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The world’s leading promoters & the 55 top markets they operate in.
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Gradually, the Serbian market is dancing its way to prosperity. Exit festival in Novi Sad drew 200,000 revellers to its 23rd year in 2023, while a new October
showcase festival, Changeover Belgrade, is helping to spotlight the lively grassroots scenes in electronica, indie, post-punk, and metal, which are filling the 200- to 300-capacity venues and drawing up to 5,000 people to local rave events.
There are also new event opportunities opening up due to the influx of Russians to Serbia, escaping the war with Ukraine. “They brought their own concert-going habits and music tastes, as well as creating a whole new segment of Russian- language events, which was non-existent in Serbia before 2022,” says Dmitry Zaretsky, co-founder of Honeycomb Live concert agency, one of the main promoters in Serbia alongside Charm Music and Sky Music. Having seen successes with shows by Soulfly and Oliver Tree this year, and with Enter Shikari amongst the big names on the schedule, Zaretsky expects to see solid growth in the market in the coming years.
“The average income is pretty low compared to neighbouring countries, so you have to keep the ticket prices lower than in Croatia or Bulgaria, but it’s rising, and people are getting more used to buying more expensive tickets.”
“The average income is pretty low compared to neighbouring countries,” he says, “so you have to keep the ticket prices lower than in Croatia or Bulgaria, but it’s rising, and people are getting more used to buying more expensive tickets.”
The key stumbling blocks, Zaretsky explains, are the logistical and customs issues of crossing the border with the EU, and the country’s shortage of mid-sized 2,000- to
4,000-capacity venues, which can stifle the growth of acts and limit opportunities for touring artists. “The main venue in the city [Belgrade] is the 800-capacity Dom Omladine,” he says. “It limits what you can do in the winter. There are open-air venues for the summer, but since they all lack concert infrastructure, sometimes the numbers don’t match when you budget it.
As the Global Promoters Report went to press, Honeycomb Live announced it was promoting a show with Ed Sheeran at Belgrade’s Ušće Park, as part of the singer’s + – = ÷ x Mathematics tour. The date will be a co-promote with AEG Live. Tickets are RSD8,900-15,000 (€75.77–127.71).