“Green Rock Fest Incubator” is an innovative project of the “Green Rock Fest” association from the city of Ruse with a focus on promoting rock music among children and youth. It was implemented with the financial support of the National Culture Fund.
Within the framework of the project, a competition was announced for young instrumentalists and singers from Bulgaria. They had the opportunity to present their demo performance via video. For the period from March 1 to 30, 2022, 43 applications were submitted by young people aged up to 26 from all over Bulgaria. An expert committee consisting of Anton Yovchev – guitar, Iliyan Trifonov – piano, Sofia Petrova – vocals, Lazar Benov – drums and Mihail Dichev – bass guitar made a selection of the participants and selected the best performing musicians. 12 young talents were selected and according to the judgment of the experts, they were assigned to completely new rock bands – Unity and Distracted. Here is the composition of the groups:
Anna Drumeva from the city of Ruse – vocal and piano
Dimana Krumova from the city of Kyustendil – vocal and piano
Alex Stanchev from the city of Ruse – drums
Tervel Trayanov from the city of Sofia – bass guitar
Kristiyan Stanchev from the city of Ruse – guitar
Trayan Trifonov from the city of Ruse – guitar
Vihra Makedonska from the city of Ruse – piano
Damian Vladev from the city of Sofia – bass guitar
Petar Petrov from the city of Novi Pazar – vocal
Ivan Popov from the city of Dupnitsa – guitar
Georgi Todorov from the city of Varna – guitar
Petar Petrov from the city of Varna – drums
For 4 months, debates, trainings and meetings were held using a specialized online platform. The young participants themselves chose their band names and repertoire. Each of them diligently researched their parties in direct contact with their selection committee mentors, who shared their experiences and gave them guidance. The ultimate goal was their debut participation in the Green Rock Fest, which has become an emblem of Ruse, in 2022. Its 14th edition was scheduled for September 10 and 11 this year, and as special guests, the Bulgarian rock legend – “Faktor” was invited ” and the ex-vocalist of the world-famous band “Rainbow” Doogie White, who planned to participate with the Bulgarian star rock musicians from “Kikimora”.
During their training, the talented young people had the chance to meet popular representatives of rock music, from whom they received valuable advice.
These are: Dino Jelusik – the youngest member of “Whitesnake”, with whom vocalists and pianists met, Miroslav Ivanov – a member of the groups Saint Electrics and “The Usual Suspects” – guitar, Grisha Georgiev from the group Saint Electrics – bass guitar, Venelin Venkov from “Kuku Band” – drums, Slavcho Nikolov from BTR – songwriting, Georgi Georgiev from “Ostava” – songwriting.
On September 7, 3 days before the festival, the young people gathered in the city of Ruse and with desire and trepidation rehearsed from morning to night. Before them was the challenge to achieve success, although unlike other bands they did not have the opportunity to rehearse for months and years.
The young participants at the Green Rock Fest Incubator never doubted for a moment that their bands would not perform well. Their teachers also put in the effort to smooth out even the smallest weaknesses in their performances. The rehearsals were incredibly intense and tiring. They took place in the “Ruse” hall, provided by the Ruse NSA “Professor Veselin Stoyanov”, which has excellent conditions for preparation.
On September 11, the two newly formed bands not only had the chance to participate in Green Rock Fest, but also had the privilege of playing before the headliner – the band Kikimora and Doogie White from Rainbow. The Unity band won the hearts of the audience with the successful performance of the songs Dio – “Holy Diver”, Soundgarden – “Black Hole Sun”, Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Aeroplane”, The Dead Daisies – “Lock ‘n’ Load”, Anastacia ft. Celine Dion – “You Shook Me All Night Long”, Bon Jovi – “You Give Love a Bad Name”, Motley Crue – “Dr. Feelgood”. The members of Distracted caused a standing ovation and performed excellently the tracks Linkin Park – “In the End”, Avenged Sevenfold – “This Means War”, Rammstein – “Feuer frei”, Godsmack – “Under Your Scars”, Skillet – “Rise”, Apocalyptica – “I Don’t Care”.
As a result of the project, 12 young Bulgarian talents got the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills and perform on a big stage, alongside the rock stars. Intercultural dialogue in the field of music was encouraged and rock music was successfully popularized among young people. The project contributed to attracting a wide audience of participants and public, and Ruse established itself as a place with good conditions for the development of culture and art.
The Green Rock Fest Incubator project proved that distance cannot be an obstacle for the creativity of young people in Bulgaria and provided an excellent opportunity to form a sense of community among the music guild for the sake of music.