, and many others. In addition, Parker is one of the most influential musical voices of the last decade. As a writer and producer, Parker has collaborated with The Weeknd, Travis Scott, SZA, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Kanye West, Kali Uchis, Theophilus London, Miguel, A$AP Rocky, and many others.

“The Slow Rush” is Tama Impale’s fourth studio album. The album continues a series of great releases from the 2010 debuts “Innerspeaker,” “Lonerism” in 2012, and “Currents” in 2015. Released in February 2020, it has already collected over 1.3 billion streams. Reaching #1 on the charts of various countries, it was their highest-rated album to date in the US and the UK with 14 top 10 positions in the world. “The Slow Rush is an extremely detailed work,” writes Pitchfork. "I'm amazed that all the music and lyrics are exclusively Parker's work, every guitar chord and every turn of the knob he made."

Ticket prices range from 300 to 550 kuna and go on sale on Monday, March 14, 2022, at 11 am. Tickets can be purchased on Eventim. Ticket prices are 550 HRK for the loggia, 500 HRK for the floor, 480 HRK for the grandstand, and 300 HRK for the lawn. The ticket limit is 4 per order.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

From Sting to The Cure in Zagreb: TCN Meets Concert Promoter Nick Hobbs of Charm Music

January 16, 2022 - TCN spoke to Nick Hobbs of Charm Music Croatia, a concert division of the Charmenko group in Eastern Europe organizing the biggest shows in the country this year - from Sting to Arctic Monkeys and The Cure. 

If there is one thing Croatians can be excited about this year, it is a stacked concert calendar, which is more than welcome after two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the return of music festivals on the coast, Croatians are particularly looking forward to three massive shows this year announced at the end of 2021 - Sting at Arena Zagreb, Arctic Monkeys at Pula Arena, and The Cure at  Arena Zagreb. 

TCN spoke to the man responsible for making these gigs happen - Nick Hobbs of Charm Music, a concert division operating under the Charmenko group of companies specialized in international music organization.

How did you get into promoting concerts?

It's a long story. When I was 23, I organized an Italian tour for Henry Cow, and I promoted one of the shows myself. They asked me to be their manager.

I moved to London, and a year later, the band split. I carried on working with them on offshoot projects, then I moved to Stockholm for a year and worked for a promoter as their international buyer. Then I moved back to London and joined Rough Trade in about 1985 as an artist agent for their roster outside the UK. I then started managing David Thomas and Pere Ubu and some other acts and gradually, over the years, developed an interest and contacts in Eastern Europe. By about 1995, EE was my main work, so it has been since. In 2003 I moved to Istanbul.

Tell us about Charmenko and Charm in general. What are some of the biggest acts on your roster? 

I can’t remember when I came up with the name, but it was maybe around 1990. It was just me plus a small crew of London-based staff for a long time, and we worked from my home in Brixton. Now we have our own offices in Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, Czechia, and Poland and clients all over EE. We also have our own roster of artists that we represent more or less worldwide.

I’ve worked with many big acts over the years, but off the top of my head...

George Michael
Ed Sheeran
Elton John
David Bowie
Lou Reed
Nick Cave

and many others.

Really exciting concerts were announced in Croatia this year, from Sting to Arctic Monkeys and The Cure. How are the interest and ticket sales so far? Do you expect sellouts?

We expect Sting to sell out, Arctic Monkeys are already sold out, and we hope The Cure will sell out; they’re a great live band!


Croatia is not always viewed as a desirable destination for touring musicians, as many acts choose other cities in the region. Why do you think that is? 

It's a small country…and the further south you go into the Balkans, the more straggly concert possibilities become. Anyway, the Balkans are much more developed than they were 20 years ago. So the trend is positive - as long as Bosnia doesn’t fall apart - we hope not!

What difficulties have you encountered when promoting and organizing shows in Croatia? 

Mostly no special difficulties and generally we’ve not had disasters in Croatia and, with one minor exception, the clients we’ve worked with have always paid us - that’s nice. One particular difficulty is that Serbia and Bosnia aren’t part of the EU. Once they become part of the EU, all kinds of opportunities will open for Croatia too. Borders are stupid, just like nationalism is. 


Charm has announced concerts in Zagreb and Pula - anything planned for Split or the Dalmatia region? If not, why?

Zagreb is the capital. Pula has the arena. I’ve done shows in Split; not easy to make them work financially. Usually, provincial shows with international artists rather depend on municipal support for them to be viable. Split is also further from Slovenia, which is an overlapping market with Zagreb and Pula.

What would make promoting and organizing concerts in Croatia easier for Charm Music?

I hope we will develop our own office further. In the end, the concert business depends on ticket buyers. My own wish is for us to be able to work with more left-field artists, but we worked with Terra Neo, for example; it wasn’t a commercial success. Better connections with venues and municipalities would be good, too.


What else can we expect from Charm in 2022?

There's a lot of great music around that we'd love to promote but selling enough tickets to cover the costs is very, very tricky and very, very risky. So we have lots of discussions internally, and we have lots of ideas. 

Learn more about Charmenko and Charm Music Croatia.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Arctic Monkeys at Pula Arena Announced in August 2022!

November 16, 2021 - Arctic Monkeys at Pula Arena will be one of the biggest shows in Croatia next year! The famous English indie band will perform at the preserved Roman amphitheater on August 16, 2022. 

Arctic Monkeys, one of the world's most influential indie rock bands, will perform on one of the world's most unique outdoor stages next summer - the Pula Arena! The golden four from Sheffield will take the stage on August 16, 2022, organized by Charm Music Croatia, Vigna PR, and AND Production.

The Arctic Monkeys started a musical revolution by becoming one of the first bands to gain fantastic popularity thanks to the internet. Their debut album is the fastest-selling debut album in UK music history, they have won seven Brit Awards, and their witty lyrics and raw energy make them one of the best contemporary rock bands in the world. Frontman Alex Turner is also well-known in the music world as a solo artist and for his side project and English supergroup The Last Shadow Puppets, where he acts as co-frontman alongside Miles Kane. Turner is a record producer as well. 


The Arctic Monkeys are thus returning to the stage for the first time since the Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino tour, which ended in 2019. This will be their 7th world tour after releasing six studio albums, the first of which was released in 2005. 

Arctic Monkeys are planning several selected concerts in the middle of summer next year, in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Turkey, and Bulgaria. Pula thus made the cut for the list of chosen destinations.

Tickets for the Arctic Monkeys at Pula Arena go on sale on November 24 at 10 am via and at Eventim sales points. Ticket prices for the following categories are box 559 kn, ground floor 499 kn, grandstands 479 kn, lawn 299 kn.

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

Saturday, 22 May 2021

Pula Arena Muay Thai Spectacle: Battles Return to the Roman Amphitheater Today!

May 22, 2021 - A Pula Arena Muay Thai spectacle will be held inside the famous Roman amphitheater today! 

Glas Istre reports that today, the Roman Amphitheater in Pula will become the center of spectacular fights in Thai boxing. In the main, evening program, renowned fighters from several countries will fight, while in the daytime, the younger age groups will fight in the Croatian Championship and measure their strength around noon.

In the evening, spectators will be able to attend the five most interesting finals of the Croatian Championship, both men's and women's in the category up to 65 kg. The final four tournament of fighters up to 73 kg, however, comes with even more incentive, as the winner will receive a trip to Thailand, where they will be able to train twice a day with local fighters, have a paid fight against one of them, and enjoy free food and accommodation.

Senad Ramakić, Denis Vojniković, and renowned Istrian fighter Teo Mikelić are part of the organizational team, and the president of the Croatian Thai Boxing Association, Mario Franić, also commented on today's fights.

"We also visited some of the clubs that operate in Istria County; we are very pleased with what we saw. All that is happening in Istria is a big step in the development of Thai boxing. And the Croatian championship in the Arena itself will be an unprecedented spectacle and an important criterion in choosing a national team to go to big competitions. Everyone has a chance, and only the best will be in the national team," said Franić.


Although the citizens of Pula are still used to watching him inside the ring, this time, Teo Mikelić found himself organizing the tournament. 

"Pula really deserves this, and we are proud. The organization was harder than we expected, yet the Arena is outdoors, and we’re still not sure if it’s going to rain. In addition, one fighter from Serbia was forced to cancel his performance today; he was not allowed to enter Croatia at the border and had to return. We had to find another fighter at noon, but luckily we managed to combine something. That fighter will have to correct his weight a bit, as he has a bit overweight but has enough time available.

