Concert Halls

MENT Ljubljana

8. 06. - 10. 06. 2022



MENT Ljubljana

, Ljubljana

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MENT Ljubljana is a music discovery festival. At its latest pre-COVID edition, 80 acts from 26 countries performed at various venues over three days. The international conference focuses on the music industry and creativity. In 2021 MENT moved to June and performed 9 consecutive concert evenings with an international program. In 2022, the festival returns to a three-day format with an international conference.

Reviews by influential music media with an international readership write of a more than successful edition, of MENT as an influential festival that surpasses expectations and shifts the focus – discovering different sounds and opening up unfamiliar music scenes through its programme. Of MENT as an extremely well organised, atypical showcase festival with a heart.

“MENT is an energetic, idiosyncratic, and incredibly illuminating experience…” wrote Clash Magazine, while Under the Radar Magazine described MENT as borderless, free and endlessly innovative. At the same time, the author was surprised to realise how isolated and self-sufficient the British music scene is, and how much it can learn from the Ljubljana festival.

Outdoor Venues

Lighting Guerrilla Festival

23. 05. - 18. 06. 2022



Svetlobna gverila

Trg francoske revolucije 7, Ljubljana

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First held in 2008, the Lighting Guerrilla is a quite special festival that explores, elaborates and sheds light on the myriad relations between light, the public space and the ‘confines’ of the gallery walls. Initiated a year earlier as a workshop at the festival “Lighting Detectives” (Detektivi svetlobe), it is founded and run by Strip Core, otherwise predominately active as the comic art section of Forum Ljubljana.

The festival is well known for its luminous, site-specific ‘exhibition objects’ presented at several public locations, mainly in Ljubljana; its streets and gardens, the Ljubljanica bridges and quays, the French Revolution Square, the Tivoli Park, etc. By way of exhibitions, installations, workshops and performances, each year’s programme is dedicated to a certain topic – among them the concept of shimmering, the functioning of darkness, and the role of light in shaping the urban experience.

Venues, locations and collaborations

Being a festival that explicitly uses and transforms the ‘matter’ of public space, it is spatially very dispersed and as such collaborates with a number of venues like the Vžigalica Gallery, the Tovarna Rog, the SCCA-Ljubljana Centre for Contemporary Arts, Kino Šiška, the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, RogLab, Španski borci Culture Centre, Cirkulacija 2, the Slovene Academy of Science and Arts, the International Centre of Graphic Arts, etc.

It is also sometimes venturing outside of Ljubljana, having its pre- and post-festival stops at the Simulaker Gallery in Novo Mesto, the Centralna postaja in Maribor, the [[Hrastnik Cultural Centre] and some other places.

The festival has closely collaborated with institutions and festivals like the Spring Festival, the Strictly Analog Festival, the Exodos International Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, the Faculty of Architecture, the Museum of Architecture and Design, etc. It is part of the international project Spectrum 14|15.

The invited artists

Both the local as well as international artists and producers are invited, in fact rather many of them. Some of them were Tim Etchells (UK), Max Sudhues (DE), Mirko Malle and AAI (AT/SI/world), Artificiel (CA), Maro Avrabou, Matthieu Tercieux, Dimitri Xenakis, Bernard Murigneux, Benedetto Bufalino (FR), Laurenz Theinert (DE) and Sophie Guyot (CZ), NatanEsku, Tilen Sepič, Aleksandra Stratimirović, Marko A. Kovačič and the KUD Ljud collective.


Translation Pranger Festival

5. 07. - 9. 07. 2022



Prevodni Pranger

Ulica heroja Tomšiča 9 A SI-2000, Maribor

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The first edition of the Translation Pranger Festival, the festival of world literature translations and humanities took place in Maribor in 2019. KUD Pranger Cultural Association established Translation Pranger Festival in accordance with the already established Pranger format.

