Maribor's Lent festival one of the biggest in Europe

09-07-2004

The Slovenian city of Maribor is currently hosting the annual "Lent" music festival. With around half a million visitors expected, it's one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Europe. Radio Slovenia International's Ksenija Samardzija - Matul reports.

This year's Lent Festival, which takes place in the first half of July, offers a variety of concerts of classical, jazz, popular and ethno music, evenings with singers-songwriters, chanson evenings, theatre and dance performances, drama and puppet theatres, creative workshops for children, sport performances and much more.

Moreover, a variety of more than 400 performances and half a million of visitors make "Festival Lent" one of the biggest festivals in Europe. The legendary Ray Charles, B. B. King, James Brown, Jose Feliciano and Paquito D'Rivera are just a few names among the acknowledged artists that have performed on the stages of Festival Lent.

This year's top names among performers are David Byrne and Eric Burdon with his band the Animals: We took the opportunity and spoke to Eric Burdon and asked him whether he misses the fame he used to enjoy in the 60-ies:

"No I was never a fame freak. I never joined a band in order to achieve fame or money. I wanted to go to America, to really understand the culture and I've been living there for 30 years and I still can't understand it. That's an ongoing journey, it's an ongoing exploration. I'm like National Geographic."

You've been in music business for over 30 years now, what would you say were your best moments?

"Tonight."

Why?

" Because that's the attitude you have to have in the music business. It's always the next thing. It's never what you've just done."

One of your best songs "Sky pilots" is considered one of the best anti-war songs. Do you still believe that an artist has an impact on such issues?

"Yes, you can help, you can dream. At least you can dream, some people don't even have a dream, having a dream is better than having nothing, if you don't have anything, if you have an illusion of freedom, at least it's an illusion."

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