The Guča Trumpet Festival in Serbia looks like one hell of a party.


As a Europhile of long standing, I’d like to think my internal data base is fairly comprehensive, and yet there’s so much left to learn. To be truthful, I had no idea there even existed an annual trumpet festival in Guča, Serbia before watching this video.

The video comes to us from Deutsche Welle. Watch it, then be sure to read this essay:

Chasing Boban: Guča’s Trumpet Festival, by Alex Crevar (Lonely Planet)

The annual Trumpet Festival in Guča, Serbia, combines old European heritage with world-class competition – contagious music with participant endurance. The result is a four-day blur where plates overflow with traditional food, an outdoor party brims with barely controlled energy, and legends are born.

DW’s video description:

The trumpet festival in the western Serbian town of Guča is one of Europe’s most captivating musical events. Each year, a bold mix of national pride, fairground fun and a Woodstock-like air attracts visitors from all over the world.

They all come to this sleepy little town to dance away three days and nights to Balkan brass music, plunging Guča into happy chaos. Tons of meat and tens of thousands of hectolitres of beer are shipped in. The streets, restaurants and beer tents are teeming with musicians. Brass bands come from all over Serbia to compete for the “Golden Trumpet”, a prize that fetches money and acclaim at home and abroad. Our film accompanies the Danijel Kostic Orchestra, a young up-and-coming brass band performing for their first time in Guča. They have the only female trumpet player on the entire program – an absolute novelty – and hope the festival will launch their international career.