Past and Present: Prishtina’s burgeoning underground club and music scene
by - Geralda Cela

Undeterred by low wages (which just this year have risen to around 500 euros a month) and frequent power cuts across the city; thanks to the countries entire energy supply coming from TWO thermal power stations. Prishtina’s promoters and musicians have somehow continued to forge a club and music scene that is far ahead of its resources. Prishtina’s underground scene is not only inclusive (with nights such as Prishtina promoting queer-friendly nights to bass-heavy events by Angry youth) but it also retains raving guerilla beginnings and authentic energy hard to replicate due ravings commercialisation.

In part, this flourishing scene may be attributed to the countries young population – which currently stands at 70% being under the age of 35. This undoubtedly gives the capital city incomparable energy levels to its bordering Balkan states that have seen a lot of its young people emigrate in search of work and a better standard of life.

But it seems that clubbing culture has actually always been a part of Kosovo even before it existed as a country. In 2002, a group of clubbers both Serbian and Albanian boarded a train called, “The Road of Peace Train,” from Prishtina train station. A station which during the time of the war served the public for various uses such as safe sleeping spaces, the arrival point of refugees and even space where women gave birth during the war years of 99. The group of these two nationalities – that just a couple of years before were in the midst of one of the most violent wars the region had seen, boarded the train united and danced across the territory of the former Yugoslavia for hours to electro and Detriot house and techno.

That same train station has since been transformed into Bahnhof, and still aims to retain the excitement of those years post-war with the explosion of electronic music across the country.

Alongside Bahnhof many more clubs and events have since sprouted across the country. Here are five nights/venues and collective to check out:

Prishtina is Burning

Queer focused night hosted at various places across the city that allows people to enjoy themselves free from prejudice. Expect avant-garde DJ’s and unexpected soundscapes to dance all night to.

Klubi M Club

Hosts ‘alternative spaces’ that support promoters in facilitating more inclusive clubbing/nightlife experience within the city.

Angry youth

A multi-genre collective, label and club night established in 2012 fostering some of the best producer and DJ talent across Kosovo. Check out their SoundCloud for some fire mixes and soundtracks.

Bahnhof

The train station turned club that has so much raving history for the city. Also named one of DJ Magazines top 100 clubs in the world.

Hapesira

Guerrilla style events capturing the organic energy of Kosovos young people, “while most events that have taken up stage in Kosovo in recent years seek to maximize material profit, events held by Hapësira aim to maximize human capital.”