Twenty two days of music, exhibitions and public discussions in the city of Mostar were opened on 1 September 2021 by EU Special Representative and Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Johann Sattler and the Mayor of Mostar, Mario Kordić. The first Open City Mostar Festival, funded by the EU, has been organised by the Mostar Rock School in cooperation with the City of Mostar. It aims to support the culture and tourism sectors, which have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as use culture to promote dialogue, inclusivity and bring down barriers dividing communities in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.
The opening night of the Open City Mostar Festival featured concerts by the Mostar Symphonic Orchestra and legendary rock star Darko Rundek. Over the course of three weeks, there will be performances by groups such as TBF, Helem Nejse, Laka, Who See, Tonči Huljić and Madre Badessa, Partibrejkersi, Maginifico and others. Theatrical and audiovisual performances as well as discussions on the future of the city, ecology and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU path also feature in the programme.
On the opening night, Ambassador Sattler stressed that culture is a powerful medium to demonstrate that people have more in common than what divides them as well as elicit new ways of thinking and understand different perspectives. He also noted that the world is still living with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that while respecting Covid protocols to protect people’s health, the EU’s support for the Open City Mostar Festival would help bring back the live music, theatre and exhibitions that people have craved.
Mayor Kordić underlined that the Festival aims to make Mostar an even more attractive tourist destination and expand the options for visitors at the end of the summer as well as lead to a better integrated community by bringing people together through culture. He concluded by expressing the hope that the Festival would become a tradition in the City of Mostar.
All the activities that are part of the Open City Mostar Festival programme are free of charge with the vast majority taking place in the open air. Health protection measures are in place for all events in line with local regulations.
The full programme of Open City Mostar events can be viewed here: opencitymostar.com