Festival consists of analysis and evaluation public talks on translations of novels, short stories, children’s and youth literature, essays, dramatics, theory and poetry, which is complemented by the sale of interesting books and the recording and transcription of talks. Conversations is followed by relaxed socializing and discussion among participants.

Talks are held at the Maribor Puppet Theater. The first edition of the festival was prepared on the day of the death of St. Hieronymus, the translator best known for the Latin translation of the Bible.


Face to face (Iz oči v oči)

The management of the festival chooses one foreign language and a selector who will conduct the interview concerning two books or a magazine / radio publication of the translator in the focus of the evening. The choice of the selector is on its own discretion, but must take into account the manageability of the material in scope (especially for the audience who desires to read the material before the event). The choice and argumentation of translation solutions is commented upon by the invited discussant. The selector and discussant explain “face-to-face” their opinions to the translator of the translation, who has the opportunity to explain and reveal at his translation workshop less known facts or textual solutions that the discussant and selector may have interpreted in their own way.


Spider Festival

15. 06. - 16. 06. 2022



Festival Spider

SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Defying categorical delineation, the Spider project is at once an “itinerant” contemporary dance and performing arts festival, a transnational artistic network, a platform for modular and transferable artistic projects and a potential for mobility and residencies. While its main production vehicle is the Ljubljana-based Pekinpah Association, the actual nodal points until now have been the specific artistic communities based in Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Ljubljana, Lyon, and Zagreb.

Though Spider operates through various activities, its primary output are events and festivals, the first one of them organised in Greece in 2010. A year after, the annual festival manifestations of Spider started in Slovenia as well, taking place at Španski borci Culture Centre. Other editions of this festival also happened in the aforementioned cities, sometimes alongside local festivals (as for example in Athens, with Arc of Dance & Modul dance festival 2014), but usually standing on their own. Between 2012 and 2014, about 40 international co-organisers were involved in making the events happen.

Spider Ljubljana
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External links


Spider was initiated by three dancers and choreographers: Matej Kejžar (Slovenia), Michaël Pomero (France), and Antigone Gyra (Greece) as an international interdisciplinary structure that could transcend the established national borders, festival formats and artistic practices. They engaged various artists from different cultures and from various artistic fields and milieus (dancers, choreographers, musicians, writers, sculptors, visual artists), soon temporarily enlarging the urban triangle of Athens-Lyon-Ljubljana with events in Zagreb, Salzburg, and Maribor (the latter in the context of Maribor, European Capital of Culture 2012 programme).

Numerous events and festivals held under the brand of Spider and its various editions – SPIDER RES (performance residencies and research), SPIDER EVENT/GATHERINGS (performance gatherings of international artists, workshops, showings of residency results), SPIDER TALKS (a public debate and project meetings) and SPIDER EXPAND! (a festival format of Spider, called An Itinerant Artistic Manifestation and repeated in Berlin, Brussels, Athens, Lyon, Zagreb and Ljubljana).

Spider Ljubljana

The first Spider Ljubljana was held in 2011 in Španski borci Culture Centre. It lasted three days and in partnership with En-Knap Productions and ŠKUC Association hosted dance performances, workshops (on dance, visual creation and writing), discussions and parties. A year later, the same place hosted the international dance project Spider: At Once, and in 2013 – under the name Spider Expand! – a festival was once again organised, hosting artists from Slovenia, Croatia, France, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary, Brazil and the United Kingdom. The festival then moved to Stara Elektrarna – Old Power Station and called itself Spider White in 2014 and Spider Slang in 2015, still bringing an exciting and non-genre bound programme, from body art to contemporary dance, from exhibitions to concerts.

