In April 1983, a group of people gathered in “The Hole” next to the monument “1300 Years of Bulgaria” to listen to a guitar performance by “The Spaniard”. These meetings lasted for about a week, after which the police came to kick out the attendees. The musician Konstantin Gyurov recalls that in the autumn of 1985 someone said that at the “Cravai” area the militia was no longer chasing bands for long hair and jackets with patches so the regular gatherings moved there. Gradually, it became mandatory “dead or alive to be on ‘Cravai’ at 7.”
The legendary “Cravay” is located on the corner of Patriarch Euthymius str. and Fridtjof Nansen str., and its name comes from the most current back then coffee shop “Cravay”, located on the same spot. Today, this location is home to a fabric shop and a fast food place and the memory of a famous urban spot that gave birth to more legends than Scandinavian mythology.
Here in the late 80’s youngsters gathered in order to be different, cool, rebellious and to find out where the evening would take them. On the benches on the alley to the National Palace of Culture and along the boulevard “Fridtjof Nansen”, many people – from students to workers, were coming to spend time. Half of them were musicians and the others were music lovers, but in both cases fans of metal, punk and new wave. Many musical bands were formed at “Cravai”, some of which lasted after the changes and are still playing today. Among the regular visitors were Vasil Gyurov, Milena, Kolyo Gillana, Funky, Dimitar Voev, Denis Rizov. Their music can be called the second wave of Bulgarian rock. Bands with a free spirit, who created their own music without taking into account the radios, which at that time did not allow any alternative music.
In the last years of the regime a number of New Wave Shows have been organized at “National Assembly” square, bringing together fans of the new wave in music. On May 15, 1987, the first rock festival was held at the Summer Theatre in the park Borisova Garden with the participation of the bands “Akhat”, “Konkurent”, “Atlas” and others. In 1988, the film “We of the Cravai”, created by Sonya Langova, Ivan Shofelinov and Emil Cohen, was released, commissioned by the Regional Committee “G. Dimitrov” of the State Committee of the Socialist Movement “Sredets”.
Unfortunately, after the changes the place gradually lost its popularity, but until today the annual meetings of Cravai Reunion are held and the place is remembered as a breath of fresh air of the different and emerging, especially active in the 80s, subcultures in our city.
The articles for the project “NDK is #soSofia” were developed by Viktor Topalov, author at “Bohemian Sofia” in collaboration with the #soSofia team.
The project uses visual archives from the National Film Centre, the State Agency “Archives”, the Bulgarian Visual Archive and information from the following sources:
Miloshev, Yordan, NDK – memories of builders | Sp. 1 – 1982, 6 – 1984, 3-4 – 1986 | Mircheva, Simona, Palace in the Life of the City | Tromkov, Ilia. National Palace of Culture “Lyudmila Zhivkova” | Milev, Ivo. “The Life and Death of Lyudmila Zhivkova | BNT. Aleksandrova, Albena. Kovachev, Oleg. Study of beauty from within | omda.bg. Interview – Gyurov, Vasil. Gyurov, Konstantin. Places of everyday life. Cravaai. | Langova, Sonya. Shofelinov, Ivan. Cohen, Emil. Film – We from Kravay. | Trifonova, Teodora. BTV News. 18.07.2017 Ready project for the soldiers’ memorial has been there for years. | Veselinov, Veselin. Liternet. Memorial to the fallen of the 1st and 6th infantry regiments. | NDK Press Center | ndk.bg | newtheatre.bg | Thank you for talking to the NDK teams. | All Day NDK. | DJ GIORGIO. | Sofia Graffiti Tour.
The NDK is #soSofia project is realized with the support of the Cultural Heritage Entrepreneurship Programme of the National Culture Fund and the help of our loyal friends from Storytel, Fashion Days, Beefeater and DEVIN.