Balkan Trafik! It’s been twelve years since this famous festival first started celebrating the cultures of southeastern Europe and their relationship with Brussels, the European capital. This year’s programme proves that the festival is constantly reinventing itself to match the dizzying pace of change in the Balkans.
On Thursday, Candan Erçetin, a Turkish singer of Albanian origin, opens the festival in the magnificent Salle Henry Le Bœuf.
Then on Friday, Balkan Trafik! will let the next generation of artists taking over the cultural and social scene take to the stage. Modernity has arrived in the Balkans in the guise of an urban music explosion (discover more with The Urban Project) and the voice of protest shared by groups such as Dubioza Kolektiv, a famous Bosnian group known for their militant lyrics. Other participants express their modernity by reinventing and reviving tradition, like the Belgian group Wata Wata, the singer Eda Zari and her amazing musicians, or the legendary Hungarian group Mitsoura.
The following day is devoted to traditional music and dances, the common thread linking the multiple cultural identities of the Balkans. The day will see a string of great names performing, including the Greek singer Savína Yannátou who will take us on a journey through the magical world of Salonica, and famous Romanian band Fanfare Ciocărlia, who are as comfortable in the world of folk as they are playing jazz.
You will discover some real cultural gems, some of which feature on UNESCO’s list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, such as Albanian iso-polyphony, Martenitsa bracelets (celebrating the beginning of spring), polyphony, and the traditional Kukeri carnival in Bulgaria. Bulgaria will be in the spotlight, thanks to musicians and dancers from the prestigious Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts of Plovdiv.
Don’t miss this latest edition of Balkan Trafik!, a festival which has set the standard high thanks to the quality of its programming. As always, there will be an abundance of music, dance, films, workshops, foods and smells. It is uniquely set up to encourage proximity, new encounters and warmth.