If you plan to sunbathe on one of Novi Sad’s beaches, you might notice a catamaran emitting the sounds of classical music. A stage on the water – that’s basically how this unusual phenomenon appears, and you can find it on the afternoon of 18, 19, and 21 August next to your beach. The series of concerts On the Beautiful Blue Danube will become the main attraction for the public, that is, beachgoers and passers-by. It is an unusual idea of the ‘Life as an Inspiration’ association and the ‘Adventure Family’ organisation, and with the support of the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation, which enabled Novi Sad residents to enjoy a musical cruise on the Danube as part of the current The Danube Sea programme arch.
Last year, over 20 concerts were held with a similar intention, and given the great attention and positive reactions of Novi Sad residents, this year the concerts are being realised again, but with a slightly different idea – the audience stays on the coast and freely enjoys their activities, while the concerts are moving from beach to beach.
The catamaran departs from Kamenica Island, in the company of young musicians, students of the Isidor Bajić Music School and members of the ‘Life as an Inspiration’ association. Lasting about half an hour, these performances provide a completely unusual experience in nature, with the aim of encouraging people to spend more time on the river and use all the potential it offers.
Following the example of the world’s metropolises, Novi Sad is in this way creating a different concept of fun in nature by sensitising fellow citizens to pay more attention and time to a body of water which provides opportunities for various activities. Also, this way classical music becomes more accessible to everyone. On the Beautiful Blue Danube will certainly brighten up everyone’s stay with its sounds, but also show that it is possible to create an event to remember with just a good idea and a little effort. Symbolically, the composers whose works are performed belong to the Danube region, which once again underlines the importance and cultural heritage of the second largest river in Europe.
You will be able to watch the concerts until 21 August. ‘Oficirac’, ‘Monkey Island’, Sremska Kamenica riverbank, ‘Vok’ in Futog, ‘Love Island’ in Begeč – these are the beaches where you can enjoy a unique atmosphere, and it’s up to you to choose the nearest or favourite place for swimming.
On Thursday, 18 August, at the famous ‘Oficirac’ in Novi Sad, from 5 p.m. you can enjoy the sounds of the violin, guitar, piano, and horn, and the repertoire will include Bach, Chopin, Saraste, and other classical greats. On the same day, at 6:30 p.m., the concert moves to Sremska Kamenica with the same repertoire. Reserve the start of the weekend, Friday, 19 August, for the ‘Monkey Island’ because the performance starts at 5 p.m.
On Saturday, you can visit Futog and ‘Vok’ there, where you will meet young talented students of the oldest music school in Novi Sad, who will have their solo performance on the last day of the concert series. The best students will beautify this August weekend with a repertoire consisting of arias from operas and operettas, Neapolitan songs, numbers from Disney animated movies and musicals, and other compositions. As early as 6:30 p.m., the concert moves to the ‘Love Island’ in Begeč.
The series of concerts is part of The Danube Sea, the new programme arch of the European Capital of Culture, which for the past month has been dealing with the Danube heritage and its environmental problems. Therefore, the events of this programme arch are concentrated on the banks of the Danube in Novi Sad and its surroundings and represent a great idea of reviving small Danube towns and villages, which become the stage for cultural events.
Even if you don’t have the time to spend a whole afternoon on the beach, we propose you walk to the nearest one and attend an unusual concert in good company, and we are sure that the setting sun and classical music will create an atmosphere to remember.
Author: Leona Pap
Photo: Jelena Ivanović, Marko Pudić