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Balkan Trafik: a music festival at a cultural crossroads


le mag

Balkan Trafik: a music festival at a cultural crossroads

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Now into its eighth year Balkan Trafik is a music festival with a difference.

It showcases groups from the Balkans and Eastern Europe, and is not to fussed about which era the music is from.

The group Imam Baildi gives a jazz and rap make-over to some folksy old-school numbers.

The band’s drummer, Lysandros Falireas believes their style has a cross-cultural appeal.

“I can listen to a British pop or Indie piece of music and find myself moved even though I am not British. Similarly, I think a Briton or an American can listen to Greek music because they can find something in there. It brings with it a history and a feeling and atmosphere which is global because all the countries are experiencing similar situations.”

What is nice about the festival is the mix: major international artists perform alongside the Balkans’ very own living legends.

They pump out an eclectic range: Roma music, militant rock, soul wrenching jazz, electronic music.

One of the highlights of this year’s festival is Dhakra Bhraka, a Ukrainian group that has become synonymous with the protests in Kyiv’s Maidan Square.

Dhaka Bhraka has experienced incredible success. The lead singer, Marco was on the front line of protests from the first day.

“We are searching for an identity that is European and Western,” says Marco. “At the same time, we are also searching for our own unique place both geographically and culturally.”

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