The City of Vranje, with a population of 83,524 inhabitants, is the capital of Pcinja district in southern Serbia. Birthplace of the Vranje song, "Vranjska gradska pesma", which features on the list of intangible cultural heritage of the Republic of Serbia, music reflects the deep sensitivity, feelings, temperament of the people living in this city. For them, music is a means of communication between peoples, in the sense that it knows no language barriers. The city cherishes both traditional and classical music.
The city’s most famous musical celebration is the Piano Summer Festival, which annually welcomes classical musicians from all over the world to share and showcase their passion for both modern and traditional classical music. In addition to this, every May, the city comes alive with the sound of Serbian heavy metal for Vranje’s Mud Factory festival. This unique festival has sent shockwaves through the Heavy Metal scene and put the city on the map for metal aficionados.
Culture and creativity have been identified as strategic development areas in numerous city policies: Sustainable Development Strategy 2010 - 2019, Creative Industry Development Plan 2019 – 2024, and the City of Vranje’s Branding Strategy 2018 – 2023. As a result of these focus policies, every year, Vranje provides funds for various types of cultural projects to support its creative and artistic sectors in particular music. In 2019, the city supported 25 culture related projects. Furthermore, Vranje has also promoted its local music sector by advancing its participation in various events and programmes at the national level. It participated in the project "Serbia in the rhythm of Europe", that enables children from primary and secondary schools from all over Serbia to participate and present their cities in various languages.
As a Creative City of Music, Vranje envisages:
- providing facilities, human resources and support for the organisation of relevant activities;
- financing and co-financing of activities to further collaborate and network with and amongst Creative Cities;
- encouraging participation of authors from Creative Cities in the International Documentary Film Festival "Document";
- organizing international conference on cross-cutting creative themes to promote and develop the creative industries; and
- promoting the UNESCO Creative Cities Network at the local, national and international level.