Street Art Festivals in Zagreb: Where the Streets Come Alive

One of my favorite things in Zagreb are street art festivals. In the last couple of years, Zagreb has become a home for many exciting festivals, such as Around (Croatian: Okolo), Art Park, Cest is d’Best and others, but this time I will write about one of my favorites.

I love Around for many reasons, but the main one is even when the festival is finished, in most cases, the art stays where it was created.

Around started a couple of years, and in the summertime, it brings the streets alive, especially many forgotten and abandoned corners which are, let’s be honest, ugly. Around is there to intervene and make an art of something opposite.

But, there were also popular places that got a new look just because of the Around festival.

Let me stop talking and show you my top five interventions within the Around festival in no particular order.

The first ones are murals all around the city. Those places are the new homes of huge murals left after the festival. These are among the best „gifts“ an event could leave behind itself.

The second is also a mural, but in this case, a drawing on the floor of the Zakmardi passage in the center of Zagreb. It looks like a colorful carpet.

The second is also something that comes in the plural. There were small interventions you need to look for during every Around festival. You get directions or even none, and you need to find them. It was hard for me to look for all of them, but when you see them. Yes, it’s worth it!

One of the most remarkable interventions, for me personally, was big silk that was put above Tomićeva Street. It looked cool, especially during a slight breeze. It looked like the silk was dancing! You may ask why this was cool for me personally. I was there while it was set up, and I got a chance to go up there in a crane to take photos of it. Pretty cool, right?

And the last one. Well, it hits hard. The author Voona put a wool-made hearth on a wall in the Upper town back in 2019, and as you may know, Zagreb was hit by a massive earthquake in 2020. During the earthquake, there was a lot of damage, and that wall with the wool hearth was also heavily damaged, and that hearth became a symbol of a broken city.

But, Voona made a new wool hearth and put it a couple of meters away, symbolizing the city’s strength during those hard times. And I bet it was the most photographed and published piece of art in decades!

So, that’s my experience with the Around//Okolo festival in the past years.

I want more of these!

Hi! My name is Ivan, and I'm an author of discoverzagreb.com. I have been photographing and exploring Zagreb for more than 15 years, and if you want to know more about me and discoverzagreb.com, read the Introduction articles by clicking here.

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