August 17-21, 2013
HDI’s newest cultural envoy, Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal was a huge success in Albania. From Aug 17-21 Ron performed, lectured and gave guitar lessons to local youth - the Albanians loved him.
On August 17, after a ferry ride from the Greek Island of Corfu where Ron was giving his signature guitar workshop, he arrived in the Albanian city of Saranda. Representatives of the U.S. Embassy met and accompanied Bumblefoot to the city of Vlora, where he performed at the Summer D.E.P.O. Night Club.
The next day Bumblefoot traveled from Vlora to Korce, where he was the headliner on the fifth and final night at the internationally known Korce Beer Fest, and performed with the renowned Albanian singer Eugent Bushpepa and his band. Ron played for two hours to a crowd of thousands. The police were called in to keep the fans from rushing the stage... a first for an HDI cultural envoy. The Mayor of Kroce, Niko Peleshi greeted Ron on stage and awarded him a title of an Honorary Citizen of Korce. Ron and the mayor spoke about making a new international festival in Albania, with which Ron and HDI will do its part to help make it happen.
The following day Ron gave a guitar master class with local musicians and music students at the Tefta Tashko Koco” School of Music. This was the concluding part of Bumblefoot tour in Albania as a cultural envoy, after which he traveled to Tirana and departed the country on August 20.