Dragačevo trumpet festival – Guča Festival 2017
During the famous annual Trumpet festival, Guča, a small town with only around 2,000 residents, turns into the music capital and the craziest party hotspot in this part of the world.
A charming town of Guča is settled in western Serbia and within the region of Dragačevo. The size of this town is even smaller than some villages, however, with its structure and institutions, Guča shows some typical small-town features. Since early 20th century, Guča has had wide streets, tree alleys and parks and plenty of century-old private houses, with its well-preserved facades and gates indeed provide a genuine illustration of the life in Serbia in past times.
What makes this town, located between the cities of Čačak and Ivanjica, so charming and appealing is Dragačevo trumpet festival. This well-known festival is the reason for, believe it or not, as many as one million visitors from all across Serbia and the rest of the world, to flock once a year to this town with only two thousand residents. The sources say this is the biggest trumpet festival in the world, and the reason why it takes place exactly in Guča is entirely based on historical events. Long ago, in 1831, the ruler Miloš Obrenović formed an army brass orchestra, and the sound of trumpet thus became the inherent part of culture and tradition among the residents of this Serbian region. The music which developed over the years has varied, starting from the slow rhythms with singing, all the way to faster rhythms followed by dancing, and being accompanied with the emotional performance of the musicians, it entirely defines the authentic sound of this area.
The first Dragačevo trumpet festival took place in Guča in 1961 and was subsequently organised each year. A number of awards were introduced for the best trumpet players – the trumpet masters, including the Best Trumpet Award, the Best Orchestra Award, the Gold Trumpet Award, the Gold Apple Award... Today the awards are introduced for more than 10 categories, however, in order to participate in the festival, each competitor needs to pass some eliminatory requirements and proves his or her skill in playing this instrument, and all of these just add to the relevance of the festival. Having successfully passed the eliminatory competition, the trumpet masters then participate in the selection of twenty orchestras competing in Guča. If they win the first award, the competitors are qualified for the participation in many world festivals which take place in Tokyo, Melbourne, New York, Cannes and other places around the world. That’s why there’s a saying that the Dragačevo festival took the trumpet players to the world and brought the world into Guča.
Guča festival takes place from August, 9-13 this year and during the five-day festival, in addition to the competition programme, plenty of exhibitions, presentations, concerts and parades will also take place. And this year, just like during the previous ones, the festival will be the destination of visitors from all around the world, from Japan to the USA.
Apart from the important competition programme, during these five days Guča festival is also world-known for its specific atmosphere in the streets of this small town. Loud music, countless lambs, oxen and pigs roasted on a spit, the cooking pots filled with cabbage and meat, the extraordinary speciality and one of the most important brands of this festival, all sorts of barbecue, and also the hundreds of liters of brandy (rakia) - these are simply the inherent elements of this specific mood, commonly referred to as „Guča madness“, the sort of mood which cannot be easily described and requires first-hand experience!
For all of the above, the web site noviapartmani.com recommends to all its guests residing in Belgrade during this period, taking one night off and heading to this famous festival in Guča, in order to see and hear Serbia with all their senses. Love it or hate it, this instrument and „Guča madness“ are the memorable experiences which will make you speechless.
See you in Guča!