The finale of the Lent Festival in Maribor with fireworks over the River Drava

Photo: Andrej Petelinšek

Slovenia is a land of festivals, providing cultural enjoyment and entertainment for all tastes every year.

The festival movement first swept Slovenia more than 60 years ago when attempts were being made across Europe to bring high art closer to everyone. Today Slovenia can boast a varied choice of music festivals and other festivals to satisfy all tastes, whether demanding and classically refined, or more inclined towards jazz improvisation, heavy metal and electronic sounds. 

Since 1953 the Ljubljana Festival  has provided a cultural experience of the very highest level and is one of the biggest, oldest and most important festivals in the wider region. Every summer the Slovenian capital offers concerts by the most prestigious orchestras, soloists and other artists from around the world. Events take place in Congress Square, in the very heart of Ljubljana, and in the former monastery complex Križanke, a unique jewel of medieval architecture remodelled by the great Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik . 

The legendary Ljubljana Jazz Festival , the oldest of its kind in Europe, has been bringing legendary names, popular stars and the freshest young musicians to Ljubljana from all over the world since 1960. Its programme covers a wide variety of genres, including the most avant-garde forms of jazz. 

The Lent Festival  is Slovenia's biggest open-air festival. Each June it transforms the centre of Maribor into one big venue offering a mix of music, dance, theatre, creative work-shops and much more besides. There are also many other festivals to choose from.

As well as music festivals these include literary festivals, drama festivals and even food festivals. Notable highlights are the Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) , the Vilenica Literary Festival , the Slovenian Advertising Festival in Portorož – to mention just a few.

Text by Tanja Glogovčan