This Year’s Gradić Fest Is Over: The Lower Town Has Shown Its Full Potential
Numerous new concert attractions and artistic attractions of various kinds, with some summer rain, marked the last evening of this year’s Street Musicians Festival – Gradić Fest. The total three-day turnout was 35, 000 people, who enjoyed the beauty of the Lower Town’s baroque ambience enlivened by diverse performing arts.
A first-rate concert attraction of the last evening was the performance by the ensemble “Pinocchio Joins the Orchestra in the S.TR.E.E.T.”, made up of young musicians and their teachers from Portugal, Italy and Serbia, and headed by Aleksandar Carić Car, the originator of the symphonic approach to street performance. A little later, on the Main Stage, the visitors had the opportunity to see a different kind of attraction: the performance by Sana Garić, with her strong percussion section and undoubtedly high-quality urban dance sound, which has many fans in Novi Sad. Unfortunately, the long awaited sensation for all ages, the performance by the French band The Wackids, was cancelled because their music equipment was lost in plane transport.
During the three days of the festival, theatre fans had the opportunity to see two hit plays by Reflektor teatar from Belgrade – the play the troupe performed yesterday, “Muškarčine”, very directly dissects the current perception of manhood in this region. During a short period of rain, the musicians took shelter in the passages of the Lower Town, where numerous informal jam sessions ensued. In these moments, the most exciting atmosphere was created at PROSTOR, where the local musicians joined the brass players from the Italian band Bandakadabra and made a show to remember. Immediately after the rain had stopped, the Italians showed that they are unparalleled masters, and their performance truly marked this year’s Gradić Fest – in less than five minutes they made the entire audience in the Beogradska Street rise to its feet and then took it for a walk in the rhythm of their music.
After the rain, the program continued according to plan, and the audience enjoyed a wonderful performance by Aleksa Danić, the youngest performer at this year’s Gradić Fest, who plays the acoustic guitar and uses various blues techniques so unbelievably well that people who listen to him can’t help but smile. The last attractions of the festival were the great performances by Ice Cream Man, Moussaka and MKDSL, while the unplanned program at PROSTOR was closed by Vedran Ferizović, who performed a set of local music themes in ethno-jazz manner.
During the three days of this year’s Street Musicians Festival, the Lower Town of the Petrovaradin Fortress shone again with a special light, enlivened by a high-quality cultural offer and freed of traffic, the closure of which was a successful three-day experiment. The realization of such a future, when this part of the town could be a pedestrian zone with a high-quality artistic content, requires engagement and additional efforts from all those who are interested, first and foremost, from the art scene and the residents of Gradić themselves. By opening the creative center PROSTOR, the Street Musicians Festival has made a big step towards the continuous work on the revitalization and strengthening of this baroque locality.