TIRANA, Albania – An international music festival founded by singer Duo Lipa’s father to promote his native Kosovo has led to criticism of a small European country after it was defeated in neighboring Albania.
The Sunny Hill Festival debuted in the Kosovo capital of Pristina in 2018 and will take place again in 2019, bringing artists such as Miley Cyrus, Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix and Action Bronson to one of Europe’s youngest and poorest countries. The British Duo Lipa is also the main main character.
Dukagjin Lipa, the singer’s father and manager, said the festival brought valuable publicity to Kosovo, including coverage of more than 500 international media. The activity was stopped in 2020 and 2021 due to a coronavirus pandemic. He was due to return this summer, but Lipa said on Tuesday that “after a long wait, a lot of commitments and requests,” he had made a “difficult but necessary” decision to hold an event on August 4-7 in Albania’s capital, Tirana. . According to him, the political dispute between the ruling party in Kosovo and the one in power in Pristina prevented the organizers from obtaining permission to hold the festival.
He and other festival directors spent three years trying to persuade the national government to manage a 17-hectare (42-acre) park and build the right infrastructure for the annual festival. . They also did not receive permission for the August festival. Pristina Mayor Perparim Rama from the opposition Democratic League of Kosovo preferred the music festival. He accused the national government led by the Movement for Self-Determination !, of delaying the decision and trying to reverse the city council’s decision.
Kosovo Minister of Culture Hajrulla Ceku said the abduction led to the festival organizers demanding a lease for 99 years. The government cannot rush into an agreement and “it takes a long time to complete the decision-making process and it is not wrong or offensive,” Cheku said.
However, Lipa was delayed by a power struggle between the ruling Self-Determination Movement! and the Kosovo Democratic League came “at the expense of the festival and the contribution it made to the image of the state and the values represented in its society.”
However, the movement of the festival is not good for the people of Kosovo. Another opposition party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, has called for the resignation of the government, which “lost the festival to promote Kosovo,” said Besnik Tahiri, the party’s senior leader.
Tirana Mayor Erjon Veliaj told The Associated Press that his government immediately offered the capital of Albania “in exchange for an attempt to keep the international festival going in the Albanian big city.” Ethnic Albanians make up the majority of Kosovo’s population.
As proof that the Summer Hill Festival is in the right place, the mayor noted that the European Union has designated Tirana as the EU’s youth capital. He also mentioned many VIPs with Albanian roots, from the late cabaret artist John Belushi to the late Mem Teresa, now known as St. Teresa of Calcutta.
“Dua Lipa and her festival are the same, if not more, to promote an overweight country,” Veliaj said.