For the fourth consecutive year, fans of the legendary Balkan pop star gather to mark the anniversary of his last concert.
By Marina Stojanovska for Southeast European Times in Skopje -- 10/10/12
Macedonian singer Tose Proeski performs in Skopje on October 5th 2007. [Reuters]
Hundreds of Tose Proeski fans gathered for a memorial concert in Skopje City Square last week. The "Be Part of the Tose Proeski Star Sky," concert marked the singer's last performance.
Proeski died on October 17th 2007 in a car accident near Nova Gradiska, Croatia. He was 26.
The title of the event was inspired by something Proeski said at his last concert. As he looked out at the lights from fans' cell phones, he told the audience, "This cannot be described, may the star sky never turn off."
Five years ago, on October 5th at the city stadium in Skopje in front of thousands, Proeski promoted his last album "Games without Borders," organised with USAID. The proceeds were given to renovate 100 schools throughout Macedonia.
Tears, candles, songs, and videos of his last concert are part of the concert atmosphere in honour of Proeski every year. Skopje City Square becomes crowded with the young and old, whose persistent listening of Proeski songs brought immortality to the singer.
"I come here every year and just for a moment think Tose's alive, especially when I watch the videos from his last concert. I have a feeling that he will show up again and sing," Sonja Stojanovska, 47, from Skopje, told SETimes.
Hundreds of young people from all over the region came to this year's concert to again affirm Proeski's lasting impact.
"I come from Stip and have to admit, I'm upset by the whole atmosphere, I have a feeling that I'm at his concert and he is really here," Mirjana Panova, 20, said.
This year fans were privy to a new video, featuring the popular Macedonian folk tune Zajdi, zajdi, a recording made for Proeski's last album in Tvornica, in 2007.
"I'm here at the request of my daughter, but am really amased by the atmosphere. There's nobody here that isn't singing with Tose. The atmosphere lifts you up and causes mixed feelings, sad because he's gone, but I feel kind of good when I listen to these songs," Vlatko Petrusev, 44, from Skopje told SETimes.
A blood donation station under the motto "I Just Saved a Life. Have You?" was also part of the event, in honor of Proeski's humanitarian efforts. The initiative resulted in the collection of 362 units of blood.