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Balkan Trafik Festival celebrates 15th anniversary with online programme

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By Wolfgang Spindler  & Mark Armstrong
Balkan Trafik performers will be streamed online
Balkan Trafik performers will be streamed online   -   Copyright  Balkan Trafik Festival

A festival celebrating Balkan culture will celebrate its 15th anniversary in a different fashion this year.

The Balkan Trafik Festival, which is held annually in Brussels, will go online with streaming of music, cinema, debates and street art available.

"Out of 10 groups, there were five that were able to come to Brussels. So I hired multi-camera teams to join those musicians in their countries, whether in Moldova, Kosovo, Serbia, or Bulgaria," Nicolas Wieërs, the festival's director, told Euronews.

"The musicians I can bring to Brussels will perform in a super sound studio which has also multi-camera equipment," he added.

This year there is also a mobile app available for people who want to follow the events.

The festival has also changed in 15 years' time -- moving from a celebration of Balkan traditions to a focus on emerging talent.

From April 21-25, there will be debates online as well as musical performances.

"We created social distancing, hiring an expert to organise the workflow and prevent contact between the various groups. It's hypercomplex," Wieërs added.

"It would have been easier for me to give up, everybody would have said: 'Nicolas, it's much better to abandon the festival a second time, you will see next year, keep your money.' But I said no, because there is somewhere this will to stay alive, make something, pay the artists and the teams, that's what motivated me this year."