On Friday, April 24th, at 5 PM CEST (3 PM UTC) the Belgrade DJ will quarantine in the DIY venue, Drugstore, while playing an all-night charity stream to benefit the Drugstore crew. Tune in via Drugstore’s website.
Serbia is currently under a strict lockdown, which includes a weekend curfew banning outdoor movement—including going to one’s backyard—from Friday 5 PM to Monday 5 AM. “So we can come before the curfew and leave after…We are not allowed to have more than five people in the room,” Tijana says.
A variety of merch-filled donation packs ranging from 5€ to 1005€ will be available during the set, and there’s also the option to donate directly to the venue’s PayPal.
RA‘s Maya-Roisin Slater interviewed Tijana T to find out more about the event.
Can you give us a little intro? Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Tijana and I’m a DJ. Music is my passion and has been my job for 20 years now. In the last five years I have traveled the world, sharing the music I love and trying to create memories for people on the dance floor. I come from Belgrade and my two homes are Belgrade and Berlin.
For those who haven’t been, can you tell us a bit about the Drugstore? What does this venue mean to the local community?
Drugstore is very special and important. It’s a colossal concrete industrial space that resembles a brutalist cathedral. It’s different from any other club in Belgrade because of this magnitude and functionality. Besides the epic main room, there are several other rooms, each one offering an experience of its own. They are also pushing boundaries by building their operation completely independently, without shady partnerships and investors, only a DIY approach. Drugstore regularly hosts queer nights and a large part of their staff is LGBTQ which in Serbia is quite a big deal. Their audience is raw, true and loyal. No club before Drugstore managed to survive this long with this kind of approach.
How has COVID-19 impacted the scene in Belgrade?
Everything stopped of course. It is really weird to witness it, Belgrade is one of those cities that doesn’t sleep. And there’s always a party, a bar, a club, somewhere you can go out and have fun and dance. We don’t have a night mayor, club commission, union or anything of that sort here. So everyone is just left on their own somehow. Also, the government doesn’t mention anything in terms of help and support for this industry and we have no estimations on when this extraordinary situation will be over. Everyone is confused and just waiting.
Can you elaborate on the lockdown measures? How hard was it for you to organize this stream and under what circumstances can you be in the venue?
Our lockdown measures are quite extreme. We are now at the stage where nobody is allowed to leave the house from 6 PM to 5 AM and nobody is allowed to be out on the weekend—from Friday 5 PM to Monday 5 AM. This last weekend we were locked down for even longer because it was Easter, and for some reason the lockdown was extended until Tuesday. And lockdown here means you are not even allowed to go to the backyard of your building. So we are blocked most of the time. Being in the venue is fine as long as we are not on the streets. We can come before the curfew and leave after, which is why the set will be 12 hours long. We are not allowed to have more than five people in the room.
For those who donate, what will the money be going to support?
The money goes straight to Drugstore employees and associates. We want them to get the salary they would normally earn for a month or two of work, depending on how much we raise. The Drugstore team really insisted on not only asking for donations, but also giving something in return. So there’s a whole package of goodies for those who donate. Drugstore t-shirts, Drugstore crying handkerchief, signed thank you cards and tickets for parties after the quarantine depending on a donation. It’s a playful way to show gratitude to those who donated.
Read last year’s Art of DJing feature with Tijana T.
Browse more virtual events in RA‘s new virtual listings hub, Streamland.
Learn more about the #SaveOurScene campaign, including ways you can help, here.