Balkans contemporary culture guide

The Guide to Raving in Prishtina

To all friends and readers from Macedonia (and surrounding countries) that are interested in attending Kosovo for their first time, I have gathered this information that was collected over the several few months by me into this post so you can find everything that interests you a bit easier.

Note: These ‘Guide’ series are part of the gonzo-journalism we publish as a platform, meaning that this is a personal view from me in this case. If you have anything to add, fix or just give feedback to the post don’t hesitate to send over an email or message us on Facebook.

Event organizers that you should follow

Highly recommended to follow all of these organizations to be updated with quality and good electronic music events organized around Kosovo and Prishtina.

Picture from Servis Night with Alessandro Adriani, taken by David Stanley

A rave and party organization based in Prishtina, Kosovo that has varieties of types of parties including recently reviewed RE:FORM which is an annual forest festival and throughout the year they invite over all kinds of artists from around the world. Just this year they have invited names such as Florian Kupfer, Alessandro Adriani, Neil Landstrumm, Randomer and many others that are crucial in their own way for the electronic scene. On their Soundcloud profile you can find monthly podcasts of their friends and collaborators and artists that they invite over.
Servis on Facebook
Servis on Soundcloud

Hapësira means space in Albanian language. It is a bigger organization with series of events such as the Rilindja Warehouse raves which occur at an abandoned newspaper printing facility in the heart of Prishtina and Prelude to the Visions / Visions of Beyond which has a different concept of having an more intimate party in a cultural heritage place. They also have an amazing repertoar just this year with artists such as DVS1, Daniel Avery, AWB to name a few. They have organized the first Boiler Room event in Kosovo as well, which you can read more about in our interview with Uran Badivuku, one of the founders of Hapësira made earlier this year. On their Soundcloud profile they publish podcast mixes from the artists they invite over.
Hapësira on Facebook
Hapësira on Soundcloud

Vakuum is the youngest organization of these included with a special place in our heart, being the organization that really introduced me to what Kosovo raves mean, with their event in Prishtina earlier in May which included headliners Ansome and Ontal, most recognizable for their MORD releases that are absolute fire without skipping a beat. On the Soundcloud profile you can hear podcast mixes from their friends and amazing artists in the more hardcore kind of techno such as OlÄ“ka, Kosovo’s own Vegim and just recently Dist from Gomboc Records.
Vakuum on Facebook
Vakuum on Soundcloud

Angry Youth
These guys are the grime, the nasty… the angriest sounds of the spectrum. They invite artists from the UK-influenced style of electronics, act as a collective, have their own label and just do mad and crazy parties all over Prishtina.
Angry Youth on Facebook

Clubs that are worth visiting

Clubs and places that have amazing music program every time you go.

The club M is beyond every thought I can write here. It is a house on two levels which turns into a mini-club at nights with music from all over the spectrums, from hip-hop to jazz and of course techno. Beside music events they organize all kinds of cultural gatherings there. The owner Dren is one of the nicest guys I have met and they have given us the privilege to host our own first Ravekonnekt event with myself Likvidator and Kronom earlier in July. If you are in Prishtina you will definitely want to go a night there, people gather, dance and party so hard sometimes that the police needs to come by several times to put everything in order. But from dancing, not anything negative. ??
M Club on Facebook

The name itself suggests that this is a bass-addict friendly place. Situated at the outskirts of Prishtina it works until the very mornings and has varieties of DJs from all over the world. Just recently they have introduced an exchange program with German DJs that will guest frequently in the club. Basstore is the only techno-oriented club in Prishtina. The club motto is a very powerful one: Dance to the music, not to superstars.
Basstore on Facebook

Termokiss is a social center that started by revitalizing and putting life to an abandoned building in the heart of Prishtina. It hosts all kinds of cultural activities, music events and other events which are linked to being non-profit and educative. The community acts as the biggest influencer with volunteers helping and managing things around. Worth visiting to learn more about all kinds of cultural sides of Kosovo which you really can’t find anywhere else.
Termokiss on Facebook

? Places to stay for some time

Need to stay somewhere? Hostels and places you can do that and feel like home, or even better.

Buffalo Backpackers
Buffalo is a very magical hostel situated in the heart of the center of Prishtina. It is literally close to everything that you will need, the owner and the people that work there are friendly and speak fluent English as they come from the U.S. and around the globe, and going here will be cheaper than renting an Airbnb or something similar, plus you’ll meet new friends and have a step in their out of this world yard.
They organize gatherings and tours, so if you are interested in staying don’t hesitate to write them directly on Facebook for anything.
Buffalo Backpackers Official Website
Buffalo Backpackers on Facebook

White Tree Hostel
White Tree hostel is also located very near the center of Prishtina with it acting like a cafè in the mornings. They have music and culture events very often during the nights and even if you are not staying a night, you can pass by and visit the place to have a cold beer, a lemonade or a morning coffee.
White Tree Hostel Official Website
White Tree Hostel on Facebook

? Food and drinks

I still can’t write about certain places because there are tons of places to eat and drink in Prishtina, but I will write about the things you need to know about.
The food choice is the same or very similar to the cuisine found in Skopje, but almost everything is cheaper.

