Dragacevo Brass Festival (Guca) - AKA the Serbian Woodstock. Together with EXIT, this is the best-known Serbian festival in the West. It is also primarily a music festival but really much, much more, and it also takes place outside Belgrade, in a small town called Guca. And that's where the similarities end.
Guca is a festival of traditional Gypsy trumpet music (fans of Kusturica's films and Goran Bregovic's music should know it well) and all the havoc that normally comes with it in Serbia - endless quantities of alcohol, enough grilled meat to feed armies, and wild dancing. Definitely an unforgettable experience of a whole town becoming one big party, but not everyone will be able to last the whole week of it.
Belgrade Beer Fest - Definitely one of the things you should try not to miss. An around-the-clock celebration of beer and good times, Belgrade Beer Fest combines a great location with friendly prices, a great crowd of all ages and backgrounds, a good music program and, of course, outstanding beer. The Beer Fest rocks for a whole five days in mid-August. There is no entrance fee and the 20+ brands of beer cost less than anywhere else. Come during the day to enjoy a cold beer in the sun with family or friends, and come at night to rock'n'roll. We warmly recommend the festival. Click here to learn more information on Belgrade Beer Fest
Summertime Jazz Festival - An annual celebration of jazz music with performances typically by many international stars, usually in late June - early July. It takes place in Belgrade's Sava Center.
Belgrade Jazz Festival (Beogradski Jazz Festival) - The Belgrade Jazz Festival is usually held in the last week of October, in the Youth Cultural Center (Dom Omladine, Makedonska 22) and other places in Belgrade (last year it was in 4 different places). Along with gigs of numerous international visiting musicians, the festival usually includes a midnight program, jam sessions, photo exhibitions, a film program, and jazz workshops.
Belgrade Guitar Art Festival - A five-day international classical guitar festival held every year since 2001. GuitarArt includes practical classes and theoretical lectures held by worldwide masters of the instrument, exhibitions, a competition of young guitarists, concerts from 8PM every evening, and a midnight guitar art cafe every night from 11PM to 3AM.
Belgrade Music Festival - Held usually in October, the BEMUS covers various classical music concerts as well as operas, choirs, presentations of traditional music, and children's workshops. Music lovers should try not to miss at least some of the events taking place within it.
Belgrade Cello Fest - an annual event for cello fans, held in early July. It includes master classes as well as concerts of world-famous cellists.
Ring Ring - An international festival of New Music taking place in May each year for the past ten years. Bands from all over the world play variations on traditional music with a popular twist, and the result is usually very cool. The festival is commonly held in two or three venues and lasts for several days, with very affordable tickets available either individually for each night or in a set for the whole festival.
We were asked to explain turbo folk too many times, so we'll spend a few lines here giving you a brief description of this phenomenon.
The term itself was devised in the early 90' by Rambo Amadeus - a popular comedian - singer - showman. He used this expression as a joke describing his peculiar music which combined different sounds and styles. Later, when asked about his contribution to Turbo Folk, Rambo responded: I feel guilty for turbo-folk exactly as much as Albert Einstein felt guilty over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Turbo folk was born in the early nineties in Serbia, and today it represents one of the symbols of the era of isolation and social, economic and cultural devastation of Serbia. The first turbo-folk hit was Ivan Gavrilovic's 200 na sat. Its sound represented a commercialized version of Serbian folk music from the 70's and 80's, with a combination of techno and traditional music flavored with some Middle East sounds. It is very simple music, with fast rhythms and generally very poor singing. Turbo folk videos are always flashy, with big-bosomed bleached blonds, cold-clad thugs, and as many insignia of wealth as possible.
Fortunately, turbo folk is virtually extinct nowadays and most of the aspiring successors are much more pleasing to the ears and eyes. The unimpressive form remains the dominant association for Serbian music and is still very popular in the region. On the other hand, traditional Serbian music, dominated by brass, string instruments or accordion has a very distinctive style is well known all over the world.