The Slovenia Times

The Sight and Sound of Urban Culture



When Kino Šiška opened its doors, the pessimists predicted it would be nothing more than just a short-lived cultural experiment, or that it would wind up being just another concert venue. Two years down the line, these predictions have been proved comprehensively wrong.
Kino Šiška's appearance on the cultural scene came with a certain hype. It is a hype which has not faded but at the same time this is a venue which has transformed into a rock solid institution for urban culture. It has filled certain niches with its decent capacity and equipment. Neither too big nor too small, Kino Šiška occupies the space between a club and a concert hall. It has introduced a new line of top performers, which has broken the monotony of constantly reappearing world acts.
Matjaž Manček, Assistant Manager for Arts and Music says they are proudly picking the fruits of their critical analysis of domestic and international music scene: "We are not limited by genre, only by quality. I think we have done a good job in shaping the varied profile of our audience which is spreading to all sides." The word has been spread and more and more agents of internationally acclaimed performers approach Kino Šiška directly.

Sold out

This year Kino Šiška has been sold out several times: Tricky, Yann Tiersen and Flogging Molly all drew capacity crowds, while Kino Šiška's production of Nick Cave's Gridnerman squeezed the maximum out of Križanke Theatre.
The international character of Kino Šiška's events reflects the makeup of its audiences. Manček notices the ever-increasing demand from abroad, especially when the performer doesn't hold a concert elsewhere in the region, citing the examples of Interpol, Battles and The Walkmen. The grateful Croatian audience is almost a constant, while more and more visitors come from the areas of Trieste, Klagenfurt or Graz. More exclusive events can extend this range even further - all the way to Venice, Belgrade or even London.
Yet those who don't manage to secure one of the venue's hot tickets - or who can't make a particular event - don't have to miss out. Kino Šiška films many of their events, transmits them online, and then stores them in a freely available online archive. Most performers are happy with the arrangement. Indeed, Manček says that American band Living Colour let members of their fan club know about the broadcast and the result was a globally popular event.

The Greatness of Small Proportions

Challenged to describe the Slovenian audience, Manček doesn't spare criticism - or excitement: "The problem of our concert market is that Slovenian audience is small in quantity, while the concerts on offer get more and more varied. Compared to some other audiences - Croatian for example - Slovenes need more time to respond to trends in music. That is partially caused by uninspiring programming of the local media, mostly television. But given the smallness of both population and area our ever-stronger concert scene represents a global phenomenon - both in its range and the number of attendants."

Looking ahead

The hot concert summer started with legendary jazz drummer Billy Cobham, Atari Teenage Riot, The Necks, Sepultura and more. In addition, many domestic musicians were lucky enough to get on Kino Šiška's schedule to introduce their new materials.
As for the future, Manček sees it in keeping and improving the event quality. Meanwhile they want "the meeting point of urban culture" to become a lively place during the day as well, and to furthermore spread their activity to bigger venues.


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