Some of the foreign artists who have performed or otherwise participated in the Ljubljana-based Spider events include Cécile Laloy (FR), Gabriel Smeets (NL), Pavlos Kountouriotis (GR/UK), Fernando Belfiore (BR/NL), Benjamin Sebastian (UK), Julien Monty & Michaël Pomero (FR) of Loge 22, Sigrid Stigsdatter Mathiassen (DK), Alexandros Psychoulis & Yannis Arvanitis (GR), Saša Božić (HR), Petra Hrašćanec (HR); of the local artists, we’ve seen Matej Kejžar, Leja Jurišić, Teja Reba, Urša Vidic, Andreja Kopač, Ana Romih, Rosana Hribar, Uroš Kaurin, Tomaž Grom, etc.

Due to the collaborative nature of Spider, it means that these artists were hosted in other city nodes of the network as well.


World Literatures – Fabula Festival

4. 03. - 15. 04. 2022



Literature sveta - Fabula

Kersnikova ulica 4 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Fabula Festival – Literature of the World festival is one of the biggest and most visited literary festival in Slovenia and the wider region. The Fabula Festival has been organised since 2004 by Beletrina Publishing Institute (alias Študentska založba Publishing House up to 2014). It has hosted many modern classic, including the Nobel prize winning author Herta Müller, Irvine Welsh, Jonathan Franzen, Hanif Kureishi, Janice Galloway, Amitav Ghosh, David Grossman, Richard Flanagan, Taiye Selasi, Tatiana Tolstoy, Eric Vuillard, Rachel Cusk, Bernhard Schlink, and Vladimir Sorokin.

Apart from the central literary guests, the accompanying programme enriches the festival every year, hosting the biggest thinkers of our time. The complete festival programme is designed for all generations and is accessible to every visitor. In the time of the festival, five books of the visiting authors are published in a special Fabula collection.


The Fabula Festival has been organised since 2004 by Študentska založba Publishing House (today Beletrina Publishing Institute) in collaboration with Dnevnik Publishing House and since 2013 in collaboration with Radio-Television Slovenia (RTV Slovenia).

The festival started off as a Fabula Festival of Stories, taking place in several cities round Slovenia. The 3rd Fabula Festival of Stories 2006 hosted in three weeks 10 world-famous writers – Milorad Pavić from Serbia; Miljenko Jergović, Krešimir Mišanović, Krešimir Bagić, and Robert Perišić from Croatia; Claudio Magris and Diego Marani from Italy; Georgi Gospodinov from Bulgaria; Kader Abdolah from the Netherlands; and Toby Litt from the United Kingdom – who presented their work at more than 20 literary events. A public discussion entitled Dramatisation of Novels took place at the Slovene National Theatre Drama Ljubljana. Also accompanying the festival were a panel discussion about Slovene and Croatian fiction entitled Jeziki mesta [Urban Languages], and a conference on film stories. In 2007 the theme of the festival was Death and the festival featured some panel discussions involving artists, doctors, sociologists, and anthropologists.

World Literatures Fabula Festivals

World Literatures Fabula Festivals over the years hosted many well-known writer’s and covered many pressing literary, political and philosophical issues. Fabula Festival is a unique celebration of the arts and libraries and their power to transform lives, here are some of festivals.

World Literatures – Fabula Festival 2010 was one of the core events of the World Book Capital Ljubljana 2010. The festival hosted Herta Müller, David Grossman, Jonathan Franzen, Michal Viewegh, Daniel Kehlmann, and Richard Flanagan and presented the new translation of their works into Slovenian language. Screenings of the films based on the works by Fabula guests took place in Kinodvor Cinema.

The festival programme brought the book and literature into the streets and squares of the city: the promenade at Breg Street in the old city centre turned into the authors’ cities: the words, music, film and smells depicted the cultures of New York, Jerusalem, Prague, Vienna, and Sydney. Music concerts featured the Chili dogs, Keel Klezmer Band, Godalika, Saxophone quartet 4saxess, AHIMSAUrban band, as well as a huge choir event: eighteen Slovene choirs accompanied by the Philharmonics orchestra sang works by Slovene poets. Secondary school students wrote down Prešeren’s epic Krst pri Savici [Baptism at the Savica] on the Ljubljana promenade in free typographic forms, accompanied by the rap authors Boštjan Gorenc – Pižama and Klemen Klemen.

