Zagreb, the Open City: When Streets and Squares Become a Stage

The Open City Days are a chance for an inspirational encounter of citizens and artists which enriches both sides so this event is a nice present to Zagreb before its birthday.

A walk in the city is an unexpected opportunity to meet artists as well as professional and recreational athletes in its streets and squares. There will be a special reason for the encounter on 3 and 4 June when the second edition of the Open City Days will take place. The project is aimed at community building and interaction of artistic activity, this year also athletic activity with citizens and visitors. This is a present to Zagreb right before the Day of the City.

The fact that this year the event will last two days instead of one, and be held on nine locations instead of four as it did last year, shows that citizens of Zagreb have accepted the event with enthusiasm. There is another novelty; in addition to cultural events taking place in the streets, there will also be athletic ones.

Interesting programmes dedicated to the city and its citizens will be held at several locations. Adult and children’s choirs will sing songs dedicated to Zagreb in Ban Josip Jelačić Square. The romantic Zrinjevac Park will be the stage for performers of modern chansons dedicated to Zagreb, while in the nearby King Tomislav Square passers-by will join hands to create a chain of solidarity and empathy. On Saturday morning, dancers will surprise visitors of Zagreb’s open-air Dolac Market and in the evening this area will turn into a dance floor. On the morning of the second day, Sunday, an athletic event with recreational activities targeting all generations will take place in European Square. A bit later, students of the Ballet School will perform on Flower Square (Cvjetni trg). This year’s Open City Days will end in Tuškanac Park with performances of Croatian actors who will amaze visitors with poetry reading and inspirational stories.

The project is realised with the support of the Zagreb Tourist Board. “With this project, art was transferred outside of its usual dwelling place. Identifying it in new surroundings creates a unique experience for our fellow citizens and visitors” said the Zagreb Tourist Board Director, Martina Bienenfeld, PhD. Ms Bienenfeld added: “The Open City Days are held right before celebrating Zagreb’s birthday. They put emphasis on the unity of the community through direct interaction and on the bond between audience and actors, musicians and artists. The participatory model of this project encompasses all stakeholders of society and creates an authentic, sustainable and creative event which underlines local and cultural potential.”

Published: 10.05.2023