Jazz Fest Drops City Hall Venue because of Steep Rent Price

Organizers of an annual jazz music festival, the Jazz Fest Sarajevo, said the two concerts they planned to have in Sarajevo’s City Hall this year will be held elsewhere as the city administration’s company in charge of renting the venue asked for close to 5,000 Euros for the two events.

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“… One of the most prestigious halls in the world, the New York Carnegie Hall, charges $1,750 for renting the Weill Hall, with capacity of 268 seats, which amounts to 11 KM (aprox. 5 Euros) per seat. Of course, th(e) hall is technically fully equipped, and the price includes all the necessary infrastructure and staff, including a box office service up to 90 days,” the Jazz Fest said.

The festival had four concerts at the City Hall last year, rent-free. However, the organizers said the new city administration, with a conservative Muslim mayor at its helm, will not be doing the favor this year.

The use of City Hall, reconstructed two decades after being bombed out during the Sarajevo siege, was criticized on several occasions since it was reopened in 2014. Formerly the home to the national library, the landmark building is now rented for product launches, weddings, receptions and similar events. A group of book lovers have had protest sittings at the City Hall entrance, demanding it housed the national library again.

The 2017 Jazz Fest Sarajevo will be held October 31-November 5.

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