In 2011 the festival “World Literatures – Fabula 2011” hosted César Aira, Niccolò Ammaniti, Per Olov Enquist, Cristoph Ransmayr, Drago Jančar, and Margriet de Moor. Again the festival presented a fabric of talks, books, and the related films, sounds, fairy tales, and images of the writers’ countries. The topic of Islam was dealt with by connoisseurs from Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Turkey, the latter being the country in focus within The International Within the Local, a poetry and translation project. The international symposium focused on Edvard Kocbek, whose susceptibility to complexity and paradoxes of human psychological structure and social existence often made him a victim of the ideologically uniform times. The Fabula Award for the best Slovenian collection of short stories from the past two years was given to Lado Kralj for Kosec koso brusi (A Reaper Grinds His Scythe).

The 9th Fabula Festival in 2012 hosted Hanif Kureishi (UK), Amitav Gosh (USA), Mikhail Shishkin (RU) and Leena Krohn (FI). On this occasion a book by each author was translated into Slovene and published along with a short story collection by five Slovene authors: Dušan Čater, Mojca Kumerdej, Andrej E. Skubic, Suzana Tratnik and Goran Vojnović. Authors presented their work at 5 main literary events accompanied by 20 other events such as literary readings, round tables, symposia, children’s program and other events with guests from around the world. The Fabula Award for the best Slovenian collection of short stories from the past two years was given to Dušan Čater for his collection Džehenem (‘hell’ in Turkish).

In 2013 the Fabula guests were Irvine Welsh (GB), Ilija Trojanow (BG), Eduardo Sanchez Rugeles (VE) and Dorota Masłowska (PL) along with Slovene authors: Stanka Hrastelj, Milan Kleč, Marko Sosič and Dušan Šarotar, in 2014 the guests were Péter Esterházy, Juan Goytisolo, Jacqueline Raoul-Duval, Thomas Brussig, Gabriela Babnik, Nejc Gazvoda, Alojz Ihan, Vesna Lemaić and Miha Mazzini, who tackled the festival focus Faces of Freedom Revealed. In March 2014 arrived a special guest, Michel Houellebecq, well-known to Slovene readers through the five translated novels.

In 2016 edition of the Fabula hosts Matthias Göritz, Cees Nooteboom, Juan Gabriel Vásquez and Sjón, while Slovenian guest is illustrator and artist Samira Kentrić presenting her new graphic novel. The festival’s topic was Newcomers, a pressing issues being a subject of discussions with Igor Štiks, Peter Vermeersch, Jean-Claude Milner, Alenka Zupančič, Srečko Horvat, Teofil Pančić, Ervin Hladnik Milharčič and Anica Mikuš Kos.

Fabula Festival 2019 focused on walls; at first glance with the fall of the Berlin Wall, which became historical event three decades ago, but also with many others kind of walls: walls between reality and fiction, past and present, walls between cultures, between the emotions of people who have difficulty communicating … and last but not least also with real walls, brick and concrete, that characterize our architectural landscape. Sixteen edition of festival brought many important names of world literature to Ljubljana, such as Ingo Schulze, Éric Vuillard and Tatjana Tolstoj.


The Fabula Festival takes place in several cities round Slovenia. The Fabula Festival of Stories in 2006, for example, was organised in Ljubljana, Maribor, Postojna, Izola, and Koper.

The events of the 2010 festival took place in Ljubljana (Cankarjev dom, Kinodvor Cinema, the City Museum of Ljubljana, the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, and Beletrina Bookshop); in Maribor (Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor); Ptuj (Ivan Potrč Library); Ribnica (Mikl House Library); Koper (Dom knjige Bookshop); and Trieste, Italy.

The venues of the Fabula 2011 included also hospitals, homes for the elderly, and crisis centres, as well as urban streets in collaboration with an initiative of the homeless, the magazine The Kings of the Street [Kralji ulice].

