My Zagreb’s adventures: InMusic Festival 2015 and the Museum of Broken Relationships

When you live in Belgrade, suddenly all Eastern Europe becomes accessible. It takes 3 to 5 hours of driving – and you definitely will end up in another country. It can be Romania, Bosnia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary. The choice is quite vast. So it’s natural to travel around. One of the things that is great about Serbia is its music festival Exit, which is held in Novi Sad (the second largest town in the country). Its stage used to host such remarkable names as Portishead, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Faith No More, Arctic Monkeys, White Stripes, The Cult.

Unfortunately, with each year Exit’s line-up started to worsen, according the taste of all indie lovers like me, prioritizing electronic dance music. One of the affordable alternatives (as tickets for ExitFest are usually one of the cheapest) became InMusic festival in Zagreb. In 2015, the year I decided to go there, ExitFest was celebrating its 15th anniversary. As the line-up the organizers had come up with wasn’t that festive for me at all, I decided to follow the emerging trend of going to InMusic Festival to listen to some good alternative rock.

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(c) InMusic Facebook page

The trip from Belgrade to Zagreb

The trip from Belgrade to Zagreb is about 5 hours by bus or about 3 hours by car. I went with BusCroatia, and it cost me around 30 euro to go one way. Also, there is always a BlaBlaCar option that can be even cheaper. Prices for the festival are not high as well. A 3-day pass costs 40 euro, which is the cheapest price for a festival of that size I have ever seen in my life. The 2015 line-up included Placebo, Franz Ferdinand, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, La Roux and few others. One of the biggest names was supposed to be Florence and the Machine. I read that most of the hostels around were immediately booked after the red-haired British singer announced her gig. Unfortunately, the hopes of loads of her lovers were dispelled with cancellation of the show few weeks before the festival. It turned out, she broke her toe while performing barefoot on Coachella’s stage. Well, she cared enough not only to record her apology to the fans, but also to keep her promise and perform at InMusic this year.

InMusic Festival 2015

InMusic is held on Jarun lake, and it’s quite tricky to get there.

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(c) InMusic Facebook page

Even though there are maps and tram routes on the festival’s website, the entrances are still not that easy to find. Let’s also not forget that around 7pm, when the main shows are starting, it’s already quite dark. So I, for example, ended up walking the roads, the names of which I couldn’t find on the map, and following the only solid waymark – the sound. Embarrassing to say, but my lack of orientation cost me first 30 minutes of Franz Ferdinand’s set. This colorful video can give you a grasp of the location during the day.

Following Murphy’s Law, the weather during the first two days of the festival wasn’t good at all. Heavy rains turned the ground into mud. The area in front of the stages was unreachable for those who weren’t blessed with rubber boots. Luckily, nothing can spoil a good concert. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were the ones I really waited for, and they rocked big time. I’m not sure whether it was the amount of booze or the musicians indeed played so great, but I really enjoyed Placebo’s show as well. Both of their gigs I saw before were so poor I don’t even like recalling them. One was even canceled in the middle of the show because the guys overdid drugs and couldn’t perform.

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(c) InMusic Facebook page

The Museum of Broken Relationships

Apart from the festival, I had another good memory from that trip. It’s my visit to the legendary Museum of Broken Relationships.

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(c) The Museum of Broken Relationships’ Facebook page

Honestly, it wasn’t so legendary for me. In fact, I’ve never heard of that place at all. But most of the people whom I told about my Zagreb plans started recommending it right away. It turned out that in the beginning the museum was primarily a joke: two artists decided to collect some left-overs of their and their friends’ exes. But with time, the idea gained huge popularity, and people started sending their reminders of broken relationships from across the world along with letters explaining the history of the items. Some of the exhibits you can check on the website.

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The museum of broken relationships met me with an ironic welcoming sign “We have beers as cold as your ex’s heart”. On the ground floor, it has a big space for souvenirs and a small coffee place. The rooms for exhibits were quite small so I always had a feeling of being in a crowded place as the museum is indeed very popular. Nevertheless, I had an amazing time reading the descriptions of the items. They are very different in length, emotional intensity, and even conclusions. From short and cutting description of an old hamburger toy saying “His dog left more traces behind than he did” to a terrifying with its brutality story about an axe. The latter impressed me so much (and, according to my Google research, others as well) that I’m going to publish it here:

“She was the first woman that I let move in with me. All my friends thought I needed to learn to let people in more. A few months after she moved in, I was offered to travel to the US. She could not come along. At the airport, we said goodbye in tears, and she was assuring me she could not survive three weeks without me. I returned after three weeks, and she said: “I fell in love with someone else. I have known her for just 4 days, but I know that she can give me everything that you cannot.”

I was banal and asked about her plans regarding our life together. The next day she still had no answer, so I kicked her out. She immediately went on holiday with her new girlfriend while her furniture stayed with me. Not knowing what to do with my anger, I finally bought this axe at Karstadt to blow off steam and to give her at least a small feeling of loss – which she obviously did not have after our break-up.

In the 14 days of her holiday, every day I axed one piece of her furniture. I kept the remains there, as an expression of my inner condition. The more her room filled with chopped furniture acquiring the look of my soul, the better I felt. Two weeks after she left, she came back for the furniture. It was neatly arranged into small heaps and fragments of wood. She took that trash and left my apartment for good. The axe was promoted to a therapy instrument.”

I don’t know about you but it sent shivers down my spine. And here’s the museum’s most popular souvenir, according to their FB page.

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(c) The Museum of Broken Relationships’ Facebook page

I, on the other hand, would go with something like this.

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(c) The Museum of Broken Relationships’ Facebook page

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