A latecomer to the Metelkova mesto cultural complex, Menza pri koritu (“Canteen at the Trough”) was established in 2000. Formally a youth club, it is actually a multi-purpose creative space, sometimes open throughout the day and offering a wide range of activities, featuring workshops, concerts, poetry evenings, film screenings and theatre performances. It can also be used as either practice grounds for musicians or as a place where one can actually get a cup of Turkish coffee.
Background and management
The venue grounds were an empty space, mainly used by skateboarders until September 2000, when KUD Mreža Arts and Culture Association and the Society for the Protection of Atheistic Feelings (DZAČ) converted it into a club. The stage – and later the wooden upper gallery – was constructed by the volunteer craft group Axt und Kelle from Germany and Switzerland. Still managed by horizontal collective, its contribution to the diversity of Metelkova makes Menza pri koritu one of its main social and cultural nodes.
The place is in fact led by an informal group that comes from various other associations like KUD Kentaver. This core team extensively works with a number of other cultural producers – Infoshop Metelkova, DRMK, IGLU – Improvisational Theatre of Ljubljana, Sploh Institute, Radio Študent (RŠ), FV Music, and festivals like the Druga godba Festival.
Music is the primary focus of Menza pri koritu, and concerts take place at least twice per week. In terms of genres, the repertoire is not bound by any of them. A sizeable part of the programme is dedicated to alternative rock acts, and also to metal music, various experimental electronics, noise, folk, hip hop, electronic dance music and to a number of other musical expressions that hover somewhere in-between. To name notable international acts would be useless, as the list would be far to long even if it would be kept very short.
Besides these one-evening music events, Menza pri koritu also hosts and co-organises festivals and series like the FV Music Festival, Moonlee Records’ Moonleejada, Club Marathon, Sploh Institute’s Con-Fine Aperto, and some others.
Alongside its musical programme, Menza pri koritu co-organises regular poetry events, which are mainly happening under the name of Mlade rime (“Young Rhymes”). A regular but currently inactive series of events was called Cirkus pri koritu (“Circus at the trough”), offering a diverse set of performative acts that range from acrobatics to a fashion show of bearded woman.
Other parts of the programme include theatre shows, film screenings, theoretical lectures, and various workshops and trainings. A lot musicians, theatre performers, and even jugglers also use the place as a rehearsal space.
main use: concerts, workshops, poetry, drama, puppetry, film, panel discussions, seminars
seating: 80 seats total, 60 stalls, 20
performing area: 6m W x 4m D
suspension equipment: overhead pipe grid for suspension of lighting and masking, max load 250kg
soft hangings: black and red curtains
lighting: 12-channel desk, basic concert rig
sound: 24-channel mixer, power amplifiers and loudspeakers, 10 microphones
stage equipment: 2 x television monitors, digital camera, digital video camera, video projectors, screen
back stage: dressing rooms for 10 persons total
climate control: heating only, ventilation
availability: available for hire for workshops, rehearsals and performances
technical staff: sound and lighting designers, stage set workers on staff