Recently the main part of the festival programme has been located in Ljubljana while the pre-festival events take place in Kranj, Koper, Celje, Novo mesto, Maribor and Trst/Trieste.


Ljubljana Jazz Festival

15. 06. - 18. 06. 2022



Jazz Festival Ljubljana

Prešernova 10 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Established in 1960, Ljubljana Jazz Festival is the oldest continuously running jazz festival in Europe, and takes place annually over three or four days at the end of June. Over the decades it has managed to attract an impressive array of world-class performers and improvisers from all over the globe, with a programme that continues to evolve and to take in the latest forms of jazz and improvised music. In 2018, under the stewardship of festival director Bogdan Benigar and co-curator Pedro Costa, it won the Europe Jazz Network’s prestigious Award for Adventurous Programming.


In keeping with the contemporary adage that jazz is about how you play rather than what you play, the festival’s programme ranges widely across all forms of jazz expression, from hard, exploratory improvisation, through the recent adoption of found sounds and electronics, to funkier and more soulful styles. The international dimensions of the festival are well-established, with perhaps a slightly greater emphasis on European artists than on those from across the Atlantic in recent years.

The festival also features an accompanying programme. Including residency programmes, film screenings, round tables, lectures, poster and jazz photography exhibitions, and multimedia installations. Although the festival is centred on events in late June, Cankarjev dom also stages a year-round programme of events under the festival name, as well as the Tuesday Clubbing (Cankarjevi torki) series, which attempts to keep the festival spirit alive from September to April with an adventurous programme spanning jazz and roots.


Since 1982 the festival has been held in the concert halls of Cankarjev dom (CD), Slovenia’s national cultural centre, with the revitalised CD Club being brought into the fold in 2008 and the CD park (officially the Council of Europe Park) becoming the main venue in the late 2010s. Križanke no longer stages festival events.

Prehistory and early years

The seeds of the festival that formally emerged in 1960 as the Yugoslavian Jazz Festival were sown in the years following the end of World War II and the formation of the RTV Slovenia Big Band. Jazz was incorporated into the band’s programme for a few years before being declared politically undesirable, but managed to resurface in the second half of the 1950s. In the meantime, the various Yugoslavian pop festivals had helped create a lively, interconnected music scene that meant that the first edition of the jazz festival edition had an extensive, ready-made line-up featuring musicians from all parts of the federal republic. Correspondingly, the Slovenian pop music festival Slovenska popevka, established in 1962, shared most of the Slovenian musicians who appeared at the jazz festival.

For the first six years, the festival took place in Bled, before moving to Ljubljana in 1967. Three years later, it installed itself in what would become its home for many years: the Križanke complex in the city centre. For the first two decades or so, the festival was organised by Jazz Society Ljubljana, and its close ties with the RTV Slovenia Big Band, then a bastion of Slovenian jazz traditionalism, meant that the programming remained broadly conventional and, to some extent, conservative. The festival featured more or less exclusively Yugoslav musicians and Yugoslav radio big band ensembles, although there were notable exceptions, such as the Albert Mangelsdorff Quintet (1962), the Modern Jazz Quartet (1964), the Krzysztof Komeda Quintet (1965), Jean-Luc Ponty (1967) and Memphis Slim (1968).


The 1970s brought a loosening of the unspoken strictures that had applied in the festival’s first decade, with free jazz, fusion and “ECM jazz” gaining admittance (if not full acceptance). The international dimensions of the festival also expanded, with some of the biggest names of the decade appearing in Ljubljana: Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land in 1971, the Bill Evans Trio and Ram Chandra Mistry in 1972, the Archie Shepp Quintet in 1973, the Jazz Messengers, the Stan Getz Quartet and Odetta in 1974, the Elvin Jones Quartet in 1975, the Cecil Taylor Quintet in 1976, Paul Bley in 1979 and the Pharoah Sanders Quartet in 1981.


