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Feature 31 Dec 12

Balkan Region Makes Plans for Wildest Night

The capitals in the Balkans are readying to ring in the New Year with concerts, parties and copious amounts of food and drink.

Nemanja Cabric

Hotels and restaurants in Zagreb, Ljubljana, Skopje and Sarajevo are gearing up for a busy time as tourists flock to the big cities to ring in 2013.

From large outdoor concerts in city squares and live performances in clubs and bars, to dining and dancing to traditional music, these cities have it all.


Traditionally most squares in Zagreb stage some New Year celebrations but as always the main Ban Jelacic square is expected to attract tens of thousands of people.

It will be a musical New Year’s Eve in the Croatian capital. On Ban Jelacic, the concert starts at 9pm, when Zagrebacki djecki will kick off the show. Kraljevi ulice, Gubec Quartet and Djani Stipanicev will follow.

The headliners for the New Year’s Eve concert are Yugorock veterans Prljavo kazaliste, who will celebrate their 35th anniversary on this occasion.

Zagreb also offers a lively club scene to ring in the New Year in venues such as Purgeraj, VIP club and Mocvara, where clubbers can enjoy good live music, food, and hectolitres of alcohol at reasonable prices.

One of the biggest parties in Zagreb will be the 10th "London Calling" at the ultra modern Hypo Centre which can accommodate 2,500 revellers.

A host of well-known DJs including Chris Twist, Sheko and Em Bee will provide the hottest beats to guests eager to dance the night away to funk, r’n’b, disco, mash up, MTV, house and club classics.


Celebrations will take place at four city squares in Ljubljana, which all offer different musical styles from both local and international musicians.

The programme of New Year’s Eve concerts at the Pogacarjev trg square will feature pop and traditional folk music from the Rubin Ensemble, France and Korado and Anita & Band.

Lovers of Slovenian popular and classical music should head to Mestni square where popular artists Martina Sraj, Alenka Godec and Elda Viler will ring in 2013.

The celebration at the Kongresni trg square aims to attract people of all ages and tastes and will include performers Soul Fingers, Natalija Verboten and Kingston.

Alternative rock fans should set course for Trg francoske revolucije where Barely Modern, Dead Dildo Drom, Napravi mi dete, Klemen Klemen and Moveknowledgement will perform.


The capital of Macedonia is late in announcing the performers at the New Year celebration on the main square. Some 10,000 people are expected to attend the party in front of the statue of Alexander the Great.

One of the wildest parties in Skopje will be the “Galactic New Year” at the “Boris Trajkovski” sport centre. The organisers announce “many domestic monsters and a special guest from over the seven seas and the seven mountains”.

The party is aimed at “all galactic voyagers, nomads, travellers and cosmic surfers, space tribes and comet riders ... Sun dust researchers and black hole divers”.

The audience will be treated to performances by Kox Box, Frank E, Galactic Explorers, Djantrix, Panda, Konfuzio and Sound Killah and spectacular visual effects.


Like last year, the main New Year’s Eve celebration will take place on the Trg Djece Sarajeva, in front of the BBI centre.

The party will start in late afternoon with Dj performances, while the Bosnian bands Atentat, Blavorsi, Regina, Zoster and Skroz will lead into New Year.

A lot of Sarajevo’s popular clubs will have local folk stars performing, while restaurants in the old town bohemian district of Bascarsija will feature Bosnian sevdalinkas and other traditional ethno music.

The congress hall of the Holiday Inn hotel hosts Serbian band Legende, who will perform romantic evergreens.

The stages are set, now all that is left for revellers is to choose the party or concert that suits them best and prepare for an unforgettable night. 

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