Among the oldest and the most important
Do you prefer an elegant dinner ensemble or shorts and plastic sandals? Genre diversity, affordability, artistic quality, and star status are just some of the terms to describe Slovenian music festivals where, if you are in luck, you can get an autograph from your favourite celebrity.
The festival movement swept through Slovenia over 60 years ago, when there was a movement throughout Europe to bring art closer to the people. Today, Slovenia boasts diverse music festivals that will satisfy sophisticated classical tastes, as well as the interests of those who enjoy jazz improvisations or the pulse-pounding sounds of heavy metal.
Since 1953, a festival that is considered to be one of the largest, oldest, and most important in the region has been providing world-class arts experiences. Every summer, you can enjoy concerts performed by the some of the most renowned world orchestras and performances by other artists as well. These performances take place at Congress Square in the very centre of Ljubljana and at Križanke, a former monastery and a unique gem of medieval architecture renovated by Jože Plečnik.
Ljubljana Jazz Festival
The legendary Ljubljana Jazz Festival, which is considered to be the oldest of its kind in Europe, has been offering legendary and celebrity performers, key musicians and rising stars from all over the world since 1960. These have been seducing audiences with various forms of jazz, from traditional to avant-garde, right up until today. Make sure to socialise with the performers and visitors after each concert.
The festival that will take you to bygone worlds of the medieval, renaissance, and baroque. Listen to the sounds of old instruments, such as the viola da gamba, the harpsichord, the spinet, the vibrandoneon, and the theorbo, which can only be played by a few masters. Locations in various historical buildings around Slovenia, in castles, monasteries, and churches provide for a fully authentic experience.
With a wish to bring musical art closer to a broader audience, the festival takes place in various exceptional locations around Slovenia, in famous squares, in hidden atriums, sacred buildings, and in the street. You can go to many concerts of classical, jazz, and world music for free.
If you visit Slovenia in the summer, you should also go “lenting”. You can do this by visiting the largest Slovenian outdoor festival for the general public, which transforms Maribor every year at the end of June into one big stage for performances, where you can enjoy music, dancing, theatre, creative workshops, and much more. You can experience multicultural events on the River Drava, in the streets, squares, and courtyards of the second largest city in Slovenia.
The Druga Godba Festival
This is a festival intended for discovering music that is different, apart from the mainstream, and which cannot often be heard on popular radio stations or on MTV. It may be at this festival that you will learn about a different musical tradition and find yourself in agreement with Songlines world music magazine that the Druga Godba Festival truly belongs on the list of the 25 best international festivals in the world that focus on being different.
Every August, in the picturesque surroundings of Piran and Koper, an international summer chamber music festival takes place that is dedicated to Giuseppe Tartini, who was born in Piran. In addition to Tartini's works, the festival also features the works of other great world and Slovenian composers as well as the works of modern creators inspired by Tartini’s art. At the festival, you will have the opportunity to see Tartini's famous 300-year-old violin and hear how it sounds. This violin continues to amaze audiences as they listen to it played by world-class musicians.
The Okarina Festival at Lake Bled
When you visit Lake Bled in the summer, you have to experience three things: a ride in a “pletna” boat on the lake, the flavour of the Cream Cake, and the Okarina Festival. Since 1991, this world music festival has been making sure that evening falls on the idyllic surroundings of Lake Bled accompanied by the sounds of magical flutes, the unusual rhythms of exotic percussion instruments, violins that are unfamiliar with classical notes, or oriental instruments with names that are hard to pronounce. These sounds are joined by voices singing in languages from all over the globe.
Are you up for a heavy metal holiday in the idyllic surroundings of the Triglav National Park? Come to Sotočje in Tolmin, where you can camp out under the peaks of the Julian Alps, swim in crystal clear rivers, and hang out with metalheads who come here from all corners of the world. Bands also come from all over, and they include Apocalyptica, Hypocrisy, Danzig, and Sepultura. Up to a hundred bands can hit the stage within a week. Tickets for this festival sell out quickly, so hurry up and make sure you secure a place at next year's event.
Good cheer throughout the land
Music festival offerings are rich throughout the year. Check what's happening near you.
Various genres, lively happenings
Good food and drinks go well with good music. Taste the diverse culinary offerings of Slovenia and check what’s on offer in some of the more than 50 museums and galleries and institutions focusing on music and theatre. See the remains of some of the hundreds of castles and manors. You will find it informative and fun.
Stories from Slovenia
Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive a green piece of Slovenia in your inbox, and learn about holidays, seasonal offers, upcoming events and travel options.