Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Festival Balkanik

From what people have told me, living in Bucharest has its positives and its negatives.  They told me that it would seem really crowded, and it does.  They told me that it would be harder to get to know people, and it is.  They told me that it’s much hotter in the summer time, and so it is.  They also told me that there are fun things to do, and I found that one out this past weekend.  As a PCV in a new and strange place I try to keep my eye out for any possible sign that could lead to something positive.  One of those signs in my first week here happened to be advertising a Balkan music festival.

Ever since hearing Shatel in Zeynep’s car during my first trip to Turkey I’ve been a fan of the style.  Since then I have gotten into a couple other bands including the Hungarian band Ternipe.  When I saw them on the band list for Saturday I had to tell Courtney who is also a big fan.  From then on there was no question of whether we would go or not, just when we would get there.

The festival opened at two and the music began at six.  Various cultural elements were promoted on the festivals website so we decided that arriving at two and getting the full feel of the atmosphere before the music started would be the best idea.  Ternipe’s day on stage happened to be the same day of “Let's do it Romania” another activity that was a must do for the 24th of September.  The plan was to get to the clean-up activity in the morning and finish it with enough time to make it to the festival by 2.  Of course rarely do things ever go exactly as planned.  Dragging ourselves out of the house late in the morning and the unexpectedly long transportation process left us with a re-worked plan to get picked up at the cleaning at 2.  This meant that we (Aran and I) wouldn’t end up getting back to the house to get ready for the show until 4.  Yes, I guess it takes that long to get into the center of Bucharest by two buses and walking.  Aran and I ended up arriving at the festival to meet Courtney, Dave, and Veronica with minimal time to check out the venders before the music started.  I did finally find out how much one of those awesome Roma skirts cost, 400 lei, yikes. 

Festival Highlights:

Ternipe with their quick footed dancing man, charismatic style, and background: “hop hop” “diggi do diggi diggi do” throughout many of their songs. 

The long haired dancing man in the crowd that we swore was American by the 1960’s hippy style dance he was showing off but ended up being Romanian. 

Getting spotted by a TV camera while holding a cup in my mouth so I could take my own video of the performance. 

Mahala Rai Banda with their 14 band members packed on the stage, large horn section, and feet-moving music.  By that time the crowed had swelled to the perfect amount of people, packing the venue but you were still able to move around easily.  

Finding Nick there and hanging out with him and his gazda from Targoviste. 
Aran’s continuous come and go as he met a group of fun people up in the front of the crowd. 

Baba Zula the mysterious headliner of the festival wearing a beanie, aviators, and a cape while playing the saz.  This music probably could have put me into a hypnotic trans if  I was paying better attention to it.  

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