Mladi Levi Festival
19 – 23 August 2007
An evening stroll after a beer by the river and an ice cream by the spider infested 3-way Tromostovje bridge was a gentle introduction to this beautiful city. The graft came the next day as the get in took place in extreme heat. The U-shaped gallery – an offshoot of the city museum, gave us a new creative challenge. James had drawn-up a plan for the main rice piles and themes on an earlier site visit, Craig had identified key starting statistics, we took it on from there, feeling like Of All The People giants, wielding tiny 1kg bags. The next morning a champagne and ice cream reception opened the show and a succession of TV and newspaper interviews ensured a steady flow of visitors throughout the run.
The opening night party was a glitzy affair with several TV news crews and a flock of Paparazzi paying close attention to the festival director, a handful of Slovenian celebrities and 22 birthday cakes that had been baked by sponsors, friends, family and fans of The Mladi Levi festival to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
As has been suggested, the festival, which translates as Young Lions, has a great atmosphere. The work is interesting and the staff welcoming and friendly, always making time for a chat. This friendliness embraced both artists and audience, it culminated in the festival laying on a hillside picnic for all the artists on a deer farm in the mountainous countryside just outside Ljubljana.
The rather strange sensation of walking across Preseren Square on a cloudless day and suddenly being rained on. A quarter of the square has permanent, year round rainfall courtesy of a sprinkler system suspended above the sodden cobbles which varies its sprinkle rate according to the humidity – a bit like the early days of Signalnet.
Lessons in Slovenian drinking etiquette from one of the local performers. The usual clink of the glass and utterance of ‘Na zdravje’ (Cheers) followed by the placing (or in Jack’s case slamming) of the glass on the table/bar before the first sip – a symbolic way of grounding yourself and guarding against excessive inebriation before getting excessively inebriated.
Performers: Chris Dugrenier, Peter Fletcher, Karen Stafford, Jack Trow
Concept: James Yarker
General Manager: Charlotte Martin
Advisory Producer: Nick Sweeting