In 1982, organisation of the Ljubljana Jazz Festival passed from Jazz Society Ljubljana to the newly opened Cankarjev dom national cultural centre. This heralded the establishment of a new curatorial model, with the enlarged programming panel seeking to open the festival up more fully towards new jazz and new improvised forms. While this met with some resistance and a fair amount of public polemic, it was well received by a younger audience keen to move on from the older sounds. The first signs that things were changing came with the appearance of the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1982, followed by other figures from the left field of jazz: Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron, Irene Schweizer, the Lester Bowie Ensemble, and the Keith Tippett-Peter Brötzmann Quartet.

Internal squabbles continued, which led to that portion of the programme panel agitating for further reform, and for the inclusion of other (experimental) genres of music, establishing the Druga Godba Festival in 1985. The festival nevertheless managed to maintain a strong programme through the 1980s, with appearance from the likes of the Vienna Art Orchestra, Anthony Braxton Quartet, the Trevor Watts Trio, the Julius Hemphill Jah Band, Dudu Pukwana and Zila, the McCoy Tyner Trio, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Max Roach, Roscoe Mitchell and Gilberto Gil.

1990s and the 21st century

By now a well-established stop for some of the world’s top jazz musicians, the festival played host in the 1990s and early 2000s to artists such as Steve Coleman’s Five Elements, Miles Davis, the Don Byron Klezmer Orchestra, the Bill Frisell Group, Defunkt, Marc Ribot, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti and the Positive Force, the Jan Garbarek Group, the Ornette Coleman Quartet, Abdullah Ibrahim, the Wayne Shorter Quartet, Reggie Workman, Charlie Haden Quartet West and Kenny Garrett.

After celebrating its 50th birthday in 2009, the festival continued to present strong programmes comprised of established artists, emerging talents and special projects: Han Bennink, Avishai Cohen, Hamilton de Holanda, Richard Galliano, John Zorn (with various projects), Peter Brötzmann (who was the subject of a four-concert special focus in 2013), Maria João, John Scofield, Neneh Cherry (with The Thing), David Murray, Macy Gray, Sly and Robbie with Nils Petter Molvær, Mercedes Sosa, Gregory Porter, the Vijay Iyer Trio, Peter Evans, Nate Wooley, Dans Dans and Fire! Orchestra.

2016 onwards

Starting in 2016, the festival took another of its frequent left turns, moving part of the programme into the CD park for a series of free daytime and early evening concerts. The park programme has since been extended in volume and scope to become an established part of the festival, in keeping with the stated aim of creating a “jazz community” and of attracting new audiences perhaps less inclined to take a punt on performances in the more formal indoor settings of the cultural centre. The move paid off handsomely in 2020, when the relaxed outdoor character of the festival, a mixture of live performances and big-screen streaming, made it one of the most joyous events to take place in the capital during the brief Covid-19 summer hiatus.

The renewed emphasis on providing a platform for Slovenian acts, in place from 2017 or so, is a further element of the festival’s attempt to build a jazz community, as well as to capitalise on what is something of a homegrown “golden generation”: Jure Pukl, Marko Črnčec, Igor Lumpert, Žiga Murko and Žan Tetičkovič in New York, Dré Hočevar and Kaja Draksler in Amsterdam, and Jani Moder, Kristijan Kranjčan, Cene Resnik, Igor Matković, Samo Šalamon and Boštjan Simon in Ljubljana. All have played the festival, solo or in various formations, since 2015. The 2019 and 2020 editions featured the Alphabet and Young Explorers series of concerts, which was curated by Dré Hočevar and showcased some of the young musicians clustered around the .abeceda Institute.

