Zagreb Blog

Complete Fiasco of the Project "Summer on the Sava" in Zagreb

By 20 July 2019

There are so, so many wonderful, expertly organised and popular events happening in Zagreb during the summer (and we've written about many of them). And then there's Ljeto na Savi (Summer on the Sava) event, which was planned for last year, got sidetracked, and then re-emerged this year with a sky-high price tag and spectacular failure in terms of the popularity and the number of people visiting the events held there.

Over 11 million kuna (that's more than 1.5 million euro) was invested into the project by the City of Zagreb, and Mayor Milan Bandić kept telling everyone that the project would be a huge success, that it will bring the people of Zagreb back to the Sava river, which they used to enjoy in the sixties and before that, before the river became polluted. Now, admittedly, the pollution is almost completely gone and the river is quite clean again, but the people have not returned. Nor have they for this event.

The "grand opening" of the event was held last week - and almost nobody in Zagreb knew about it.

The public tender for food and drinks and other services was also a complete failure, because not a single company applied, so none were selected. That means - no food, no drinks, nothing near the stage (which cost 11 million kuna and looks nothing like what the plans had envisioned).

The program near Most Slobode (Freedom Bridge) is held every evening, and the benches by the stage are completely empty. The schedule for the events taking place within the Summer on the Sava program have been published on the City of Zagreb's official website, but honestly, after having done some research, that's the only place where you can find it. It's almost as if someone was trying to hide what is happening near the Sava river every day.

The original project was given awards when it was presented to the international public, but what we can see now has almost nothing to do with the original project. The critics keep repeating that an elementary school could've been built and furbished for the money that was spent on this project (or, even more realistically, several old schools could've been reconstructed and refurbished to bring them into the 21st century).

The program of free concerts and movie projections will go on until September the 12th, and hopefully at some point, more people will decide to visit it, so that the money spent on it is not completely wasted.

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