Q: What is Improcon?
A: Improcon – Congress Of Free Improvised Music, Arts & Thoughts is an international creative platform and annual workshop festival.
Q: When Improcon is happening?
A: Improcon is always happening on the second weekend of August. Usually starts on Friday midday with the arrival of the participants and finishes on Tuesday midday with the departure of the participants. Why finishes on Tuesday and not before? Because the beginning of the third week of August is a religious holiday in Croatia and Slovenia.
Q: Where Improcon is happening?
A: In the first two years – in 2014 and 2015 – Improcon had happened at Spomen Dom in Kumrovec, Croatia, but after losing the festival location due to health and safety reasons we had to look for a new home for Improcon what we found at Veliki Tabor Castle, near Desinić, Croatia which is only 13 kilometers from Kumrovec, the workshop festival’s previous location. Veliki Tabor Castle is in the Zagorje region, near to the Croatian-Slovenian border.
Q: How can I get to Veliki Tabor Castle?
A: For participants using public transportation, we suggest flights, trains or buses to Ljubljana, Slovenia or Zagreb, Croatia as these are the nearest capitals. If you are taking train, the nearest station is Imeno via Maribor. Those who are arriving to Zagreb Airport or Imeno train station, will be picked up by our shuttle drivers. For participants coming by car, we suggest the following routes:
– Vienna – Graz – Maribor – Šentjur – Podčetrtek – Imeno – Košnica – Veliki Tabor Castle, Desinić (320 kms)
– Graz – Maribor – Šentjur – Podčetrtek – Imeno – Košnica – Veliki Tabor Castle, Desinić (130 kms)
– Ljubljana – Celje – Šentjur – Podčetrtek – Imeno – Košnica – Veliki Tabor Castle, Desinić (125 kms)
– Zagreb – Veliki Tabor Castle, Desinić (70 kms)
– Budapest – Székesfehérvár – Siófok – Nagykanizsa – Letenye – Ivanec – Veliki Tabor Castle, Desinić (400 kms)
Q: Who are organizing Improcon?
A: In its earliest incarnation, Improcon started as a 4 States Sessions event in Croatia in 2013, a collaborative session for improvised music organized by Austrian association Limmitationes, run by Austrian producer and organizer Udo Preis. This event was followed by two Improcons in 2014 and 2015, and since Limmitationes quit organizing Improcon in 2015, the workshop festival is now organized by Croatian association Gokul (Nenad Borovčak) from Zabok with Slovenian associations KUD Mreža (Nataša Serec and László Juhász) from Ljubljana and Klub Metulj – Youth Centre Bistrica ob Sotli (Mitja Hlupič) from Bistrica ob Sotli; partnered by two Austrian organizations: Schaumbad – Freies Atelierhaus Graz (Eva Ursprung) from Graz, and Šopron Shuffle – Trans European Music Meetings (Markus Krispel) from Vienna.
Q: Is Improcon open for touring musicians?
A: If you are a touring band looking for a gig at Improcon, you may be at the wrong place, however, we are really interested in and happy to host individual artists who are willing to collaborate with others and initiate and work on new projects during their stay at the workshop festival. Improcon is about art management and community building, not about show business.
Q: What I get if I participate at Improcon?
A: Your accomodation and food are covered during your stay at the workshop festival. But most importantly, you have the possibility to meet and collaborate with plenty of other artists from many different countries. Our main point of organizing Improcon – Congress Of Free Improvised Music, Arts & Thoughts is to encourage artistic and theoretical creative collaboration, networking and development between musicians from the free improvised music scene and dancers, performers, visual- and multimedia artists, theorists, sound engineers, curators, event organizers and promoters. In four days more than 100 artists from various countries and art fields meet and work together on the spot in order to create and develop new ideas and approaches to establish new working collaborations in the future.
Q: Where can I sleep?
A: Participants who are coming from nearby places – Zagreb, Ljubljana etc. – are very welcome to stay in their own tents or camper vans at the camping site around the castle, furthermore, we can accomodate approximately 70 participants at three private guest houses and in the local school’s gymn – with mattresses, pillows, showers and toilets – near the castle. Please note: participants who stay in the school gymn need their own sleeping bags. We are going to place you to your sleeping place after your arrival, and we take care of your transportation between the castle to your accomodation during your stay.
Q: And what about the catering?
A: We are providing three meals per day: cold breakfast from excellent local goods, warm lunch and dinner from a local restaurant that will be delivered up to the castle and served on the spot. The first meal is a dinner on the day of your arrival, and the last one is a breakfast on your day of your departure. We always have vegetarian / vegan options, so worries about this.
Q: Is there a bar in the castle?
A: Yes, as in the previous years, we are going to have an Improcon bar run by our amazing catering staff with soft drinks, wines and beer from a local brewery, again, with reduced prices for our Improcon participants.
Q: Which currency should I have with me?
A: In the castle at the Improcon bar we are accepting euro, but everywhere else – local supermarkets, restaurants, bars in Desinić – you need to have Croatian kuna with you.
Q: Is Improcon reimbursing my travel costs?
A: No, in 2018 we decided that we are not reimbursing the participants’ travel costs anymore, but we are always happy to send out official invitation letters if you can arrange your own travel grant by this way.
Q: How can I participate at Improcon?
A: If you are interested in participating, just contact us, and you are very welcome to come. Please note: Improcon is not invitation based, so don’t wait for our invitation, please just let us know that you are interested. We are happy to host exciting and adventurous artists, of course, up to a certain number, as the capacity of the castle infrastucture is not unlimited. We are confortable to host the number of maximum 90 participants every year.