However, as the festival’s seventh decade gathers pace, the space remains very much open to new (and older) international avant-garde sounds in jazz and beyond: James Blood Ulmer, Evan Parker, Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark, the Yussef Dayes Trio, Archie Shepp, Emilia Martensson, Shabaka Hutchings, Nasheet Waits, Hamid Drake, Paal Nilssen-Love and Moor Mother, to name only a few. While the new outdoor focus of the festival has led to a more intimate atmosphere, use continues to be made of CD’s indoor venues for marquee events: Gallus Hall in Cankarjev dom for the mammoth John Zorn Bagatelles Marathon in 2019, for example. In that same year, Križanke was also used for the first time since 2013 for a performance by US multi-genre ensemble Snarky Puppy.

Directors and curators

Bogdan Benigar became the festival director in 1999, working under artistic directors Oliver Belopeta (Skopje Jazz Festival, 2000–2004) and David Braun (2005–2008) before taking sole custody of the programme for two editions. He was then joined as co-curator by Pedro Costa (2011–2017) and Edin Zubčević (Jazz Fest Sarajevo 2018–).

Costa’s involvement also resulted in the ongoing Ljubljana Jazz Series of live recordings, released by Clean Feed Records of Lisbon, one of Europe’s most daring improvised music labels, and home to quite a number of Slovenia’s younger jazz generation. Eleven records have been released so far, with more expected. This follows on from a well-established festival tradition of live recording that stretches back 50 years and includes Cecil Taylor’s legendary Dark to Themselves album.


Slovene Puppetry Biennial

22. 05. 2022



Bienale slovenskih lutkarjev

Draveljska 44 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Every two years, the Slovene Puppetry Biennial examines the state of Slovene puppetry, choosing and presenting the best works created in the preceding two-year period. Featuring both major puppetry institutions as well as the many small puppetry groups from Slovenia, it includes small- and large-scale performances aimed at both children and adult audiences. Utilising various puppetry genres, techniques and aesthetics, a special focus is set on the theatrical elements intrinsic to puppetry.

The biennial aims to present Slovene puppetry to the broader domestic and foreign expert public, such as selectors, organisers and directors of foreign festivals and theatres, theatre critics, etc. Each year, the latter are explicitly invited by the festival.


The festival was established in 2001 by the Puppetry Artists Institution of Slovenia, who now run it together the Maribor Puppet Theatre. The latter acts as the main venue, though other venues such as GT22 are also used.

The biennial was launched in place of the earlier puppetry festival, Klemenčič’s Days. The first 2 biennials took place at the Maribor Puppet Theatre and featured about 15 performances. The 2005 edition took place at Koper Theatre, at Praetorian Palace in Koper, and in the Koper Regional Museum. The 2009 festival took place in Ljubljana and Maribor and also presented its events across Slovenia’s borders, in Carinthia, Austria. In 2011, it returned to be hosted mainly at the Maribor Puppet Theatre.


The programme of puppet shows comprises two parts, one competitive, and one accompanying. Together, they usually present somewhere around 15–20 performances. The other part of the accompanying programme includes exhibitions of puppets and stage sets, round-table discussions, book presentations, film screenings and photo documentation exhibitions, plus some additional high-quality performances aimed at young audiences.

An international expert jury confers the Slovene Puppetry Biennial Prizes, awarding one Grand Prix for the best performance and various prizes for other dimensions of puppetry (visual concept, animation, puppetry technology, music, direction, original approach, etc.).


Slovene Music Days

14. 04. - 22. 04. 2021



Slovenski glasbeni dnevi

Trg francoske revolucije 1 SI-1000 , Ljubljana

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The programme of Slovene Music Days, existing since 1985, is divided into two main parts: an international musicological symposium and concerts of contemporary Slovene music. Each year the international musicological symposium led by Jernej Weiss (1985-2015 by Primož Kuret) brings together about 30 musicologists from all over Europe to discuss a different topic. Part of the symposium has been dedicated to examining and studying the works and lives of Slovene composers. The concert part begins and ends with two Slovene orchestras, the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra and the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2021 the festival takes place online.


