About the Festival

We can easily recognize songs which originate from this area and area all around the river Drava. Special elements in musical sheets, lyrics and wide variety of other characteristics make this song recognizable.

Pitomača, Podravina, is located on the bare edge of kajkavski dialect and, geographically speaking, in the middle of Croatian Podravlje. Since the beginning you can find „kaj“ i „što“, typical two question words of two Croatians dialects, and in folk song you can equally find cimbal, tambouritza and Zagorske muzikaše.

Podravci are diligent people but they gladly change their working tool with a brush, pen or tamboura. Habitants of Pitomača like to call their place and municipal a municipal of bread, wine and song. „Our songs are „born“in our home, mature under the sun of our vineyards and lives on our festival“

From the enthusiasm and love towards the music of the amateurs Pitomača festival was born. Pitomača has a very long musical tradition which dates from 1926 when the Croatian singing and musical society „Sloga“was formed and within it two tambouritza orchestra were formed: a male one and a female one. The society gave a lot of great singers and players who cherished the tradition of podravian end. One of the traditional customs which was held throughout history is „Martinjsko krštenje mošta“. On the day of the St. Martin tenants called their friend in their vineyards and celebrate their hard work. From this custom and from the idea of Jergović brothers the concept of festival „Kletijada“ was formed.

In the beginnings most of the performed songs were the traditional ones or the songs that were already known but little by little „Kletijada“ grew and there were some newly created songs. Musical amateurism in Pitomača started to develop very fastly and soon the media showed their interest. „Tamburaško sijelo“was a show on the Croatian radio in which the idea of the festival, as we know it today, was created. After the death of the legendary Blaž Lenger Pitomača and Podravina were missing new ideas and new musical sheet so the idea of the festival seemed perfect.

In the 1993 the first festival „Pjesme Podravine i Podravlja“was held in the within the show „Tamburaško sijelo“and it was called „Podravino moja mila“. On the festival were 10 bands mostly from the area of Varaždin, Koprivnica, Zagreb, Virovitica and Pitomača. Some of the songs from that festival are still well known like „Podravski svirači“ by Vlado Smiljanić i Tajne, „Lenger Blaž“ by Vlado Smiljanić and „Pjesma moje Podravine“ by Marijan Jergović and Drago Britvić.

From the year of 1994 the festival was held under the same name as today but there is one inevitable element which is known throughout the history of Pitomača music – the river Drava.

Drago Britvić