Home Page
Feature 06 Sep 16

The Belgrade Art of Partying

A local nightclub entrepreneur is hoping to export Belgrade’s famous nightlife culture around the world.

Natalia Zaba
Savic ranks among Belgrade’s best known nightlife Photo: Courtesy of Marko Savic.

Belgrade is considered one of the Balkans’ best places for nightlife. Although the city’s offerings might not always measure up to the world’s highest standards, it’s definitely rich and varied, and available seven days a week.

Now, one enterprising nightlife blogger, concierge and former promoter is planning to export Belgrade’s party expertise to a global market.

Clubber extraordinaire

Marko Savic, 33, started his Belgrade nightlife adventure as a regular clubgoer after finishing secondary school in Ohio and returning to his native Belgrade.

Today, Savic, a journalist and public relations specialist by trade, is not only a clubber, but ranks among Belgrade’s best known nightlife service providers, as owner of the nightclub concierge portal, ‘Belgrade at Night’.

Savic defines a ‘clubber’ as an outgoing person who loves music, dance, laughter, fun and people. A consummate clubber, unlike celebrities who go out just to show off, sees going out as an art.

To celebrate the true art of partying, Savic started a blog, www.belgradeatnight.com, eleven years ago. On it, he shares comprehensive information about the Belgrade club scene and offers various amenities for foreigners hoping to acquaint themselves with the capital’s famous nightlife “in VIP style”.

“Belgrade is a small city compared to an European metropolis like London. That’s why in Belgrade, within one area, you can find a wide variety of nightclubs – reggae, rive, turbo folk, techno, rock,” says Savic.

In his opinion, Serbian capital is unorganized compared to a city like London. On the other hand, there is no segregation in Belgrade: you can find many completely different venues mixed together in a single neighbourhood and changing from one to another only takes a few minutes on foot.

Yet, if only visiting Belgrade for a weekend, it is much more effective to use someone who knows the city well as a guide. Visitors who pay for Savic’s services get personally escorted to the most exclusive clubs, ushered through the long lines without waiting and are given the best tables.

It has happened that groups of between five and ten clubbers even spent thousands of euros per weekend.

But he feels that business could grow even faster if there were more cheap flights from and better connections with Western countries.

“More people would visit Belgrade and many different industries, citizens and the city itself could gain more,” says Savic.

Splavs bring tourists 

Over 782,000 tourists visited Belgrade in 2015, a nine per cent increase over 2014, according to the Tourist Organization of Belgrade. The majority of tourists that Savic sees, except those from ex-Yu countries, come from Greece, Switzerland, Turkey, Norway, Germany, and the United States.

Turbo folk is the main attraction for many of them, Savic argues, adding nightlife tourists are also interested in ‘splavs’, the open-air discotheques situated on boats on the banks of the Sava and Danube rivers.

Nightlife university

Savic also wants to teach others how to provide four-star nightclub service. To that end, four years ago he bought a camera and started travelling around Europe, interviewing the most successful nightclub managers and service providers on their experience and tips for those who see their future in the industry.

Savic found many VIP insiders among the fifty nightlife industry personalities he interviewed. He talked to Madonna’s producer, Neil Mclellan, Armani’s club manager in Milan, Francesko Stragaperde, and Martin van der Ven from Amsterdam’s White Sensation club.

While those insiders offered their expertise to Savic for free, the content is currently locked behind a paid access firewall on his website.

However, he plans to redesign the site and open the content for free for all users within the next few months. He is also planning to launch a nightlife job portal for jobseekers.

“The Internet today requires freedom, and people don’t want to see a paid content anymore. I want to develop my nightlife university idea, and I hope to find a partner who will share my vision,” Savic concludes.

This article was published in BIRN's bi-weekly newspaper Belgrade Insight. Here is where to find a copy.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Premium Selection

19 Jan 18

EU Green Leader Condemns Threat to Bulgarian National Park

The European Greens co-president Ska Keller tells BIRN of her grave concerns for the future of the UNESCO-protected Pirin National Park, after Bulgaria's government approved plans to expand the ski resort there.

19 Jan 18

Vucic Visiting Kosovo to Profit Politically, Experts Say

Saturday's planned visit to Kosovo by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic – following the assassination of Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic – is being seen as a point-scoring exercise.

18 Jan 18

Murder Puts Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue in Doubt

17 Jan 18

How Rich Are the Balkans’ Top Politicians?

Latest News from the Balkans

20 Jan 18

Romanians Resume Anti-Corruption Protests

19 Jan 18

Russia Slaps New Ban on Bosnian Apples

19 Jan 18

Duma Slates Moldova's Ban on Russian TV Shows

19 Jan 18

Djukic Trial for Tuzla Massacre Delayed Again