White Night took over Bratislava

Despite the Bratislava Region backing out of financial support there was no compromise in the quality of the event.

White Night 2018 in Bratislava, Town-hall Courtyard.White Night 2018 in Bratislava, Town-hall Courtyard. (Source: TASR)

One of the highlights of White Night 2018 in Bratislava was the special production performed by 20 Slovak dancers close to the Eurovea mall, which attracted mainly families with children. The dancers, led by Austrian choreographer Esther Steinkügler, were one of the biggest crowd-pullers, the Sme daily wrote on September 30.

This biggest Slovak festival of visual art focused a lot on families with children, the daily added.

Budget constraints did not affect quality

This time around, the event expanded from a White Night to a White Weekend, Sme commented, adding that the most interesting events were available between Friday, September 28 and Sunday, September 30.

This was due to the problems of last year, when the festival lasted for only a few hours and too many visitors crowded the streets, causing jams and blockages, nervous reactions and even delays in some closed venues.

This year, the main events still took place on Saturday night, when the Bratislava centre changed its silhouette with the play of light on its dominant buildings. However, individual visits to the light installations were calmer this time and on the night, around 170,000 people attended, about 20 percent fewer than last year. However this drop in numbers can be explained by the fact that some people had already visited during the day and that latecomers were able to see some of the artwork on Sunday as well.

Evolving the event to cover a whole weekend is a good idea but it is even more costly and the budget drop could be felt. In January, after the leadership of the Bratislava Region changed, governor Juraj Droba scrapped a substantial chunk of the subsidies available and the White Night team had to re-think their use of resources.

This may be the reason why there were fewer monumental installations in the streets this time, and why many were moved to enclosed spaces where an admission fee was paid. Also, a big part of the programme took palce around the areas built by the festival’s main partner, the JTRE company owned by the J&T financial group, such as River Park and Eurovea City.

Highlights of 2018

But many artworks were exceptional, and so if the team led by Zuzana Pacáková was forced to make concessions, it is understandable and compensated for by the quality.

The impressive works included figurines on a façade in Kapitulská by Boris Vitázek and Zuzana Sabová, a light performance in the Clarissen Church by Guillaume Marmin, an inflatable message by Ilona Németh in Primaciálne Square and more.

White Night continues on October 6 in Košice, Sme informs.

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