Gradić Fest Has Started: Moreno’s Rhapsody Enchants Thousands of Visitors
Last night, the Spanish pianist David Moreno’s spectacular concert in the air opened the Street Musicians Festival – Gradić Fest, which will last till Saturday, in the Lower Town of the Petrovaradin Fortress, with the participation of numerous artists of various profiles and from all over the world. Yesterday, the Lower Town welcomed more than 15, 000 visitors, who also enjoyed the rest of the program of the first day of the festival, in the brilliant atmosphere and Gradić’s awakened and romantically lit baroque ambiance.
In the early evening hours, the festival’s participants and citizens of Novi Sad gathered in the Square Trg Slobode, forming the ceremonial parade, which crossed the bridge Varadinska duga headed by the Italian brass band Bandakadabra, after which the people continued with the merriment and enjoyment. The several hundred meter long river of people that flowed along the Boulevard Mihajla Pupina was also accompanied by the ensemble Sambansa from Novi Sad and their temperamental percussions, and the Orquestra Creativa from Portugal, playing the recycled instruments of their making and headed by the conductor Aleksandar Carić.
Moreno’s show in the sky above the Belgrade Gate left many visitors breathless, who were equally impressed with the maestro’s virtuosic music performance on two pianos and accordion and with his partner Cristina Calleja’s temperamental acrobatic trapeze dance. One of the instruments, placed vertically at 8 meters above the ground, served as a screen for inspirational projections which completed the love story of two people floating in the air – “Flota dos”. Thousands of thrilled visitors greeted this music rhapsody with spontaneous applauses and a great ovation at the end of the show.
Artists who also gave their contribution to the first day of the festival were one man-orchestra Mark Di Giuseppe, the great harmonica master Moses Concas, and Matko Abramić, an artist well-known to the audience in the Lower Town, who wrote verses based on a word given to him by someone in the audience, which his band then transformed in ready compositions made on the spot. There was also a great demand for a seat in Sol Cinema, in front of which a queue of patient fans of the seventh art was formed, not so much because of the limited number of the seats inside “the smallest cinema in the world” (8 per one five-minute projection) as because of the charming hostess’s announcement advertising “the best cinematic experience of your life”.
Last night, the recently opened creative center at 11 Beogradska Street, PROSTOR, came to life, and it will function as the heart of the festival during Gradić Fest – as soon as today, it will be the place where true creative activities will take place: the conference “Use of Heritage”, and the music-visual performance “Different Trains” by the Quartet Bilitis from Novi Sad.
On Friday, the second day of the Street Musicians Festival, the visitors can expect a far richer program, with more than 30 different performers. The biggest attractions among them are: Svemirko, and Sara Renar, who will both perform on the Main Stage, located close to the Powder Mill “Josif”; and the theatre play “Smrt fašizmu! O Ribarima i Slobodi” by the troupe Reflektor teatar from Belgrade. The novelties at this year’s festival are: Gradić Cinema, located at the beginning of the Štrosmajerova Street and offering a selection of documentaries and short films, as well as the comics workshop “Street Illustrators”, organized by the Student Cultural Center Novi Sad (SKC Novi Sad).
The Lower Town of the Petrovaradin Fortress will be closed for traffic until 2 a.m. on Saturday. Free bus transport from the Square Trg Slobode to the Petrovaradin side of the bridge Varadinska duga is provided for the visitors to the festival.