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Patti Smith's concert

Patti Smith's concert

8 thousand people at the former border crossing for The Smartest Woman in the World's concert promoted by EGTC GO in the run-up to the European Capital of Culture.

Eight thousand people singing along with Patti Smith and surprise guest Elisa “People Have the Power”: this was certainly the most beautiful image of the evening of 5 October in Gorizia. This is the spirit of unity and brotherhood hoped for by the promoter EGTC GO, Gorizia's European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, which has the mission of "building" a cross-border city and which strongly supported the concert.

At the end of the performance, the mayors Rodolfo Ziberna (Gorizia) and Samo Turel (Nova Gorica), accompanied by the director of the EGTC GO Romina Kocina, handed over a tribute from the city to the American star backstage, to thank her for her "baptism" on the former border: another symbolic moment in the path of cooperation between the "old" and the "new" Gorizia - as they are called in Slovenian - two parts of the same city. Among the guests were also the two Slovenian ministers Asta Vrečko, Minister of Culture, and Matej Arčon, Minister for Slovenians abroad.

A performance in which Patti Smith, icon, priestess, goddess of rock, proved once again that she is an artist of great charisma, despite her age. Enthralling, poetic but clear in her messages, she gave Gorizia and Nova Gorica a very symbolic evening.

Neil Young, Lou Reed but also a tribute to the recently deceased Tom Verlaine of Television - and the great themes of her poetics: nature, freedom, dignity of work, respect for people. The singer's son Jackson is also in the band.

An hour and a half concert punctuated by references to other music gods finished with a duet with Elisa who was visibly emotional 'it's a dream to be here,' she said 'Patti for me is one of the most important female forces on the planet'.

On the same stage before the American star were the two bands chosen to open the evening: Overlaps - an altpop/rock band from Pordenone (IT) that has already performed on many important stages in Europe - and Imset, a Slovenian rock band from Domžale (SI), who warmed up the audience with their pressing sounds. The two bands were chosen from 70 Italian and Slovenian applications received by EGTC GO to be the support band. Peter Szabo, translator and interpreter who embodies the multilingual identity of the area, did the honours.

The organisers were satisfied with the large turnout from Italy and Slovenia and with the smooth running of the venue on the border, the Casa Rossa square already tested for the Editors' concert at the beginning of September. The management of the public did not cause any particular problems to the road system of the area, thanks to the free shuttle buses made available for the occasion by the administrations of Gorizia (in collaboration with the Azienda Provinciale Trasporti - APT Gorizia) and Nova Gorica and to the teamwork between the police and the volunteers of the FVG Civil Protection.

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“Gorizia and Nova Gorica are thus preparing to face together the organisation of the international events of the European Capital of Culture 2025,” says Romina Kocina, director of the EGTC GO - with the ambition of attracting a wide audience curious to experience a territory straddling cultures, languages, historical events. We also hope that it will become an attractive venue for international music, even beyond 2025.”

The concert on 5 October 2023 – free and open to all – was promoted by the EGTC GO, in collaboration with the Municipality of Gorizia and Zenit Srl, as part of the preparations for GO! 2025.

Read the concert review by Bojan Stilin.

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