He has passed away in the Novi Sad hospital, and numerous fans in Croatia wanted to commemorate his life, love to his wife Olivera and their three children and his songs in their towns, in certain locations which held special significance in their relationship with him. His songs often talked about the emotions of loneliness, separation and the loss of love, which are all emotions most people have been struggling with during these pandemic times and lockdowns.
So, the Croatian media report about the spontaneous gatherings of numerous Croatian fans in many towns: Index.hr writes about Zagreb, Pula, Zadar, Rijeka and Šibenik; videos of the final good-byes have appeared on social media (including this one from Osijek):
And we have some photos from the gathering of the citizens of Split on Peristil, where they chose to celebrate Đorđe Balašević’s life.
And while the bond between Split and Đorđe Balašević might seem odd at first glance, it is quite strong. Balašević called himself the “Sailor of the Pannonian Sea“, which is an ancient sea covering most of the Nothern Croatia in the distant past. And that is exactly what his song was called which won first place award at the Split Music Festival in 1979, when he was competing against obvious favourites, such as the local fan Oliver Dragojević and many other timeless songs. And, as you can probably remember from now almost three years ago (tempus really does fugit!), the people of Split know how to say goodbye to those they love, as shown in their farewell to Oliver Dragojević on his final journey from Split to Vela Luka.