The world’s most famous trumpet festival – that in Guca, western Serbia, traditionally begins in August – the 52nd gathering is held from August 6 to 12 this year. The sound of Serbian trumpet was something even the famous jazz musician Miles Davis was unable to resist. More from Jelena Gligorić.
The origins of this festival, which was founded in 1961, date back to the early 19th century and the reign of Prince Milos Obrenovic, who ordered the foundation of the first military orchestra at the time. Every year, the festival gathers half a million people, which makes it the world’s third ethno festival, after the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro and Octoberfest in Munich. According to Adam Tadić, the director of the Guca Cultural Centre, the trumpet gatherings are not just a festival, but they also promote original folk and gastronomic heritage of the region. The programme sections have been cherished ever since the festival’s foundation in 1961.
This year’s main stage programme spans four days and includes an international competition of trumpet orchestras, the final competition for the Dragacevo winner and a spectacular concert of trumpeters Dejan Petrović, Dejan Lazarević, Ekrem Mamutović. A midnight concert, one of the traditionally most popular ones, will be held on Friday.
This year’s festival gathers 50 trumpet orchestras from Serbia and abroad. 19 orchestras will be competing for the Golden Trumpet award, while 15 youth orchestras and four pioneer orchestras will be competing in their own respective categories. The international competition for the first trumpet of the world will gather 12 orchestras – from Brazil, Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Slovenia, Macedonia and two last year’s winners from Serbia. More than 1,000 participants will be taking part in the accompanying programmes: folk ensembles, naïve artists, folk story tellers, etc. On August 6, the festival will be opened by famous Serbian opera singer Radmila Bakočević, who was born in Guca.
Free accommodation has been provided for all the trumpeters taking part in the competition for the first time. Half a million guests are coming from Serbia, Republic of Srpska, Macedonia, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, Germany, France, Hungary. More than 300 journalists from all over the world have applied for accreditation – for the first time from Japan, India, Congo and Nigeria.
The Guca trumpet festival represents Serbia in its best light – as a land of merry and hospitable people, which tourists leave with beautiful impressions and a wish to return there soon.