Maribor – The City of festivals
Maribor is one of the mayor players when it comes to festival season. Throughout the summer, the city hosts loads of internationally recognized cultural, sport and culinary events, all of which ensure the city’s continuous vivacious heart-beat. The main festivals take place from June to October. And the most established among them is the Lent Festival that is mostly located in Maribor’s old city centre – Lent.
Lent - the Maribor's Old Town
Lent, the Maribor’s old city centre, amazes with its vibrant streets, mighty buildings and wonderful frontages, monuments and fountains that adorn the city’s squares, bridges that link the banks of the river, and towers that rise into Maribor’s sky. In the heart of the old city center on Lent, the oldest vine in the world still grows in front of the Old Vine House.
One of the most recognizable events that Maribor is hosting is definitely the biggest Slovenian open air Lent Festival. Since 1993, Lent Festival has been the synonym for liveliness, relaxation, vivaciousness, creativity, and energy at the beginning of summer in Maribor. The days and nights at Lent Festival are now a tradition taking care for a carefully selected, outstanding mixture of art, culture, and cultures that emphasises cosmopolitanism as well as local specialities, and the hospitality of the city. In this time Maribor lightens up, it is reborn, and youthfully playful through its streets that gleam in the hustle and bustle of the events, laughter, and light.
From Ray Charles to Bob Geldof
The Lent Festival has by now hosted some of the true legends. For example, B.B.King, James Brown, Ray Charles, Solomon Burke, and Stephane Grapelli. Not to forget also some of the world’s biggest names like Macy Gray, Bob Geldof, Jose Feliciano, David Byrne, Living Colour, Femi Anikulapo Kuti, Uriah Heep, Esma Redžepova, and the giants of jazz like Medeski Martin & Wood, Al Di Meola, Pharoah Sander, to name a few.
Benefits for congress guests
Congress guests could easily incorporate attractive festivities to their after-meeting programme. Festival Lent provides for a great opportunity of a pure and unique experience that can have a major impact on meeting success.
The festival venues are just a few minutes’ walk apart from each other. The walk can, along the pleasant restaurant gardens and numerous stands, transform into a dinner outdoors, into a tasting of local wines or beer creations coming from local boutique breweries.
The culmination of culinary delights astonishes at the festival Sladolent that consists of the best Slovenian chefs. Thus, just in one evening a congress guest can, while walking between the festival venues, taste all the best options that the modern Slovenian cuisine has to offer.
Lent Festival 2018
In its 25 editions up until now, the festival has been annually visited by 500 thousand people in average and it is considered to be one of the biggest events of the Central and South-East Europe. This year’s 26th edition of the festival, that will be held between 22 and 31 June 2018, will spread around more than 30 venues around the City of Maribor, its squares, parks, streets and along the Drava river bank.
One of the festival’s most distinguished characteristics is its floating stage set on the Drava river. The festival’s symbol is 900 sq.m. in size with 679 or around 1200 standing places in its parterre and with additional 2196 seats on the tribunes. The specialty of the floating stage is that while sitting and watching the performances the stage lights are magically reflecting on the river’s surface.
Some of the 2018 highlights: Swan Lake ballet on the opening night on the River’s stage; the concert of the largest Roma string orchestra in the world: the Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra with 100 violines; jazz delights served by Juan DeMarcos (the legendary co-founder of Buena Vista Social Club) with his Afro-Cuban All Stars ensemble; the Swedish guitar virtuoso Ulf Wakenius alongside Corean world star, singer Young Sun Nah. Other performers Richard Bono, Vieux Farka Toure, Monophonics, etc etc.
At the same time, the Lent Festival will be marked by the 30th jubilee of the Folkart Festival. The international CIOFF® folklore festival Folkart will again host supreme folklore groups from around the world.
All in all, the Lent Festival is the must see and the must experience event for any congress guest that comes to Slovenia in the last two weeks of June 2018.