Who Lights Up the City for Doček?

Doček in Novi Sad was declared the best European Trend Brand in culture last year. We did not often have the opportunity to relate the New Yers Eve celebration with cultural events, primarily because of the entertainment that is imperative on these occasions, and that is why this move by the European Capital of Culture is very important for the image of the city that has been achieved with Doček. Namely, from the beginning of the implementation and preparations for the title year 2022, Doček in Novi Sad was under the organizational auspices of the Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture Foundation, when it was turned into a real little trip through the entire city, marked by numerous performances, as well as visual experiences that made this event truly unique in Europe. This year as well, performances, light installations and effects by international and local artists await us in the Suburbium on 31 December and throughout the city on 13 January. From recreating natural phenomena to innovative representations of life processes and scenography that create a new space in the space, the light installations during Doček will leave you breathless again this time.

The visual identity of Doček became an important component of the celebration, and we could notice it everywhere in the city and its surroundings, even in other cities of Serbia, on billboards and other public points that attract the attention of passers-by, as well as at the performances themselves, which turned ordinary concerts into memorable events. Bringing together artists and performers in unusual locations where performances are held, Doček has become the new New Year’s costume of the city.

The City of Light

The highlight of the visualization of a different, cultural and artistic celebration was certainly the Tesla Light Gallery in the Suburbium of the Petrovaradin Fortress on 31 December 2021, which opened the European Capital of Culture title year, and which will also mark this year’s Doček and close the title. Suburbium, thanks to international and local light artists, has become a small city of light – starting from the Rainbow Bridge, from where the procession of fellow citizens started, to the streets of the Suburbium, where we came across various installations, projections and performances marked by light, as a leitmotif dedicated to the Serbian giant of world science.

Doček 2022. u Podgrađu

Light Installations as a Trademark of Doček 2023.

This year’s Doček on 31 January will be celebrated by the Japanese artist Chida Yasuhiro and the artist Pavla Beranova from the Czech Republic, along with local artists from this field of art. The Brocken light installation is the work of an established Japanese artist who was named one of the nine best light artists by the renowned Artdex portal. The installation is an interactive light object inspired by the phenomenon of the same name in nature. Namely, the Brocken mountain peak (the highest peak of the German Harz Mountains) is the subject of legendary myths about mysterious phenomena that occur at this place, which originated from an apparently completely natural phenomenon, later called the Broken spectre.


It is a blurred perception when, on a sunny day, while the sun is low and shining from behind, the observer sees a round rainbow. Similar to a mirage, this phenomenon occurs on Brocken during fog. The famous Charles Dickens was also amazed by the unusual phenomenon, and it was described by Johann Silberschlag when it got its current name, so although it is not the only place where it can be experienced, Brocken peak, due to the frequent fogs, remains the main toponym associated with this phenomenon.

We will see how this mirage, shaped into a light work of art, will look like in the Suburbium, where the Words on Fire installation awaits us. It is the work of Pavla Beranova, a multi-awarded artist in the field of light installations, who also tried her hand at set design, architecture and visual arts.

Words on fire

Foreign artists are joined by Dorijan Kolundžija with the kinetic light installation Time of Flight by the clock at the Fortress. The installation consists of synchronized light sources, video projection and motorized elements, which together form an intriguing choreography of light, accompanied by audio recordings of the mechanism of the famous drunken clock.

Time of flight

Play of light in Podgrađ

In addition to the light settings in the space, Doček brings the play of light through video works and other multimedia. Thus, we will have the opportunity to be active observers of Goran Despotovski’s (SULUV) video creation called the Necklace, which symbolically represents movement, its principles, creation, disappearance, spirit energy and surrounding manifestations. The whole process is presented in three parts, which form a whole that unites the relationships of life’s movements, connections and ephemerality, and takes us back. Despotovski also created a video that follows each performer on stage in Štrosmajerova Street, while at the Belgrade Gate we are expecting an artistic intervention byDejan Stojkov and Anđelko Popić, in the form of scenography on the stage, adapted to each of the musicians, as well as to the architecture of the Belgrade Gate.

Beogradska kapija, Doček 2022.

The Stage Identity of Doček 7531 Is Left to Supreme Artists

At Doček on 13 January, when performances await us at indoor locations throughout the city, the musical atmosphere will be complemented by enriched scenography that creates a completely different ambience. Petar Bilbija, an audio-visual designer, will complete the performance of Danica Crnogorčević at Serbian National Theatre, and show that traditional music can also have its modern expression. Known as a composer who enriched Serbian series and films, Bilbija as a multimedia artist had a notable exhibition Pixelbombing at the Creative Code festival in New York. This line will be followed by the famous director Aleksandar Nikolić, who will turn the Reformed Christian Church and the performance of Paganini from Vojvodina, Lajko Felks, into The Garden of Earthly Delights, inspired by the famous painting by Bosch.

The well-known Croatian electro band ABOP will be reinforced by the works of Mia David and Tanja Milovanović, contemporary multimedia artists and professors at the Novi Sad University of Technology, in Radnički Dom. Mia David is known as one of the authors and curators during the presentation of Serbia at the Prague Quadrennial in the field of architecture in 2011. The minimalist industrial ambience of Svilara, during the performance of the new hope of the local alternative scene, Sana Garić, will be complemented by the stage effects by Svetlana Klopan from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. In the Novi Sad Synagogue, on the other hand, a different atmosphere awaits us with African rhythm and blues princess Nneka, whose enchanting voice will be accompanied by the works of Dejan Stojkov, who will bring the spirit of hot Africa to the favourite concert space of Novi Sad residents.

This year’s Doček, for the sixth year in a row, presents something that should not be missed, even if you are a fan of home New Year’s parties – take a walk to the Suburbium on 31 December, and feel the unusual atmosphere that reigns among fellow citizens who have moved from Freedom Square for Doček to the pearl of Novi Sad’s history and architecture – the Suburbium of the Petrovaradin Fortress. And for 13 January, you will have to prepare your lineup more seriously, because the concerts are lined up one after the other throughout the evening, so you have to get your tickets on time, which are already on sale.

Author: Leona Pap

Photo: Vladimir Veličković, Promo/ECoC

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