To start with hamburgers, if you get one from a local fast-food joint they are usually costing 1€. And this is not considered cheap there, it’s the normal price that you pay for a hamburger. If you go to a more fancy place (to most restaurants) the price will be from 2 to 3€. Depending on what you want to eat consider that the prices are the same, cheaper or in most cases very similar to the ones in Skopje, the only difference is that you pay with euros.

Local beers Peja and Shok e Shoqe in most places will cost you 1€. If you want to get a Skopsko or some other foreign beer it will be 2€ or maximum 3€ in some places and depending on what kind of beer you are drinking.
At raves the prices for drinks usually cost 1€ for water and beverages, 2€ for beer and similar prices for other alcoholic drinks.

Overall the pricing for drinks and food is cheaper than in Macedonia and Skopje, and on parties and raves it’s very similar. At first I did not like the local beers so much, but after awhile I’ve learnt to enjoy them. There is no sense in drinking Skopsko while in Kosovo, right?

? Getting to Prishtina by car or a bus

Because Albanians from Kosovo and Macedonia are very well connected the transportation is very frequent and very easy. The buses are frequent and cheap and getting there with your own car is also very doable.

Going with your own car
You do not need to have a general green card issued by the Macedonian government to go into Kosovo. After passing the border you can purchase their special green card just before the KaÄŤanik border which costs 15EUR for 15 days or 20EUR for a month. If you already have an Macedonian issued green card which is valid for all countries, you can use that one as well, you do not need to buy an additional one.
The new road is absolutely amazing and takes you right to Prishtina without any complications at all. For example if you drive steady 130km/h for most of the road (which is the legal speed limit) you will be there from the Macedonia-Kosovo border in about 40 to 45 minutes.
One thing to look out for in Prishtina is the traffic at roundabouts, for some reason a bit of chaos ensures there, other than that the same rules as in Macedonia apply.

Going with a bus
If you choose to go with a bus I strongly recommend getting a one way ticket because it is the same price and will leave you with more options on the way back home. One way costs 5EUR, so that will be 10EUR in total for the trip.

From Skopje to Prishtina you have buses and vans starting from 6AM to 9:30PM every day. If you are planning to go weekends please do so daily and call the bus station before, because the first time I was there with a bus the one that was listed on the website didn’t actually go at all?
Skopje Bus Station Timetables

?? The people and the culture of Prishtina

… or why will you also fall in love with it?

First a very crucial sentence and a wonder fact: “Half of Kosovo’s roughly 2-million-strong population is under the age of 25, according to a recent report of the UNDP.” I think over 70% are less than 30.
In real-life this translates to the younger population leading the path this country takes. The hospitality of Kosovars is something that we need to learn from – all the people I have met have been so generous, so positive with smiling faces and always curious to learn more about our country and the techno/rave situation here as well. An occasion which will stay in my mind forever is when a dear friend now helped me find a bed when I was stuck with no buses back to Skopje without asking a question, and back then I only met him once briefly on a rave. I will be forever grateful for it, and this kind of hospitality is the one that we all need to nurture.

I recommend to everyone that will go to a rave in Prishtina or Kosovo to try to make new friends, there are marvelous people from variety of backgrounds doing all kinds of interesting things. They are very warm, they speak English fluently and they know how to fucking dance. I am not talking about showing off some ballerina-type of moving dance skills, but I am talking about the energy of just moving your body at a rave. People are relaxed and they do not care if they are seen going ape-shit crazy while being hypnotized by the music. And I’m saying this in the best way that I can, this is the energy that made me fall in love with Kosovo and its people in the first place.
They don’t have their phones turned on to take pictures or stories all the time, I even feel embarrassed sometimes when I get my phone out to do some coverage for my website. I’m pretty sure it’s a fact that they know how to have fun and rave properly.

So before May I had no clue that Kosovo even had a techno scene. I am ashamed of it, but now I am proud to say that after learning and getting to know it I have fallen deeply in love with the whole vibe, the hospitality from the people and the energy that happen at the raves.

The artists that they bring are always quality which you won’t have a chance to see currently in our country because of our situation we’re going through, so if you are a raver in heart, please follow all the organizations listed above and just go without any prejudice and negative thoughts in your head. If you go there with the pure love of music, you will have the time of your life, something which no price in euros can give you.

Andrijan Apostoloski

Founder of frekvencii and self-proclaimed professional non-professional gonzo journalist of techno. Imagine that.