Etnika embarked on its mission of bringing fresh music from around the world to the city of Maribor in 2005. Since then, the festival has been presenting a continuously broad and inquisitive array of musical expression, featuring not only artists from the so-called world music circuit but also musicians who play jazz, rock and hip hop.
The festival is produced by the Etnika Institute and it annually takes place at various Maribor venues, chief among them the Gustaf Hall and the Club KGB Maribor. Some other venues used in the past are Narodni dom Maribor and the Satchmo Jazz Club.
Etnika has hosted a number of different groups, many of whom performed in Slovenia for the first time: Olcay Bayir (TR, Krar Collective (ET), Vaudou Game (FR, TG), Ana Carla Maza (CU), Nils Petter Molvær (NO), Titi Robin Taziri Trio (FR, MA), Mohammad Reza Mortazavi (IR), Arasinda (HU), Banjara – The Gypsies of Radjastan (IN), Eszter Biro (HU), Karandila Gypsy Brass Orchestra (BG), Huong Thanh (VN), Zohreh Jooya (IR), Mahamad Hadi, a.k.a. Mad Sheer Khan (DZ), etc.