Fancy a music show for a very selected audience?
The music industry is a wondrous thing. Like any other experience that fills people with joy or stirs other powerful emotions in people, music shows have the power to push us just a tad beyond the line of reality for a short while… and we’re prepared to pay good money for it. Concert ticket prices can reach unimaginable sums, but if we’re really emotionally invested in a band, or a singer, or a music genre, you name it – we might complain a little, but we’ll scrape whatever we have left and buy the precious piece of paper that gets us in.
All that taken into consideration, it’s still surprising to learn about an upcoming show whose audience will be comprised of four people in total. A private gig? An exclusive rock show? None of the above – it’s a klapa concert!
The cultural-artistic society (KUD) Bleke i Konji from Zadar is about to stage the most expensive a cappella concert in Croatia’s history, according to 057info. Four tickets, each priced at 1.640 kuna – roughly 220 euro.
KUD Bleke i Konji has been organising klapa meetups named ‘Back to the origins’ (Povratak iskonu) since 2003, each time collaborating with doyens of traditional Dalmatian a capella singing: klapa Fortunal, Crikvenica, Vocalists of Salona, Folk Singers of Vranjic, Folk Singers of Prvić Šepurina and Folk Singers of Vrbanj on Hvar island. The last are better known for their part in preserving the tradition of the wonderful Hvar custom – Za Križen, the 500 year-old cross-bearing procession protected by UNESCO.
This year, the host invited Klapa Vinčace from Novi Vinodolski, who won Omiš music festival three years in a row. They are described as dedicated to autochtonous musical expression, resulting in performances that have the power to transport the audience back into the past. They will be joined by Klapa Munita and a surprise guest.
Enio Meštrović, the president of KUD Bleke i Konji, stated that the entrance to the concert will be strictly forbidden, apart from the four lucky spectators who will witness the performance. They will also become a part of a documentary that will get filmed during the concert. “Every potential attempt at getting in [without a ticket] will be stopped by security. Throughout the day-long concert, we pledge to protect the cultural heritage from prostitution”, says the dramatic statement from the director.
You’re right to wonder why only four people would be allowed to witness a performance that belongs to a traditional music genre, and is as far away from an elitist nature as it could be. To make things even more confusing, the KUD announced they are organising a contest for the lovers and connoisseurs of klapa music; they’ll be giving away four tickets…. for a show that seats four in total. What’s with the prices then? Will there be eight people at the concert after all?
Here’s what this is really about: Bleke i Konji are not your run-of-the-mill cultural-artistic society, nor a very serious one. Okay, that depends on how you define serious; the point is, they care more about stirring entertaining, creative mayhem than about coming off as prestigious and respectable. They’re known for an array of artistic actions and manifestations such as local carnivals, fun theatrical shows, mocumentaries… All of them very enjoyable if you’re able to appreciate a healthy dose of satire. Here’s some footage of their cabaret-like klapa performance that might sound like traditional Croatian singing, but is actually a cover of a Serbian hit titled Smej se smej (Laugh, Just Laugh) sang by Miroslav Ilić.
Whatever comes out of the upcoming show, it’s probably going to be worth a watch. The concert is taking place at Bokanjac in Zadar on Saturday, October 21.