Punk in the basement – minifest

It was the second and final evening of our first minifest. Sugar (Šećer: nickname of our craftbrewer and supplier) was sitting next to me and we were drinking beer when he said:

„It is amazing to hear people talk English and German in here. I would never have guessed that they will come to this little Varaždin of ours. Remarkable!“

It was truly glorious and I have an answer for all of you who are wondering why the hell I am writing in English. We want that all of our new and old foreign friends understand us! These lines could have been written in French (official language of EU) but in high school, when I had the opportunity to learn it, I was more interested in sex, drugs and rock’n’roll than learning. Little has changed actually.

VAKUUM Untergrund (name under which we choose to go down into the history of Varaždin’s underground scene) team is, in fact, bringing international bands to Varaždin which is, unfortunately, lacking in cultural and entertainment programme for young people. Especially those young people interested in alternative culture and music. VAKUUM Untergrund was created by a group of enthusiasts and volunteers who want to fill that gap and give a place and a chance to those who have been, speaking poetically but not far from the truth, left behind.

After having three concerts, we decided to bite off some more in hopes of handling two days of punk music in a row. It seems that we were up to the task thanks to 12 of our volunteers who were like a smooth and well oiled machine. There were some problems but we are still learning. Some organizational things were on us but those bigger and nastier are on our irrational laws and a government-supported group which is trying to protect copyright of the bands but is actually destroying little clubs in the making like ours (read more about that in this article written by Bogdan, one of our volunteers and pioneers of VAKUUM). Despite all of that, we still ride.

People from the bands which played were nice, warm and humble people – playing for the sake of music and not for huge amounts of money. On the first day we had two foreign bands and two bands from Varaždin: Average, .Gram., BKD and Devastation. On the second day we had the opportunity to see and hear Jack Holmes who performs acoustic punk mixed with a stand-up show, Me As Well from Karlovac and Deadends from Graz. You can read more about the second day’s show HERE – on the webzine of a soon-to-be famous guy named Kraykulla who is making great efforts to promote underground bands and culture.

All of the bands were great but we would like to highlight .Gram.’s show when the bass player was standing on the drum set and the singer was preparing to stage dive from the shelf on which our guests usually keep their drinks. We will also remember and cherish the moments when our italian, german and austrian friends tried rakija – a traditional drink from Zagorje. It was a really strong one but from Međimurje. Don’t mess with those Medjimurians! They’ll give you some of their raki (easier to pronounce than rakija) and then only god helps you (or your friends who call your wife and carry you while you piss in your pants unconscious).

„Ako piješ raki, završil buš dečec v raki! (Croatian) – If you drink raki(ja), you’ll end up in a grave boy!“

The thing that fuels us and drives us is the feedback we are getting from our visitors who are happy that something like this is finally happening in Varaždin. Our mission is not only to revitalize underground culture but also to teach people that VAKUUM club is OURS. Young people need to connect more and we would like that VAKUUM club is the meeting place – metaphorically and literally. Anyone can be a content creator in VAKUUM! We are open to suggestions and are more than happy to help people realize their ideas. Once more, we would like to thank the bands and all of our guests, supporters and volunteers.

Fighting for a greater cause and for better Varaždin,

Your VAKUUM Untergrund team


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