InMusic Festival 22.06.// Barutana 24.06.// Arsenal Fest 25.06
Beside electronic music scene which is my priority and main subject of my reviews, here and there I will also insert some of the happenings, concerts, events of the other music genres, which I visit during my odysseys. I will always do my best to convey the vibe, atmosphere and my personal feeling. There are lot of great and interesting things going on both in Serbia and in region and of course in the world so why would I put the walls and limit myself on just one musical content.
Early in the morning I got a call from my friends who asked me if I want to join on a road trip to 11th InMusic festival which was held in Croatia on Jarun lake in Zagreb. Main purpose of this trip was a concert worldwide rock star PJ Harvey, who during every year chooses only 5 to 6 locations to present her performance, so I really felt privileged for this opportunity. InFestival’s lineup stays in the circle of rock music but as every other music style, it has it’s width . Beside PJ Harvey, other headliners were Skunk Anasie (who unfortunately canceled because of health issues) and Florence + The Machine, who were the day before so I missed it but hope that I will catch them on some other event. Because of some car issues during the road trip we got to the venue just on time for the act of this very special woman and her band, who are ruling the scene from 1988. PJ Harvey is multi-talented artist and beside that, that she is famous vocalist, she also plays a guitar and wide range of other instruments, she is also a songwriter, writer, poet and composer. Performance was really magnificent, with her outfit she looked a bit like an elf and the energy with which she was splashing from the stage was on the one hand very calm but on the other, super strong. She was ruling every millimeter of their performance. It would be stupid to even mention how the band sounds and their production, because these kind of professionals deliver only the best of the best quality.
When concert ended I went to look around rest of the festival who had very interesting visual identity. As always I will point out the things that catch my eye the most. Across the main stage was huge circus tent in which was very cool light with disco ball to fulfill the whole picture and If you ask me, this is the perfect stage for some electronic music, not because I am a fan of it, but because it really is.
The heart of this year’s InFestival edition was a Tesla Tower which was built as a special tribute to two unusual and creative genius Nikola Tesla and David Bowie in which, in addition, for its uniqueness, pulled a share fascination with a universe and cosmic energy. When you look at the tower exterior it was really an embodiment of Tesla and from the inside a full circle was covered with video screens on which were projecting all the great roles from David Bowie’s great life. Of course the whole pleasure was fulfilled whit lovely and dearest songs of this very fond artist. You could feel the super positive energy from the all of the people who were hanging out in Tesla Tower, looking around themselves almost without breathing and fully enjoying.
There was one very special detail which I liked on the festival and that was randomly located illuminated sentences with verses of famous singers and songs.
The thing which I would gladly add that misses on InFestival is some other musical genre beside rock. I have noticed that lot of the people left after the concert of PJ Harvey and that was for sure because it was the third night of the festival so the people were mostly feed hanging out during the first two days on it. So, throwing in some other music genre for sure would keep more crowed on festival’s ground and also it would be great to refresh the festival.
That Friday night I have decided to visit my favorite location in Belgrade, Barutana and cut a bit overemphasized techno. I have to and I want to bold out that I am a techno kid and from the Belgrad’s famous 1st underground club Industrija until the end of my time, techno will be always my first choice, but now days in Serbia, techno as music and as a word became so popular that it suffocating. Even when it’s not techno everybody likes to call it techno because that apparently magical word opens to all the doors in nowadays local clubbing. That night inside the walls and Barutana’s DJ booth was Nick Fanciulli who is, to be honest, not a subject of my usual musical interest but because of that, all over techno sound, I wanted to hear something else and I am glad I did. Fanciulli is known for his house, tech house sound, which is for my taste a bit commercial, but still underground, I don’t mean commercial commercial and from that reason I never had listened to him before. This time Barutana wasn’t over packed, but as one friend of mine said, it is nice when you have your space to dance, it was really just right. The craziest thing is that I liked the music, Nick played mostly tech house and in some points he turned into some progressive (and to be honest, progressive is one of the genres that I really don’t like) but this kind of progressive I liked because it was darker and with its depth, all that together has sounded really cool and it was a perfect measure for fine dancing. That whole night went unexpectedly good with all of that, that I liked the music.
The city of Kragujevac is well known for good parties and great hospitality which they have proven once again. I went to see the last night of Arsenal Fest and it’s Explosive DJ stage on which, among the others were performing Battric & Mivu b2b Rick Maia and after them Dejan Milićević b2b Marko Milosavljević b2b Lea Dobričić. I hoped into the party on the time of triple b2b of Battric & Mivu and Rick Maia and it was just as it should be, boys took turns playing minimal tech house which sounded great and which was totally expected. Sound was calm but with a perfect flow and both, the audience and DJs, all together were having a good proper fun. Battric & Mivu are almost the only local artist that pushes this kind of a sound in Serbia and they have a good group of their followers which is for a sincere respect.
I was listening to the boys for a bit but I was very curious about other happenings on the festival so I went to look around. To be honest I really liked how everything looked together, with all the stages and sponsors corners, everything was very interesting. Beside Explosive stage of course I really liked Garden stage which delighted me with his location, he was like in some garden with all the trees and greenery and it had a really nice vibe. Some of the performers on this stage were Dža ili Bu and Mortal Kombat, which is totally out of my musical interest but I really had a good time being on that stage with all of the really cool crowd singing all the songs on that cozy place. Other zone, on which I had fun as a real teenager was one sponsors corner where was table football for 6 person…what a madness, of course right away I asked unknown players to join the game and I even made one score. It is really cool when you have those kind of events where you can have serious fun with total strangers. After looking around, I came back to Explosive DJ stage. Considering this very stage I found it very sweet and Petrovitz Yugoslavia who was in charge of it made us really comfortable but the thing I would like to criticize the organization is that they could invest a bit more money in this stage. As I saw whole festival I had known that they put money into both main and garden stages but for Explosive they hold on. No matter of that, we ravers, don’t pay much attention on that when s a great vibe and party in stake. When Dejan Milićević, Marko Milosavljević and Lea Dobričić started, stage was packed and in some points it was really too hot but it didn’t disturbed the atmosphere nor on the dance floor nor on the stage. We had an opportunity to listen to this triple b2b before, but this time it had a special energy, all three of them clicked together and had great fun during their performance which reflected to the crowd.
I went home to Belgrade but most of the people continued with an after party which was held on a local swimming pool and as I have heard it was a hell of party also. All praise to Kragujevac and I really believe that this time with this great parties, Explosive stage have earned a trust of the organizers to invest a little bit more for the next year’s event.