After months of waiting, on September 7th, the 21st edition of the Balkan Youth Festival started, and all of us were in the 7th heaven.
Everything started with the Drum Circle, and it was amazing. There were 30 drums, all played by participants of the festival (volunteers and/or dancers). I consider ourselves lucky to be included in such a performance of talent and creativity. A professional musician was conducting us, and with his help we created a magical environment. The leader created a perfect sound combining the drums and the claps of the audience, so in the end everyone took part in the percussion improvisation.
Then, it was time for the defilé to take place. All the participants of the festival (volunteers, dancers, and musicians) walked through the whole main street all the way up to the Summer Theater, where the opening ceremony would take place. We had the privilege of carrying the festival’s flag, so we were on the very beginning of the procession, leading the parade.
Later, on the stage, we and the short-term volunteers, performed the flash mob. We did it perfectly, and we came back to our sits satisfied and ready to enjoy the festival.
The second day was filled with activities. In the afternoon there were most of the performances, which we enjoyed a lot. At night, we had the Balkan Youth Party – all the participants of the project gathered in a club, having fun throughout the night.
The next day, we woke up early. Despite having slept for a few hours, we were quite happy. The reason for that was the visit to visit Melnik, the smallest, but one of the most beautiful villages in Bulgaria. Once we got there we had some free time, so we decided to visit a traditional Bulgarian house, called Kordopulov’s House, where they used to make wine. It was impressive, and both of us were speechless facing that much beauty. Everyone enjoyed that visit a lot, but specially us.
On the fourth day we just enjoyed all the performances, including the contemporary street arts and traditional arts, and it was one of the best days because the dancers and singers were really good. At night, we enjoyed the Rock Stage ‘YES! – Youth European Strategy’, along with a Fire Show performed by one of the volunteers on the festival.
And finally the last day arrived, and even though no one wanted to acknowledge it, we all knew that the festival was coming to an end. The festival was very good, and so was the last night. After some performances, the closing act started, and it was so emotional. The coordinator of the Balkan Youth Festival, Emilia Marinova thanked all the participants in front of the audience for cooperation and hard work and the energy they invested in working on the festival for one more year. At last, we all shared a huge BYF cake, in this way putting an end to our sweet dream, which I am sure all the participants will keep in their minds forever.