Keanu Reeves and Dogstar, Asian Dub Foundation, Partibrejkers, and Brkovi rocked the opening of Arsenal Fest 2024

Keano Reeves na Arsenal Festu

Arsenal Fest 2024, held at Knežev Arsenal in Kragujevac, was opened last night with spectacular performances on the Main stage by Asian Dub Foundation, Partibrejkers, Dogstar, and Brkovi. Throughout the day, intermittent rain and thunderstorms drenched the city in the heart of Šumadija. However, as if scripted perfectly, the sky cleared just before the main stage program began.

Asian Dub Foundation, longtime favorites of the Kragujevac audience and Arsenal Fest, presented their characteristic electro-ethno-ragga-punk cocktail convincingly even in daylight, while the crowd filled the space in front of the Main stage song after song. The rhythm hit hard, and Kragujevac embraced it brilliantly from the first to the last song. Many danced, and the most dedicated fans sang along with the band to hits spanning their entire career, including the final song “Rebel Warrior.” At one point, the crowd erupted in applause when the band asked, “Where are you, friends?” in Serbian.

The Main stage was already packed for Partibrejkers, who interestingly shared Arsenal’s main stage with ADF back in 2016.

Frontmen Zoran Kostić Cane had something important to say before the song: “We need to gather funds for five boys suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Number 5 on 3091, let’s help others and we’ll help ourselves.”

Partibrejkers started, just like eight years ago, with “She says love moves this world,” and continued with their usual opening phase of their concert program – “If You Are,” “She Knows Everything,” “Earthquake,” “Lobotomy,” “Silence,” “Tonight in the City”… In a furious rock and roll ride, they reached a powerful finale with “Hypnotized Crowd,” “Come Towards Me,” and finally “I Want to Know.”

Partibrejkers once played together with Johnny Depp, and tonight they were joined on stage by another Hollywood superstar, Keanu Reeves, and his band Dogstar. In this story, however, Keanu isn’t the star but a bassist who, alongside his primary acting job and decades of humanitarian work, satisfies his hunger for music.

Direct, relaxed, waving and smiling to everyone before the performance, Keanu Reeves was unassuming on stage, almost in the shadow of frontman Bret Domrose. Fans, whose screams were loud as soon as the band appeared on stage, could still be satisfied because Reeves, as expected, was prominently featured on the video screen. With countless phones capturing the arrival of the global star in Kragujevac, the alternative band solidified their return to the stage last year after a long hiatus with a strong performance. There’s no doubt – they gained a considerable number of fans, including those who were not familiar with their music but were drawn in by Keanu Reeves.

The opening night of the 14th Arsenal Fest was closed by another band well-established in the Knežev Arsenal venue, Brkovi. The punk-folk legends performed in Kragujevac as part of their celebration marking 20 years since the band’s inception. The exuberant atmosphere into the early hours at festivals has long been their specialty, and this time was no exception, with mosh pits and euphoric singing along to their old hits as well as songs from their latest album “Krvava novčanica” (Bloody Banknote).

On the first night of the festival at Garden stage, bands like Jarboli, Keni nije mrtav, Svemirko, and Ničim izazvan rocked the crowd. Tonight, there is great anticipation for the concert of Bijelo dugme, marking 50 years since the legendary band was formed.


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