The party is back: the Balkan summer festivals are back
Most countries in the region have not completely lifted their COVID-19 restrictions, only allowing concerts if attendees have a negative PCR test or proof of having been vaccinated.
For some festival fans, summer 2021 brings bad news, as some popular festivals have been canceled altogether.
Romania allows an unlimited number of vaccinated people to attend festivals. A big electronic music festival returning this year to Romania, UNTOLD, which has been postponed for about a month, will now take place from September 9 to 12. Organized in the Transylvanian city of Cluj, UNTOLD attracted more than 375,000 participants in its last edition in 2019.
The organizers of another major Romanian festival, Neversea, held in the port of Constanta on the Black Sea, allow the use of tickets purchased for 2020 and 2021 for future editions. The event has been postponed for a second consecutive year. The organizers decided not to move the festival to the fall, saying this would have “compromised” the nature of the festival.
Istanbul in Turkey will host the 28e Istanbul Jazz Festival from September 1 to 24 in open spaces such as parks and squares, with 40 different concerts.
Montenegro currently applies some of the strictest sanitary measures. Public gatherings are only allowed up to 100 people, while protective masks are mandatory indoors and proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test is also mandatory, the health ministry said in late May.
As a result, only one international music festival will take place in the country, in the resort town of Budva. Organizers rescheduled the Sea Dance Festival from August 27-29, but did not provide a list of potential artists. Tickets already sold, accommodation and transportation for last year’s edition will be valid this year, organizers said.
Lake Fest, a regional music festival in the town of Niksic, has been suspended.
Similarly, since mid-June, Serbia has put in place protocols for its main festivals, organized within the United Festivals of Serbia group, only allowing entry to people who have been vaccinated or have a PCR or antigen test. fast negative.
The Arsenal festival was held in the city of Kragujevac from June 24-26 and, according to local media, more than 23,000 visitors showed up. A member of the organizing team, Maja Cvetkovic, said about 6,000 participants passed a rapid COVID-19 test, the Fonet news agency reported.
The famous Sertbia EXIT festival will be held as usual from July 8 to 11 in Novi Sad, while three more festivals are also expected to be allowed.
But the annual Croatian rock and indie music festival INmusic has been canceled again, and the next one will take place on June 20-22, 2022. “The fight against the coronavirus, an unprecedented force majeure event of our time, proves more difficult and persistent than expected, ”said the organizers.
Ultra Europe, an outdoor electronic music festival that takes place annually in the Croatian coastal city of Split, also made the same decision, postponing the festival from July 8 to July 10, 2022.
Albania will also host the Turtle Fest, dedicated to electronic music, at the end of July, on Drymades beach. However, there is no information on any restrictions that may apply to the festival.