The topic of the 6th year of the festival was trust vs. distrust. Trust is Art!
Traditional festival prize of this edition went to The Goose on a String Theatre (CZ) Paul Morocco (GB/DE/ES) City Theatre – Theatre from Passage (SK) Martin Toman & Tadeáš Bolo (SK) Hayato Yamaguchi (JP)
Trust and its renewal when it comes to facts, basic values and healthy relationships in a post-pandemic world were the leitmotifs of the 6th year of AMPLIFIER, which took place over 4 days for the first time.
Why? Because on top of bringing contemporary art to the historical centre of Banská Štiavnica, we also decided to bring it to the inhabitants of surrounding outskirts and villages. That demanded the expansion of the festival for one day.
In the first artistic pilgrimage under the name of AMPLIFIER Caravan, we took a yellow Fiat 600 and a yellow VW Caravan to perform 13 different productions by artists from all around the world at 6 nearby places. Thus, the charming AMPLIFIER experience was resonating both in the streets and cultural centres of Banská Štiavnica, but also the residential area Drieňová, KTC Hájovňa-Červená studňa, the schools and the cinema in Štiavnické Bane, and Počúvadlo, Beluj and Banská Belá.
Despite the organising circumstances being difficult for cultural events during the third wave of the pandemic (the 1 st level of warning), the productions in these places were available for everyone (under the Basic setup), the city center hosted the events with the OTP setup (Tested, Vaccinated and/or those who went through Covid).
We were able to introduce 27 programs with 94 artists from 9 countries in total. These included a stylish new cabaret La Fontaine a.k.a the party of big animals RAUT by the independent Prague theatre Geisslers Hoffcomoedianten, or the circus acrobatics in public space BE FLAT by the Belgian parkour duo Ludo & Arsène.
While the ticket pre-sale was low until the very end due to pandemic fears, ultimately, there was no shortage of audience members. In some places, they filled out the 50% of the venue capacity, as set by the cultural traffic light system.
During four sunny days, a rough total of 1 200 visited AMPLIFIER, dropping only by roughly 25% compared to pre-pandemic numbers.
The festival also introduced a new element in the ART PUB -- informal pub disputes in beloved pubs in Štiavnica with attractive guests including Ján Markoš, Dušan Ondrušek and Mirek Tóda, bringing current social topics and non-violent clashes with local guests.
The third edition of the annual Czech-Slovak competition to support new cabaret SKETCH UP was also a hit, featuring the great Mojše Band, laughing plays of the host Ľubor Foltán, and the judges panel with Lumír Mati, Martina Garassyová and Zuzana Liptáková. The new and fresh music-acting cabaret duo Martin Toman & Tadeáš Bolo became the winner and laureate of the AMPLION ARGENTUM award, and were given the option of their own full-length program during the next annual.
This year, the atmosphere of the festival in the streets was strengthened by BUSKERS -- local and international street artists who responded to our open call, and who collected their profits into hats. The Japanese acrobatic dancer Hayato Yamaguchi has been deemed the most captivating of them all and was awarded a special prize for Buskers.
The AMPLION ARGENTUM award in the New cabaret category has been given to the headliner, theatre Husa na provázku (The Theatre Goose on a String) (CZ) and their Czech-Roma cabaret about prejudice known as Comedy Ghetto GADŽOVÉ JDOU DO NEBE (Whiteys go to heaven). The international trio Paul Morocco (GB/DE/ES) won the street art category with their fantastic guitar-artistic show OLÉ! Music & Comedy, and in the socially engaged production category, the prize has gone to the City Theatre – Theatre from the passage (SK) for their original play LÁSKY SHOCK (Love shock), which had a strong viewer response.
The 6 th edition of the AMPLIFIER festival showed that the live personal experience between the viewers and personalities or artists, who present high quality and skill, but also difference, humanity and tolerance is a unique tool to restore trust.
We want to thank the viewers who came to AMPLIFIER despite the pandemic -- for their trust. TRUST IS ART!