Leaving The Past Behind

Bosnian singer-songwriter Dino Merlin sold out the first shows he’d played in Belgrade in more than 20 years, despite protests from ultra-nationalist Serbian political groups.

Merlin, who hasn’t played the Serbian capital since the breakup of the old Yugoslavia, filled the 20,000-capacity Belgrade Arena Nov. 25-27.

“We should leave the past behind because music and the people defeat all evil,” he said, although the Serbian nationalists weren’t so keen to forgive and forget remarks he allegedly made about their country during the Balkan War.
They urged fellow Serbs to boycott the show and police on horseback kept an eye on the protest they staged outside the arena the first night.

Despite the bloodshed that marked the drawing of the new national borders in the Balkans, Merlin has remained popular in Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia.

He’s represented his country at the Eurovision Song Contests of 1993 and 2011.

This year he came sixth in the final singing “Love In Rewind,” helped by Serbia awarding him a maximum 12 points.