Rujanfest can’t seem to regain its old glory.
The whole concept of Rujanfest, as our respondents argue, has already become fairly outdated, and the performers haven’t changed in years, reports Zagreb.info on September 23, 2017.
Rujanfest previously took place at Bundek lake in Zagreb, but in 2012, Zagreb mayor Milan Bandić didn’t give the organizers the consent to hold the festival at its traditional location or at any other location in the City of Zagreb for that matter, which is why the organizers were forced to move the event out of town, to the meadow near the Westgate shopping center in Jablanovac. The mayor allegedly requested that the festival have a free entrance for all visitors, which the organizers did not agree to because they were allegedly already paying a large sum for the rights to the location [at Bundek], so Bandić found new partners and organized a new festival, Bundekfest, at the same spot.
Since then, Rujanfest can’t seem to reclaim its old glow, which is why the Zagreb.info team of reporters decided to examine why it all went downhill by questioning Rujanfest visitors. During the previous years, the entrance fee to the festival cost a mere 10 kunas (except for concerts of big regional stars), while at this year’s edition, the entrance for all concerts was 25 or 35 kunas.
“I’m going with my sisters and my boyfriend, and wI must admit that the price is a bit too high,” says Maja, Rujanfest’s regular attendee. Higher ticket price has certainly affected the number of attendees, but the entrance is still free of charge before 7 P.M.
Lidija Bačić took the stage last weekend, Photo Credit: Rujanfest Facebook
If we look back at the previous editions of the festival, we can conclude that the diversity of performers hasn’t been all that important to the organisers. For example, the last edition of Rujanfest that took place at Bundek was held under the motto “Fun for Everyone!” and has gathered rock, pop, electronic and folk music lovers, while in 2016 and 2017 the lineup consisted mostly of Croatian folk and pop performers.
“I used to go to Rujanfest to see great bands, but this is now a regular parade of turbo-folk and kitsch. It’s a disaster, typical Balkans!”, said Nina, a disappointed and once a regular visitor who is still longing for the old edition of the festival held at Bundek.
Year after year – fewer and fewer visitors
Although Jablanovec is not at the end of the world and the organizers have introduced free lines from popular locations in Zagreb (Savski most, Ljubljanica, Črnomerec, Dubrava), it did not motivate people to come to Zaprešić, the periphery of Zagreb where the festival is now held.
As Ivan, a regular Rujanfest visitor said, the free buses transporting people to the festival are almost empty. “I attended Miroslav Škoro’s concert last weekend. The show was great, there were people in the crowd, but less than in the previous years,” says Ivan.
Severina at Rujanfest, Photo Credit: Rujanfest Facebook
In all likelihood, this Balkan party has run its course. This year, they celebrated the tenth anniversary of the event, but it wasn’t exactly the one to remember. A monotonous selection of performers, poor organization and high prices have played a key role in the downfall of once popular Rujanfest.
“You deserve a prize in the category “the dirtiest place in the city”. Not to mention the logistics, or better yet the lack thereof! Already at the entrance, there is a lot of trash, and don’t get me started about the state of the place where the actual concert is held. Glasses, bottles, papers, and plates everywhere… Disaster! The tables are also full of trash since nobody cleans up after themselves and there is nobody in charge of cleaning up. All they want is to make money off of people, they don’t even care that they’re swimming in trash. A true Balkan mentality,” writes one of the dissatisfied visitors on their Facebook page.
Translated from Zagreb.info