Throughout the year, Slovenia hosts numerous interesting festivals. The majority of the most popular festivals are staged in late spring and especially in the summer. This year, summer will again be long, hot and vibrant – not only in the capital, Ljubljana, and Maribor, but throughout Slovenia, boasting cultural events for all ages and tastes. The venues are various: from the town squares, streets and halls to exhibition grounds. This includes many internationally recognized festivals, such as the Lent Festival, Jazz Ljubljana, Festival Ljubljana, The Idrija Lace Festival, Rock Otočec, as well as smaller and attractive festivals, which have special character.
Let`s begin in the centre of Slovenia – Ljubljana opens a very diverse festival season in June
The summer festival season in Ljubljana will start with the 5th June in Ljubljana Festival, taking place from 7 to 21 June. It is best described as a festival of light entertainment during the day and high culture in the evening – both free of charge. Held at Kongresni trg, it represents a unique introduction to the summer festival season.
Offering a repertoire of classical music concerts performed in picturesque surroundings of the old town, the traditional international festival Summer in Ljubljana Old Town will take place from June until the end of August. With most of the events being free of charge, the festival will enrich the city. It will end with an event entitled A Night in the Old Town.
On the weekend of 10 to 12 June, the 29th International Druga godba Festival will take place at various venues. The programme will be performed as a two-day concert marathon.
From 3 to 6 July, the streets will be filled with the 16th International Ana Desetnica Street Theatre Festival. The programme following the mission of connecting East and West includes 85 multi-media performances, acrobatics, fire shows, vertical dance, juggling, entertainment, puppet shows, walking and body movement performances.
The 54th Ljubljana Jazz Festival will be held from 2 and 6 July. The festival is dedicated to the life of German jazz saxophonist and clarinettist Peter Brötzmann and promises unstoppable creative jazz of all shades and dazzling performances of shining and rising stars.
Throughout August, Ljubljana will breathe with Trnfest International Festival, presenting various local and international artists from the fields of music, theatre, dance, film, fine arts, visual arts and photography. In a nutshell: over 30 days and nights of free events for young and old.
Mladi levi 2013 – International Festival of Theatre and Dance will take place in the second half of August, hosting bands and artists distinguished by their unique approach to contemporary theatre and dance.
For high art performances enthusiasts, the 61st Ljubljana Festival 2013 will open at the beginning of July. Until 10 September, the whole city will feel at one with outstanding festival artists and their audiences.
From the selection of internationally recognized festivals from all over Slovenia
21th LENT Festival 2011 (Maribor, 21 June – 6 July 2013)
The Lent Festival is the biggest Slovenian outdoor festival and one of the largest in Europe. For the last 20 years, at the end of June and beginning of July, it has attracted to its numerous venues more than half a million visitors, which makes it the most recognizable cultural event in Slovenia and has been visited at least once by every fourth Slovenian; moreover, it has become increasingly popular abroad.
More than 14 days of excellent festival happenings with many renowned Slovene and foreign performers changes the banks of the river Drava into a lively cultural and social centre, beating with all kinds of rhythms. The diverse and varied festival events include several various festival units that have, according to their scope and quality of programme, developed as their own individual festivals inside Festival Lent: the international folklore festival Folkart, the street theatre festival Ana Desetnica, the Jazzlent festival and the Sladolent street food festival. The festival happenings are additionally enriched by the program for children and youth, the Adventure Park festival that takes place in the city`s main park.
32nd Idrija Lace Festival (Idrija, 14 – 16 June 2013)
The traditional Idrija Lace Festival takes place in Idrija (the oldest Slovene mining town is on the UNESCO List of World Heritage) every summer – this year between 14 and 16 June. As an ethnological, economic, cultural, educational and entertaining event, it grants Idrija a unique character, as the town literally breathes the lacemaking tradition during the festival.
The always excellent domestic and foreign exhibitions of lace are a real treat for the eyes, and you can see the new methods of use for Idrija lace, modern products that integrate Idrija lace and traditional lace. While you are in Idrija, we also recommend the Idrija culinary specialty, the excellent idrijski žlikrofi, which have been protected at the European level.
