The verdict of audiences and organisers on the first large music festival in Prizren, Kosovo – NGOM – was unanimous: it was an excellent idea.
Over the course of three days (23-26 June 2011) Prizren danced to the rhythm of music played by a number of bands and DJs from Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Great Britain and Ukraine.
In preparation for the festival, the river Bistrica, which flows through the city, was cleaned and new trees were planted and named after famous bands. Every day in the afternoon, parties and concerts were organised in the city centre and on the banks of the river Bistrica, and the atmosphere was excellent.
"Our goal was to send a message to the young to live a positive life, to build the spirit of friendship among ethnic groups, not only from Kosovo but beyond it too. This was an invitation for everyone to come together - because the language of music is universal and one which everyone can understand, especially the young. I believe we have achieved our purpose to send a message of peace to the world, and that makes us very proud," said Dorinta Ukimeri, one of the organisers of this festival in an interview with Southeast Europe: People and Culture.
The programme of NGOM was varied and included pop, rock, alternative, electronic and classical music. Special stages were erected for each of the music genres, and the classical music, played by students from secondary music schools from Kosovo as well as the students of the Academy of Music in Pristina, was performed in the fantastic atmosphere of the Mehmed Pasha hamam (Turkish bath) which, after the ones of Sarajevo and Skopje, is the largest Turkish bath in the former Yugoslav area dating back to the Ottoman period.
Dark Angel, Son of Beat & Japan from Serbia, Jericho / Bojken Lako from Albania, Filip Motovunski from Croatia, Jim Rivers from Ukraine, Conquering Lion from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Quantized Music from Greece, Gillespie / Alley Sin from Bulgaria and a dozen of bands from Kosovo belonged to the groups entertaining audiences.
"The organisation of the festival was excellent, especially in light of the fact that this was the first time it took place. We were also happy with our audiences and the way they welcomed us. I believe the festival will soon become a European and perhaps even a world event if it carries on being such a success," said Kreshnik Ahmeti, member of The Freelancers band from Pristina. Indeed, much of the audience came from the surrounding countries.