Pricey jubilee for locals?

Mayor Jacek Majchrowski will announce the preliminary results of Krakow’s 750th anniversary celebration today ? how many people attended the various events, how much the celebration cost and how the city benefited from promoting the anniversary events.
The 10-day festival, which wrapped up Sunday, featured 60 separate events.
Filip Szatanik of the Mayor?s Office said one of the event?s investors, the City?s Festival Bureau, paid at least 6 mln zloty, but in terms of the other agencies, ?we are still receiving data […] and have to add it all up.?
Other agencies besides the City?s Festival Bureau that played key roles in the celebration were the Historical Museum of Krakow, the Mayor?s Office, the Office of the City Council, the City?s Department of Culture and the City?s Bureau of Tourism. The total cost of the jubilee is estimated at several million zloty.
The main events of the celebration were held on the Rynek Glowny stage. The cost of constructing the 36- by 22-meter stage on the west side of the Sukiennice was 1.6 mln zloty.
 The money was spent on the structure itself plus sound, illumination and multimedia equipment.
?The facility accommodated an amazing 30 tons of equipment,? said Maja Drexler of the Festival Office. ?The biggest difficulty was to adjust the stage to the artists? different requirements.? 
The concerts at Rynek Glowny featured Piotr Rubik, the Polish composer of music for orchestra, films and theater; Tomasz Stanko, the Polish jazz trumpeter, composer and pioneer of avant-garde jazz; Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, the Polish composer of classical music; and the most heralded star, Italian composer Ennio Morricone, whose performance attracted the biggest audience.
It has been difficult for the city to get a good grasp on the overall attendance at the four concerts, partly because many people left the Morricone concert early due to sound problems.         
The composer insisted on his own sound system, which proved unable to project enough volume for the size of the crowd.
The Mayor?s Office?s best guess so far regarding attendance at the four concerts combined is 200,000, but that is subject to change.
?According to our experience, we suggested maestro another technical parameter, but we heard that their sound system was the best in the world, and there was no possibility that maestro would play with other equipment,? she added.
Celebrations of this size always have some glitches, like the Morricone sound problem. But, overall, ?the anniversary was a very successful event,? Szatanik said. ?A lot of people visited Krakow. It was a great promotion for the city.?
A varied sampling of business people indicated that, though the festival may have been a great promotion for the city, it didn?t generate a lot of extra revenue for businesses.
?We didn?t notice more people compared with the same period last year,? said Agata Osiak of the Radisson SAS Hotel.
Balice International Airport officials offered the same assessment.
?We didn?t notice increased passenger traffic last week, although we had more passengers in our VIP lounge,? said airport spokesman Piotr Pietrzak.
The organizers noted that they made a conscious decision not to promote the festival internationally. They felt it wasn?t the right event to present Krakow to the world.
One of the lasting legacies of the celebration will be the structures built or renovated for it. They include the construction of the Wyspianski Pavilion on pl. Wszystkich Swietych, the renovation of Maly Rynek and the Czecz and Kosciuszki Palaces and the historical mural at ul. Powstancow, and the reconstruction of the monument of Tadeusz Rejtan on  ul. Basztowa. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *