By Dakota Hall/ Kosovo 2.0
This year, DokuFest has unveiled a new and exciting element for the festival. Though the Kino Kalaja cinema up at the fortress has long been an iconic part of DokuFest — where else in the world can you watch a great documentary outdoors in the summer in a Byzantine fortress overlooking the lights of a beautiful city? — the fortress now also plays host to the newly created Sunset Stage.
The idea behind the Sunset Stage is simple: get more out of the fortress, listen to music, watch the sunset, chill out. Of course we all love DokuNights, but anyone who’s had a late night at the Andrra Stage knows that such nights are liable to get out of hand — it’s easy to head to Marashi Park at midnight thinking you’ll just have a beer or two then head home to get some rest for the next day, only to find yourself wandering around near the river five hours later, drunk and locked out of the house.
The Sunset Stage is meant to offer a more relaxed environment to decompress in before your wild night out. Unfortunately the stage was closed the first few evenings of the festival because of the rain, but I headed up on Monday to see what it was all about.
What’s nice about the Sunset Stage is that its relaxed atmosphere attracts a much broader range of people than its late night equivalent. There were a number of older people and families there, complete with little kids running around. And of course it’s open to the public and absolutely free, so Prizren locals and international visitors alike can go up to enjoy the music and sunset even if they’re not interested in documentaries about the Colombian health care system or techno from Berlin.
There were two girls DJing, mixing pop songs that people could sing along to with lesser known beats, smoking cigarettes, wearing sunglasses and generally looking cool as hell.
And good news, people of DokuFest: Looks like the sky will be clear from here on out. If the weather is bad or looks questionable, check with the volunteers in the main square to make sure the Sunset evening is on before making the hike up, but otherwise, it should be open for the next three evenings.
Tonight, we’ll have some down tempo beats from Tirana (Uj Pa Gaz); tomorrow, some soulful vocals, synethsizers and analogue sounds (Bicalko); and Friday, UNESCO-heritage-christened Albanian songs (Albanian Iso-Polyphony). Check pages 56 and 57 of the DokuFest program for info details.
All in all, a good place to go with a group of friends and a few beers, post-afternoon film or pre-pre-drinks for DokuNights. Highly recommended.
Kosovo 2.0 is DokuFest’s official media partner — discover the hottest content every day from around the festival here. Kosovo 2.0 is a print and online magazine bringing you voices unfettered and unafraid. Their complete collection of print magazines are available at their stand in Shadervan, Prizren throughout DokuFest, including our latest ’90s Issue.