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New Orleans, 29 August 1920

A few streets away from the stairs of an abandoned building, in front of which musicians were gathering, a well-known musical theme of saxophone and contrabass was heard. The citizens knew the time of the gathering of the musicians and were going out on purpose and listened to young artists who were more and more numerous every time. People admired the art of improvisation, so much that the rhythm was making them dance. Flapper girls made everyone enchanted by their dance. When they noticed that there were more and more people, they decided to walk and play simultaneously. Their improvisations attracted so much attention that they moved to concert stages.

Novi Sad, 29 August 2019

Almost hundred years later, the spirit of Dixieland became alive in Novi Sad, at the 19th Street Music Festival. Under the Petrovaradin Fortress, for three days of the Festival, jazzers, street artists, films, dance groups, friends of the Festival and hundreds of citizens of Novi Sad passed through.
The traditional opening parade of the festival, which started at the Liberty Square, was led by an old-timer and Italian Tinto Brass street band. Girls with pearls around their necks, with short hairstyle, Dixie dresses, knee-length leggings and eyes painted in kohl were dancing with Dixieland on the road to the City.

“The topic of this year’s Street Music Festival was 1920s because we are step away from 2020 which marks one hundred years since 1920. Those years marked a milestone in society and passed new great freedoms, such as a free woman. Within an inch of 2020, we wanted to remind ourselves about how life used to be, what music used to be like, what the atmosphere at the streets and sidewalk used to be at the time when jazz was in the making. The idea was to go back to those years and make time alive in the City”, Natali Beljanski, the head of Street Music Festival says.

During the three days of the festival, at the main stage, we had the chance to dance Charleston with the music of the amazing Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra. Then the emotionally charged rock ‘n’ roll of Autopark, Artan Lili and Žagar raised the energetic wave which moved the numerous audience; on the third day, there were engaged, fun, (auto)ironic hip hop duo Who See and world-known but our doyen of clubbing culture Gramophondzie. Chronologically speaking about the music genres which could have been heard during those three days, we can conclude that each of the genres and styles is current and co-existing regardless of the decade which it marks, which is actually the nature of the Street Music Festival which has been inclusive for all generations and lovers of good music and fun from the very beginning, which makes it one of the favourite festivals of Novi Sad.

“I have come to hear the street artists and see the atmosphere. The topic if this year’s festival is amazing and I think that is something that young people miss and this is an amazing way to bring this music closer to people. I like the connection of the topic of the festival with the origin of jazz, which originates from the streets”, Jovana Filipović, one of the Festival visitors says.

For two years, European Youth Capital supports the work of the Inbox organization which is behind the Street Art Festival, and especially the effort of the organization to provide young musicians with the opportunity at the Festival. “The program is interesting. I like jazz and I listen to it during my free time. I am glad that I had the opportunity to dress like this, in the style of 1920s. Novi Sad definitely needs more cool festivals and music like this. I follow the activities of OPENS and I visit them gladly. I am very satisfied with the selection of activities, I am interested in many things and I think Novi Sad has become the city of young people”, Milica Veljković, a visitor of festival says.

During the second night of the festival, there was space for the scene of alternative domestic rock whose best representative is Artan Lili who attracts the attention of young people by its
rebellious lyrics and unusual melodies. “It is our pleasure to perform at this festival for the first time and we hope that will become tradition. This is a well-known part of the city to everyone and the party tonight will be great. I expect a lot of young people in the audience and we hope they will like our music. Young people need alternative scenes as much as it requires but it is good to have a choice and that there are as many artists as possible in order to spread the culture sphere and for everyone to get what he/she wants to hear”, Bojan Slačala, a member of Artan Lili says.

Next year, there will be hundred years since the origin of jazz, and Street Music Festival made an amazing introduction in the upcoming jubilee.

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OPENS program in Novi Sad for years selflessly shares and supports youth energy. Whether it is through the festivals, sport activities, education or activism the strength of the youth is

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