The programme contains a number of accompanying events, such as round table discussions, music workshops, exhibitions, and book presentations. It is usually held at the halls of the Slovene Philharmonic and at the Knight’s Hall at Križanke. Previously it was also held elsewhere, as for example in the Piran City Gallery in Piran-Pirano.

Among many renowned musicians who appeared at the festival in recent years, the Slovene Music Days has also hosted the Slavko Osterc Trio, SToP Slovene Percussion Project, RTV Slovenia Big Band, the Academic Choir Tone Tomšič, Carmina Slovenica and the Ensemble Modern.


Slovene Book Days

16. 06. - 24. 06. 2021



Slovenski dnevi knjige

Tomšičeva ulica 12 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Along with some 30 countries around the globe, Slovenia celebrates World Book Day every year on 23 April, which has been designated by UNESCO as the day of worldwide celebration of books and reading. To observe this occasion, the Slovene Writers’ Association organised the first Slovene Book Day as a one-day event in 1996. Since 1998, the event has grown into a five-day open-air book fair, involving the majority of Slovene publishers. The event takes place in Ljubljana and other Slovene towns.

The book fairs are accompanied by daily literary readings, book launches, concerts, workshops, book presentations, and performances, discussions and a rich cultural entertainment programme.


Although the core focus of the one-week festival is Slovene literature, various other artistic genres are included in the events, offering visitors an in-depth and varied perspective into literature. In certain cities, the festival takes place within the context of lively book fairs.

Among the traditional objectives of the festival are raising awareness about the reading culture, facilitating direct contact between the reading public and authors from different generations, and publicising the achievements of Slovene literature. In recent years, the festival has focused on a variety of current themes and has expanded possibilities for people working in the field of culture. It is also useful for drawing attention to problems that are present, though sometimes repressed, in modern society, such as the faster tempo of life, which in turn raises the question of how to attract people to books and present quality content in a contemporary and attractive way.


Since 1997, Slovene Book Days has taken place not only in Ljubljana but in other Slovene towns around Slovenia, for instance, in Maribor where it is organised jointly with MKC Maribor) in Celje, Novo mesto and Koper.


At the opening ceremony of Slovene Book Days, the winner of the Best Short Story Award is announced. In Maribor, the finale of the Poetry Tournament organised by Pivec Publishing House also takes place in the time of Slovene Book Days.


Sanje (‘Dreams’) Festival

24. 06. - 27. 06. 2021



Festival Sanje

Leskoškova cesta 12 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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The popular summer event Sanje (‘Dreams’) Festival was initiated by Sanje Publishing House in 2002. Held each year at Zvezda Park, Miklošič Park and other smaller outdoor venues in Ljubljana city centre, it features concerts of folk, jazz, rock, and other kinds of music, literary readings, children’s programmes, theatre performances, and puppet shows for adults. In 2010 the festival extended to the village of Medana, previously known for its Days of Poetry and Wine Festival.

More than a literature festival

For many years this non-profit summer festival has combined literature with music and theatre. Starting with 12 afternoon events and 23 concerts in 2002, in recent editions expectations were exceeded with more than a hundred events.

The festival was originally rooted in Ljubljana, however, an ambition developed through the years to transform it into a wider platform. In recent years, the festival has been opening to other locations, which resulted in several festival editions across Slovenia, sometimes organised by Sanje, sometimes integrating external co-organisers.

Festival programme highlights

In 2010, the year when Ljubljana held the title of UNESCO’s World Book Capital, the festival spread to other locations around Slovenia (including the villages Šmartno and Medana in the Goriška Brda area near the Italian border, taking the name Dreams in Medana (Sanje v Medani). In the same year Fantazija Express was introduced – a travelling bookshop and a stage on wheels inspired by the writer Frane Milčinski Ježek. In 2011, Fantazija Express made its way through Slovenia once again, this time visiting the festival HISTeRIA in Istria, continuing on to Medana and Šmartno for Dreams in Medana, and eventually onto Maribor.