Monday’s concert programme had masses of people navigating between locations across the festival city, filling every venue to capacity!

Monday made it clear that the opening prep for LENTing had to be over by now, as the Festival shifted gears without looking back and without mercy. Smiling faces wherever you look, old friends who met again, new friends who met just now. Everyone already eyeing the next venue to attend. The ‘just one drink rule’ at Lent (and everyone knows that spritzer is the only drink that counts) made sure that the walking river of people slowly but surely scattered across festival venues, followed by the sun that finally shone a light on the programme. The music and dance of the Watch it! Music on the Road programme led us from city streets and squares into the green embrace of the city park, where the Triglav Stage hosted guitar player and composer Igor Bezget and his project Igor Bezget Global Community & Italee Watson, accompanied by guests from Jamaica. The infectiously positive energy of Watson who filled the Art Kamp with a youthful playfulness was soon followed up by Slovenian reggae ambassador Tadej Tadiman Tratnik and a special guest from Jamaica. They all broke in song together with the audience, singing an ode to the festival day that was already turning to night.

The crowds soon started spilling from the city park into the city centre, some splitting off at Grajski trg (Castle Square) and facing a tough choice. Some took a hard left towards the centrally located
Večer Stage, manned by Demolition Group and Lilith Cage, and topped up their energy for additional Lenting with the ‘one spritzer rule’. Others stayed fast, going straight through the city centre in an attempt to secure a spot at the Main Stage and listen to the legendary Plavi orkestar play in front of a sold-out crowd. The Jurček Stage was in full swing as well with Ana Bezjak and Jazz Punt Band.

“I’m so glad to be playing here today, at the new Jurček Stage, with this wonderful band,”

said the tireless Bezjak, full of creative enthusiasm that soon spilled over to the dance floor in front of the stage. Members of the Big Band RTV Slovenija were there to get their share of inspiration, as Ana had made many an unforgettable piece with them. The band took the Minoriti Stage not long after that, but luckily they didn’t have to go far – just around the corner. “Alright, let’s do one more, so we won’t have to walk too far.” It was truly hard for Bezjak to leave the stage, so she called up Tanja Srednik and the both of them got us ready for the next concert.

Plavi orkestar at the Main stage

After the concert, the Lenters followed the band to the Minoriti Stage for a true jazz masterpiece. A packed-to-capacity venue was eagerly awaiting the Slovenian New York-based pianist and composer Marko Črnčec and the Big Band RTV Slovenija as part of the first Jazz Podium. Maestro Lojze Kranjčan had arranged his songs especially for Marko, and Marko was given a brand new piano just for this occasion. “This is the first time this piano is put to use, and I think Marko gave it one hell of a christening,” was how Kranjčan put it while trying to out-shout the standing ovations. “I’m extremely thankful for being able to play here. I’m happy to play any concert, especially with Lojze, who finally gave me the kick in the butt I needed to bring this project through. Thank you once again for the arrangements and covers, and think you for your support.” Črnčec sure knows how to please both the maestro and the crowds! The musical harmony continued after the concert at the Mladina Stage, where the duo Seine put their amazing vocal and instrumental talents to good use, proving that changing strings on stage is just another chance for a killer drum solo. Next up were Lynch who kept the audience going until the early morning with tireless and unconventional guitar creations.