MIK Festival (Melodies of Istria & Quarner) was conceived in 1964 with preserving ancient music of Iatria and Quarner by adopting it to the tastes and demands of modern times, and by encouraging composers and lyricists to embrace the dialect and the folk music of this area in their musical pursuits. Interestingly enough, the Festival started as "Melodije Kvarnera" and was "retroactively" named "Melodije Istre i Kvarnera" in 1970. The name used that year was "7. Festival Istre i Kvarnera". MIK bacame "traveling" festival in 1967. This feature, the fact that is held in several towns of Istria and Quarner, makes MIK rather unique and, along with its voting system, quite "democratic".
The festival has survived cultural and demographic changes, competition from the modern age music, lack of funding, etc., but after all that and some soul searching, it is now being embraced by a number of talented and enthusiastic composers, music writers, singers and bands. MIK songs can now (finally) be heard at radio stations in Istria and Quarner - and in the homes and automobiles of Istrians worldwide. At last, they are realizing that there is good music "po domaće" out there, and can be as beautiful as any.
MIK has become household word among Istrians living overseas. A few of the frequent performers at the Festival are well known in the US, Canada, Australia. Many others are not. But there are opportunities to change things - as well as challenges. There is large number of young recent emigrants who long for their old homes, and many old clubs which, by their nature, and declarations, strive to preserve our heritage. The challenge is to combine the tastes of the two groups. One needs to venture outside polka/waltz dancing, the other to fence off the pressure to idolize and follow everything that is new. In other words, do what MIK has done.
These pages were created with the idea of reliving the beauty and excitement of MIK concerts, and of bringing the festival closer to the people of Istria & Quarner scattered around the world who share the nostalgia and interest in preserving musical and linguistic traditions of the old homeland. It was also a way of acknowledging the effort and enthusiasm of the wonderful performers, composers, lyrics writers, and organizers, for giving new life to our linguistic and musical heritage.