Blesok no. 28, September-October, 2002
The third edition of the (just finished) New Age and World Music Festival, unfortunately, passed in the manner of the unexpected low interests from the audience, that practically shouldn’t be a sign that the Festival didn’t succeed in its intention to animate the cultural public in Skopje and Macedonia. Real, or… Probably, if we have in mind the partial redundancy in the program with the previous years (Djivan Gasparijan, Ross Daly), the reaching for the artists of our closest neighborhood that were (in relatively short period before) already performed in Macedonia (Makis Ablianitis), bands which came as an absolute unknown names for the wider circle of the contemporary music lovers
(Raznotravie), the (un)announced cancellations (De Phazz, Ursula 1000), then, the picture is complete. And there is nothing blurry about it. There were even cases where DJ-s of quite quality, as Ludovic Lorca and Nikola Conte (who, as typical representatives of the music named as „electro-jazz“) to play (perform) in front of the minimal number of visitors, that left an incredible bad impression.
So, it came out that Harem, with over 1000 visitors at the Skopje Fair Stages, is one of the rare bands able to awake the curiosity of the Skopje audience (after their performance, their albums are the “most wanted” in the Skopje’s music stores). To little for the expected and wanted big music happening. Anyway, after the previous two editions of this Festival, so were (with every right) the high ambitions of the Festival Organization, what’s completely normal.
One can see the same thing recalling the bombastic announcements before the New Age Festival, the distributed press materials and CD-s with the albums of the bands-participants, the extraordinary web-site of the Festival… and all that under the label of the International Music Festival happening. Especially this, if we know the pre-history in which, unfortunately, the last-year’s cancellation of the Festival because of the war conflicts that were going on in the country, must be included.
And what came up at the end? The attempt to grasp the Festival’s continuity is, with no doubt, is done, but… in the air, the indolent attitude of almost everybody toward this happening with its own tradition and history remained to hang in the air. The reasons for this row of events maybe could be found in the fact that the New Age Festival partly happened simultaneously with the Parliamentary Elections in Macedonia, the high price of the Festival tickets, (700 MKD, which is quite much), and in the overloaded event schedule here (is there a single day in the week when there is no some DJ or other music guest in Skopje, not to mention the number of Festivals and their participants?). And we mustn’t forget the trend-suggestibility of the Macedonian Capitol’s audience.
Anyway, in this situation, after the closing of the New Age Festival, it would be best and most appropriate if the Organization would “shake” the program and get back to the primary idea of a different Festival of the world music. This, on other hand, would understand the search for the more adequate and more intimate (let’s say more “art”-like) space for the Festival stages, smarter promotion of the Festival into a place for the music happenings, besides its basic designations…
And what’s of most importance, is that the New Age Festival shouldn’t (the people that pledged their authority and professional integrity, even their own means to realize it) yield down now, in spite of everything, or to make any haste decisions. Finally, in a place as Republic of Macedonia that numerously repeated the proclamation how much it holds onto its own music language devotedly adoring the quality implementation of the modern sounds over the ethno bases of the national ancient music sound, and at the same time with the high respect for the neighbors and all of the others that posses and cherish the same things at their tradition, a Festival like New Age Festival is really needed.
That’s exactly why we couldn’t believe (and we don’t want to) that all those who are interested and respect this kind of offer – somehow vanished somewhere!? Probably they just need time and faith for their „awakening“. But, sooner or later, that will come true.
Any different solution would be fatal. For everyone. It would be of use only for the pirate merchants, who, selling the falsely-glamorous side-products of pulp editions of domestic, or even worse – of foreign piracy productions, know how to sneak their hands in your (more or less) already empty pockets.
Moreover, nothing else but that.
That’s why – the faith. Today. And especially in the future. Some things to be risen above the simpleness – needs a great patience, but to be destroyed – only a single moment is required.
We hope that…
Translated by: Petar Volnarovski