European Union External Action

In Mostar a festival brings together communities

23/09/2021 - 17:24
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The EU and the Mostar School of Rock organised the Open City Mostar Festival, twenty-two days of music, exhibitions and public discussions across the city known for the Stari most (old bridge).

The first edition of the Open City Mostar Festival took place from the 1-22 September 2021, featuring musicians and bands from the city, the country and the Western Balkans region. In parallel with live music, theatre performances as well as exhibitions and discussions were organised across the city.

Via art and culture, the festival gathered artists, youth and authorities to promote dialogue and inclusivity, bringing down barriers dividing communities in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the region.

The event aimed also at supporting culture and tourism sectors seriously affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

All the activities part of the Festival were free of charge, mostly happening in open air. Health protection measures were in place for all the events, in line with local regulations. The City of Mostar cooperated with the organisation of the event and in parallel to it set up open vaccination days.

Context

The Festival took place in the aftermath of the first local elections held in Mostar in 12 years, which was a result of the agreement facilitated by the EU and its partners.

The event preceded by a few weeks the EU – Western Balkans Summit, which will take place in Brdo, Slovenia on 6 October. The Summit is the most important high-level event for discussing EU – Western Balkans relations.

People from the European Union and the Western Balkans share a common history and culture. The European Union and the Western Balkans share the responsibility to build a better common future.

Background on the Open City Mostar Festival

The Festival lasted 22 days, with over 220 performers and Festival’s content creators. Approximately 20,000 visitors attended the activities.

The event included headliner concerts, performances by local musicians and high school students, art exhibitions and theatre play.

The Mostar Symphonic Orchestra and legendary rock star Darko Rundek opened the event. Over the course of three weeks, there were performances by groups such as TBF, Helem Nejse, Laka, Who See, Tonči Huljić and Madre Badessa, Partibrejkersi, Maginifico and others.

Several workshops and discussions were organised such as: “Think Green” workshop with youth discussing protection of environment, “Europe Talking” with BiH artists living in the EU countries and exchanging their experiences, Old Bridge mapping and performances at the Old Bridge and Mostar Theatre CoProduction screening plays with cast from both Mostar theatres to promote cooperation and reconciliation.

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