The beginnings of K4 Club coincide approximately with the beginning of the last, more liberal period of Yugoslavia. Along with the established cultural venues, the subcultural scene in Ljubljana truly flourished at the end of the 70’s and in the 80’s. A group of people who founded non-profit student organizations, FV and ŠKUC, stood behind the clubbing scene, but they were mostly left to their own devices. The spaces of the most active clubs were moved from the student residence in Rožna dolina to the Liberty Home Theatre Šentvid and back.
K4 Club activity is visible for the first time in the second half of the 80’s when the club was founded by the ŠKUC student organization. It started as an informal and almost private space in the basement of the building on Kersnik Street 4 where the headquarters of most of the student organizations, political and cultural, were located.
Lack of a suitable venue and the ambition of the »alter« movement lead to the initiative in the Comittee of the Socialist Youth Slovenia for the renovation of the venue and the establishment of the official K4 Club.
The official opening took place on 25th May 1989, the almost forgotten Youth Day. Jure Potokar, today a renowned literary translator, writer and an excellent connoisseur of music, took over the ambitious project as a programme leader. A programme council who determined the guidelines of K4 Club activity was also part of the team. The newly-opened club brought a breath of fresh air to the mostly dead underground scene of those days – it offered a new venue and a new programme, both with a recognisable image.
The public welcomed the long-expected club with opened hands and the dark basement became a shelter for fans of various, more marginal music expressions. The club also hosted concerts, either independent concerts or as a part of other festivals (for example Druga Godba). One of the best DJ teams in the history of Ljubljana’s clubbing scene contributed to the diversity of the evening programme: Mitja Prezelj, Boštjan Jurečič, Aldo Ivančič, Marko Plahuta, Igor Ivanič, Marjan Dovgan, Nataša Sukič, and the co-workers of the Student Radio who took over one of the evenings. People who are known today for somewhat different roles also worked as DJs: Ali En, Primož Pečovnik, Brane Zorman, Peter Barbarič, Aida Kurtovič, Rolando, Jane Weber, Jure Longyka, Jimi Rasta… The members of the Pink Club (LGBT Club) also found their place here with their own, independent evening.
Over the years, the programme guidelines have changed, but K4 Club managed to preserve its well-known relaxed atmosphere and a unique programme which can’t be found elsewhere. Very early on, electronic music found its place in the K4 Club programme and the club played a crucial part in the development of electronic music in Slovenia. The beginnings were modest – only some ten fans frequented these events back in the day, when today one cannot imagine a life without electronic music in all of its numerous forms. K4 Club is today, in association with various organisations and creative teams from all over Slovenia, the leading institution offering modern urban music of quality to more than 40.000 visitors per year.
K4 Club offers a programme of different modern music genres, be it minimal, house, techno, drum’n’bass, breakbeat, funk, nu rave, disco, nu disco, electro, hip-hop or a combination of all of the above. We wish to step out of the lines of the conventional, static and ordinary music genres. In K4 Club, visitors can enjoy the music of internationally renowned artists and established Slovenian DJs as well as discover unknown Slovenian artists and underground music innovators from all over the globe.
The main goals of K4 Club are introducing musical guidelines and new trends to the public before they become mainstream, moving the limits of music genres and educating on the development and the history of music. A lot of internationally-known Slovenian DJs started their journey in K4 Club, a platform where young artists can introduce themselves still today to a demanding, but at the same time enthusiastic and loyal public.
However, K4 is not just the music, one of the basic programme guidelines is bringing together different forms of urban artistic expressions. We pay special attention to the visual arts. All of our flyers and promotional materials are works by some of the most creative Slovenian designers and each event is accompanied by quality visual art of Slovenian and international VJ’s. We organise a national competition in VJing, numerous hip-hop events, breakdance competitions, photographic and street art exhibitions… All this to offer the most interesting and enjoyable urban cultural experience to the visitor.
K4 Club is not just another ordinary club, but an essential part of urban culture not only in Ljubljana, but also throughout Slovenia and its neighbouring area. K4’s legendary reputation was built over two decades of hard work of individuals and numerous teams.
by Špela Verbič Miklič