Festival Seviqc Brežice 2013 (Brežice, 22 June – 1 September 2013)
The most beautiful old music concerts with top artists from all over the world, held in the most beautiful cultural monuments in Slovenia, in historically important locations, are particularly interesting for visitors. Today, SeviqcBrežice is a synonym for old music in Slovenia. Watching and listening to various programme sets will help you get to know European and world heritage, with special emphasis on music that began in Slovenia. Music is performed with authentic instruments and in an authentic mode of performance.
Rock Otočec (Ljubljana, 5 – 7 July 2013)
The 17th consecutive performance of the traditional Rock Otočec Festival will take place 5-7 July at Ljubljana Laguna Resort, the biggest Slovenian town bathing area. Until now, this extremely popular and internationally recognised festival was held in the idyllic location of Otočec Castle close to the Krka River. Rock Otočec has hosted numerous world famous bands in the past, including Fun Lovin Criminals, Living Colour, Guano Apes, Gogol Bordello, Asian Dub Foundation, Apocalyptica, The Subways, etc. This year`s programme has not been finalised yet, but the organisers are thrilled to announce the performance of Canadian group Billy Talent, who have performed at world-renowned rock and punk festivals, such as Rock am Ring, Reading, Glastonbury, etc.
Schengenfest (Vinica, River Kolpa, 2 – 4 August 2013)
For the sixth year in a row, “the festival of sound, sun and fun”, as claimed by the organizers – Schengenfest 2013, will take place during the hottest month, in the natural environment of Vinica along the Kolpa River, on the border with Croatia. This festival of sound, sun, and fun will welcome established groups and names in music, such as Niet, Pankrti, Prljavo kazalište, Vlado Kreslin in Mali bogovi, Kad smo bili Bijelo dugme, Dubioza kolektiv, S.A.R.S., Kultur Shock, and Edo Maajka. It is a very popular and well-accepted camping experience near Kolpa, accompanied by a rich music programme and other fun activities.
Metaldays (Tolmin, 21 – 27 July 2013)
Between 21 and 27 July, for the 10th year in a row, you can visit one of the most internationally recognized festivals in Slovenia. METALDAYS 2013 today holds a unique status among established festivals of its kind in the world. At the confluence of Soča and Tolnimka in Tolmin, fans of metal music will enjoy rhythms of various top international metal bands. With its completely original energy and charisma, the festival offers real “all inclusive” metal vacations: cocktail on the beach, swimming in the turquoise Soča, free camping amidst mountains, performances of selected international music groups, and infinite possibilities for exploring one of the most spectacular festival locations on the planet.
A selection of smaller festivals gaining international recognition that are part of the Slovenian identity
The 4th Festival of the `Prekmurska gibanica` Prekmurje Layered Cake and the Prekmurje Ham (Terme 3000, Moravske Toplice, 14 – 15 June 2013)
One of the first thoughts when thinking about Prekmurje is certainly prekmurska gibanica. This local specialty is composed of various layers of puff pastry and four varieties of stuffing (poppy seeds, cottage cheese, walnuts and apples). The stuffings are doubled, which creates a desert with a wide range of taste and aroma, typical for Prekmurje.
Besides the prekmurska gibanica, Prekmurje is the home of several other excellent local dishes. These are celebrated every June in Terme 3000 when the Prekmurje Layered Cake and Prekmurje Ham festival begins, which includes organised cooking classes for the preparation of local specialties; the event is also a festival for folk dance and music. This two-day festival represents an attractive integration of rich culinary and ethnological heritage and tourism in Prekmurje.
22nd Vurberk festival (Vurkerk, 15 June 2013)
The 22nd festival of Oberkrainer music, Vurberk 2013, will take place on Saturday, 15 June, in the romantic courtyard of the Vurberk castle between Maribor and Ptuj. One of the most important festivals in Slovenia defined its identity through the mandatory diatonic accordion in vocal-instrumental bands, while its popularity is also seen through the record number of participating groups, sold out concerts and enviable ratings of the festival on TV programmes.