The last days of July in Croatia have a special meaning. On 29 July it will be exactly two years since legendary musician Oliver Dragojević passed away but his memory is still indelible.
This year, in memory of Oliver in his hometown of Vela Luka on the island of Korčula, an event will be held from 27 to 31 July with the aim of preserving the rich heritage he left.
“Although this day is especially difficult for our family, we feel proud to see how lovingly everyone approaches such an event. We don’t want to single anyone out, because everyone involved gives their maximum, the least we as the family can do is thank them immensely. We are especially happy that music is in the foreground, as he himself would like that. Regardless of the fact that we, the family, are not part of the organisation of these events, we are familiar with everything and that once again shows how much respect everyone has for him. Thank you all and we hope this is just the beginning of a beautiful musical and human story,” said the Dragojević family.
The entire last week in July will be dedicated to Oliver Dragojević, and the event is called “Trag u beskraju”, named after his song and album.
The event opens with an exhibition on July 27 called “Oliver in Vela Luka”, culminating in a big concert on July 29 called “Trag u beskraju“. Nina Badrić, Petar Grašo, Petar Dragojević and Oliver’s band Delfini will perform at the concert, along with many musicians, a string orchestra, and conductor Alan Bjelinski, all under the direction of producer Ante Gela.
“Personally, I would like Vela Luka to be a place to hang out and remember Oliver that day of the year, a place where everyone will be able to be better and simpler people, sit on the waterfront, close your eyes and enjoy songs like “Magdalena” or “Galeb” – said Gelo, Oliver’s longtime friend and collaborator.
In addition to the big evening concert on the square in front of the church of St. Josip, a wreath will be laid that day, a mass and recital will be held in the church and promotion of Zlatko Gall’s book dedicated to Oliver.
On Thursday, July 30, there will be a concert called “Evo mene među moje” where the young forces of the Croatian music scene will sing songs from which Oliver made evergreens of Croatian music with his performances. The concert will feature Mia Dimšić, Vinko Ćemeraš, Albina Grčić, Marko Kutlić, Matija Cvek, Uršula Najev, Dino Jelusić, Iva Ajduković, Antonela Đinđić, Jure Brkljača, Sabrina Hebiri, Petra Oreč, Dino Perić, Alen Đuras, Josip Palameta, and Petra Roško.
In the fall, we will start with a large project of adaptation of the Centre for Culture, in which we will place the Oliver Dragojević Memorial Collection, in order to be indebted to our great musician and preserve the memory of his work. At the same time, other contents are being designed with the aim of making Vela Luka a central place for evoking the memory of his work, and the manifestation “Trag u beskraju” is certainly one of them. Two years after his departure it still brings us together, still connects us,” said Katarina Gugić, Mayor of Vela Luka.
The week of remembrance of Oliver in Vela Luka ends on Friday, July 31, with an evening of jazz and a concert by Ines Tričković and band.
Due to the current epidemiological situation, in Vela Luka, the concerts need to take place on the square in front of the church of St. Joseph, although the intention was to hold concerts in various locations. All events will be held according to the measures and recommendations of the Croatian Institute for Public Health.
The concerts “Trag u beskraju” on 29 July and “Evo mene među moje” on 30 July will also be broadcast live on Max TV, the Youtube channel and Facebook page of Croatian Telecom, as well as on Narodni radio.
In order to relieve and prevent a large gathering on the square, these concerts can be watched from restaurants in Vela Luka, as well as through two video walls in the centre (Mala Riva, Park).
Everyone who will follow the concerts via the video wall will attend these places at their own risk. The organisation asks that all those present adhere to the recommendations of the Croatian Institute for Public Health, respect social distancing and use a protective mask for the benefit of themselves and others. To all who belong to the group of the elderly or people with chronic diseases, the so-called risk group, it is recommended that they remain responsible and monitor all events through the listed options.