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Revellers enjoy brass band festival in Guca, Serbia

Sunday, August 13, 2017 - 01:30

The 57h Guca Brass Band Festival, Serbia's liveliest traditional music event, has attracted tens of thousands of people crowding the streets and savouring the trumpet beat. Rough cut (no reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. The 57h Guca Brass Band Festival, Serbia's liveliest traditional music event, has attracted tens of thousands of people crowding the streets and savouring the trumpet beat. Passages, tents, stalls and restaurants in the town were overwhelmed by trumpets blaring from all sides and permeated by the smell of lamb and pork on the spit, cabbage in clay pots and plum brandy fumes. Guca, a normally sleepy town with only 3,700 people in the rolling hills of southwestern Serbia, is hosting the country's biggest party, with 50 brass bands competing for the coveted Golden Trumpet. Launched in 1961 with four bands and 2,500 visitors, Guca has since been visited by more than 15 million people. The "Dragacevo Trumpeters Assembly," as the festival is officially called, now lures not only Serbians, but also tourists from around the world. The music has a long tradition in Serbia - it goes back to a royal decree establishing a military brass band in 1831. The bands, those competing for the prize and those weaving through dozens of tents teeming with guests eating, drinking and partying, make good money from tips. Most visitors drink beer and plum brandy and eat barbecued meat or a local delicacy, seasoned spicy cabbage with three kinds of meat which simmers for hours in large clay pots. In an attempt to avoid the serious road accidents which have marred the festival in the past, police have ordered all drivers along the two roads leading in and out of Guca to take a breathalyzer test.

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Revellers enjoy brass band festival in Guca, Serbia

Sunday, August 13, 2017 - 01:30