Organizing really isn’t a joke; I think it’s a lot easier to fight than to organize a tournament! Still, I think everything will be fine if time is on our side. In case of rain, our alternative was the Home of Croatian Veterans, but we spoke to various meteorologists and, as things stand, it should not rain tomorrow after 10 am. The ring is folded and covered with a tarpaulin," Mikelić said and continued:

"The event was supposed to start at 10 am - we have about seventy registered fighters, which would mean that the first part would end after about six hours, so around 4 pm. A break of four hours is to follow, until 8 pm when the main program of the evening begins. This way, we will start with the first part somewhere between noon and 2 pm, and then without a break or with a short break, we will continue with the main part of the evening," Mikelić said yesterday at the House of Croatian Veterans, where the fighters officially weighed.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

To get more news about sports in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 23 April 2021

KSW Pula Area: Biggest European MMA Organization Looking to Host September Spectacle

April 23, 2021 - The KSW Pula Arena event is scheduled for September 4, bringing Europe's biggest MMA fighters to the world-famous arena. 

The leader of the Polish KSW, the strongest European MMA organization, visited Pula and the world-famous Pula Arena. A martial arts spectacle should take place in the Roman amphitheater at the beginning of September, which was revealed to by Martin Lewandowski. 

"I was here 20 years ago; my wife reminded me of that. When I saw Arena, I said it was my dream to bring KSW here. Then, honestly, I forgot. But my two associates came up with the idea."

After months of negotiations, September 4, 2021, was confirmed as the date. 

"We want to spread the KSW brand here in Croatia and make an event every year. This place is unique. There used to be a gladiatorial arena, and I think fights have to happen here."

KSW performances are viewed in more than 200 million households. It will be a new big promotion of Pula and Croatia.

"We have a great signal range, not just television but streaming. We are known for the quality of matches and production."

Roberto Soldić and Antun Račić are already big stars of KSW, but Lewandowski wants to promote other Croatian fighters.

"I came here to establish a connection between Pula and KSW; if we succeed, we will come every year."

Lewandowski even tried to persuade Nova TV expert co-commentator Zelgo Galešić to an exhibition fight.

"He is stubborn. He disagrees with me on that, but he wants to participate in the organization," revealed the first man of KSW.

The host Zelg Galešić revealed how the cooperation came about.

"I presented the Arena to them before, which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful stages and the only true stage of martial arts. It would be a shame not to bring one MMA event here, especially at that level. Those stories have been going on for two years now, and because of the pandemic, they are now watching the open spaces. That's how the Pula Arena came in as the perfect stage for that." 

"It will tour all the front pages of all media in the world," Galesic said.


Monday, 11 January 2021

Pula Arena as It Once Was: Stunning 3D Animation of Roman Amphitheatre

January 11, 2021 - Pula Arena dominates the city's centre these days, but how impressive was the Roman amphitheatre in the past? A stunning 3D animation of the Roman era.  

It is almost 8 years since my first visit to one of Croatia's most interesting and versatile building, the Pula Arena in Istria. 

The year was 2013, and the Croatian National Tourist Board invited me to cover the opening night of Outlook Festival, which was being held in one of the world's largest remaining Roman amphitheatres for the first time. 

The concert was just one of the innovative uses by the Pula authorities of its considerable heritage, as I reflected in my article for a Canadian Google News portal in Preserving heritage through tourism: The case of Pula in Croatia.

Leonard Cohen, Joe Cocker, Sting and a host of other global stars would grace the Pula Arena, and it was also the scene of some quite unusual sprting events, including a football match with Bayern Munich veterans, and even an ice hockey match. 

Reminders of its former use were introduced by the tourist board, as gladiator fights became a popular spectacle during the season. 

An impressive building today, but wondered how it must have looked during the era of the Roman Empire. 

Help is at hand, in the form of modern technology recreating the heritage of the past. 

Yesterday, we featured a wonderful 3D animation by Stipan Ujgur of life in Dubrovnik before the devastating 1667 earthquake, which you can view here

In today's feature of Stipan's work, we head even further back in time to Pula during Roman times, when the Pula Arena dominated the city skyline even more than it does today, giving not only an insight in how the arena stadium looked, but also what the warren of rooms and corridors below the surface were used for. 

For more features on Pula, follow the dedicated TCN section


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