Dua Lipa during her concert in Germia in 2016. | Photo courtesy of the Sunny Hill Festival.

A billion views later, Dua Lipa returns to headline Kosovo festival

Joined by Martin Garrix, Action Bronson and a slew of other Kosovar and international artists, Dua Lipa is set to perform in Prishtina in the first edition of the Sunny Hill Festival this August.

Following her first-ever concert in Prishtina two years ago, award-winning British-Kosovar singer Dua Lipa will return to Germia Park to perform alongside dozens of Kosovo and international artists for the Sunny Hill Festival.

The three-day festival, organized by Dukagjin Lipa, Dua’s father and CEO of communications agency Republika, is the second event organized by the Sunny Hill Foundation, a non-profit he established a couple of years ago.

Scheduled on August 10, 11 and 12, the festival will welcome international acts such as Grace Carter, Stanaj, Coltrane and Sg Lewis, as well as well-known local artists including Ledri Vula, MC Kresha, Buta, Gjiko, Dafina Zeqiri, and more.

Apart from Dua Lipa, who will perform on the first night, the second headliner of the festival is the New York rapper Action Bronson, alias of Arian Asllani, an Albanian-American. This will be his first performance in the country, and the Balkans.

Recently announced, the final headliner performing on August 12 is Dutch DJ Martin Garrix, who was ranked number one on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs for 2016 and 2017.

Dukagjin Lipa said that initially they wanted to organize Dua Lipa’s second performance, but eventually other artists were invited as well and the concept turned into a large-scale festival.

“This year’s Sunny Hill Festival is a consequence of Dua’s concert we organized in 2016… as a result of our connections and opportunities to meet many international stars, some have said  ‘Well, I want to be there too!’ You can’t really tell [artists like] Martin Garrix ‘Hey, you cannot come,’” Lipa said, chuckling.

According to Kosovo Police, about 15,000 people attended Dua Lipa’s concert in 2016, yet the organizers estimate the number of attendees at around 40,000. Regular tickets are still on sale for 55 euros apiece, and the festival also offers discounts for groups and families. Lipa said that their venue in Germia has plenty of space for concert-goers; between 10,000 to 15,000 people are expected.

“[Still], we do not want to overcrowd the area, because it is the first year for us, and we want the guests to have a good time at the festival. A smaller number of guests will allow us to take better care of them. It is the first time for all of us, a 72-hour long festival,” he said.

Lipa said that, as an addition to the concerts, people will be able to utilize the pool in Germia during the day, and there are going to be other activities such as sports, food courts, children’s areas, and so on.

“People can come, sunbathe and listen to music… a festival should also be enjoyable during the day. Lie down on the grass, hang out with friends,” he said.

According to Lipa, there will be around 170 camping spots set up in Germia Park for attendees, and there will be an ample police force deployed all throughout the park during the festival.

“It would be a pleasure if all hotels and other [accomodation] places in town will receive enough guests, and benefit from the festival,” he said.

Regarding transportation, Lipa said that concert-goers can utilize public transportation, and suggested the possibility of shuttle buses from the neighborhood near the park.

“What we can do is close off the street from the Taukbahce crossroad, and it is possible to have shuttle buses from there to the pool. That is a more plausible idea than organizing transport from the city [center],” he said.

Lipa, who himself is a musician, said that he will reunite with the other band members of Oda and sing a few songs at the festival.

“Any festival of this sort is a success for the city, it is a success for us as organizers… I think that for us people in Kosovo and Prishtina, music is very close to our hearts,” he said.

He said that the festival will improve Kosovo’s image internationally, yet there are some difficulties in organizing an event of this scale in the country.

“We are talking about some of the biggest names… we do consider Dua as ours, but the world sees her a little differently. The lineup will be the first of its kind in the region,” he said. “The world should see that we are happy, that we are all about music, peace and love,” he said.

24/07/2018 - 11:27

24 July 2018 - 11:27

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.