September 24, 2023: Hookah picnic in Montenegro!

Nowadays there are not many organizers of hookah events, so we try to support everyone! So, a small hookah festival will soon take place for the first time in Montenegro:

Polako Hookah Festival, official website

We talked to event co-organizer Roman Baryshev

Good afternoon Roman! Please tell us about yourself and (if applicable) your team? What is your history in the hookah industry, where did you start? How long have you been in Montenegro and what are you doing there?

Hello! In the industry since 2013, he started as a hookah man in Kazan clubs. Afterwards, he worked in the franchising direction for a long time. I visited Montenegro for the first time back in 2015 and realized that there is no hookah culture here. Basically, I moved here a year ago). We are actively developing retail and hookah catering. In fact, there is only one in Montenegro, all other employees are scattered around the world)

Tell us about your Polato Fest event: where will it be held, is it difficult to get there from other countries? What will the format be: a calm festival with smoking cigarettes or are there plans for a stage and performance by artists and some other activities?


A festival, it’s loudly said, a hookah picnic, an event, a get-together – more suitable.

The event will take place on September 24, in Podgorica (the capital of Montenegro), city center.

Getting there from nearby countries (Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Bulgaria) is easy, just a matter of one day. No visa required).

According to the format of the event, the most interesting thing is that initially it was planned to have a limited number of people and a site in the mountains, but after a week, with my partner (Pavel is the owner of hookah catering in the ChG) we came to the conclusion that more space was needed.

The event program is expanding exponentially.

What can you tell us about the Montenegrin market? Are there many tobacco brands here that are officially imported into the country? Can you estimate how many hookah shops and the number of hookah establishments there are in the country?

Montenegro should not be considered separately; it is better to evaluate the Balkans in general. I believe that the market is undervalued and has great potential. There are no more than 5 brands. Specifically in the Czech Republic there are 0. Hookah bars 10-20, half of them are seasonal, horeca 30-40, hookah shops no more than 10.



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