Maribor Theatre Festival

30. 05. - 12. 06. 2022



Festival Borštnikovo srečanje

Slovenska 27 SI-2000, Maribor

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Every autumn since 1966, various Slovene theatres have met in Maribor at the Maribor Theatre Festival (its Slovene name being Borštnikovo srečanje), organised by and held at the Slovene National Theatre Maribor. This most prestigious theatre event is the largest annual review of Slovene theatre production. The festival awards the Borštnik Ring, the highest accolade for theatre actors in Slovenia, further Borštnik Awards are bestowed for best achievements in directing, acting, and other categories.

To honour individual Borštnik Ring recipients, the festival launched a book series devoted to the work and lives of laureates in 2017.


The festival took place for the first time in 1966 under the name Slovene Drama Week and was re-named the Borštnik Meeting in 1972 (today its Slovene name is still Festival Borštnikovo srečanje, but it has come to be known as the Maribor Theatre Festival in English). Prior to 1990, the festival was also held in other Slovene towns; in the 1990s there were several unsuccessful attempts to move the festival from Maribor to Ljubljana. Until 1992, all professional Slovene theatres presented at least one production at the festival’s competition programme, with independent productions appearing only in the off-programme. Subsequently, the selection became more rigorous, including only the most representative theatre productions. The 1990s saw the protest of numerous independent theatre producers and makers, arguing that with the festival’s existing conceptually-closed orientation, it did not present the actual theatre production nor acknowledge the variety of aesthetics, poetics, approaches, and procedures.

On its 45th anniversary, the festival was reorganised and internationalised. In addition to the selected Slovene performances by repertory theatres from Maribor, Ljubljana, Nova Gorica, Celje, Kranj, Ptuj, Koper, and Trieste, as well as by a few independent theatre producers, the festival’s programme featured international performances. A special showcase selection addressed international professionals who also participated in debates and symposia.

Since 1994, the selector of the festival has a two-year mandate. The jury usually comprises four to five persons (critics, directors, writers, theorists, artists, etc.). The Borštnik Ring Award recipient is selected by a different jury.

The festival is named after Ignacij Borštnik (1858–1919), director, actor, playwright, translator and the founder of the Slovene artistic theatre. He was the first Slovene theatre director in the modern sense of the word and a master craftsman of the most demanding roles, especially from turn-of-the-century modernist realism.


Each year, around 10 new performances are presented in the selected competition programme of the Maribor Theatre Festival. These stagings compete for the following Borštnik Awards: best performance (Borštnik Grand Prix), best director, best actor, best young actor, other achievements (set design, costume design, lighting design, musical score, and other artistic categories), plus a special jury award. The award of the Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia for the best performance in the previous season is also presented.

The accompanying non-competitive programme consists of interesting performances of the previous season, often created by a younger generation of authors, whose innovative approaches to creating performances challenge the established concepts and boundaries of theatre, as well as performances by as international artists and theatre houses.

The Maribor Theatre Festival also presents the annual production of the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT) and has recently started running an international student programme.

International symposia and conferences

Each year the festival cooperates closely with the Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia in the organisation of conferences, symposia, round tables, workshops, seminars and talks, dedicated to relevant topics, such as festival production, criticism, dramaturgy, archiving, intercultural exchange, etc. The festival has also hosted several international symposia and conferences, which were prepared with international partners, such as the International Theatre Institute (ITI) or the international network of theatre critics AICT/IATC.


Digital collections (photo galleries) presenting outstanding authors (e.g., actors who won the Borštnik Ring Award) were compiled by the Slovenian Theatre Institute in collaboration with the institute Novi zato., Prodok teater TV, Slovene theatre houses and regional archives. Further digital galleries present some of the recent Grand Prix performances, referential documentary photos, video and audio excerpts which are accessible to the wider public on the – Slovene theatre portal.

Contemporary European Drama book collection

To bridge the gap to the international space and open communication with it, the festival has devoted special attention to the playwriting and theatre of a selected country. To this purpose, the Contemporary European Drama book collection was launched in 2011, which brought translations of contemporary plays written by authors coming from Finland, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Holland, Spain and Slovakia.


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.


Minoriti Open Air Cinema

10. 07. - 23. 08. 2021



Letni kino Minoriti

Vojašniški trg 2A SI-2000 , Maribor

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The Minoriti Open Air Cinema is an annual summer film event, established in 2017, focusing on the best films of the year in the field of art cinema, documentaries, Slovenian film, film premieres and short films. It takes place at the open air auditorium of the Maribor Puppet Theatre in Maribor during July and August, usually every Saturday and Wednesday evening. The event instantly became popular and is attracting around 4,000 visitors every year. Half of the programme is usually screened with English subtitles or in English language.


The Minoriti Open Air Cinema is a successor of the Udarnik na prostem open air cinema, which was organised between 2010 and 2014 at Vetrinjski dvor by the team that ran Kino Udarnik at the time.

After Kino Udarnik, the last old city cinema in the centre of Maribor, had to close because of the lack of financial support, the team around the Association for Film Culture Development, Maribor continued the initiative in order to show the best films of the year to the inhabitants and visitors of Maribor at least during summer. It joined forces with the public institution Maribor Puppet Theatre, which provides the wonderful venue of the Minoriti auditorium, and the private company Projektor, d.o.o., which provides the screening and ticketing technology, to organise a two-month film event. The trio was joined by a local gastronomy provider and music events organiser Kooperativa Peron to care for the bar and additional events.


From the beginning of July till the end of August, the best films of the year are screened each Saturday and Wednesday evening. The programme includes international festival award winners, the best Slovenian films of the year, the most notable documentaries and animation features and premieres of the most expected films of the summer.

Accompanying programme

The long feature film programme is accompanied by short films provided by international film festivals in the region, such as Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival, DOKUDOC International Documentary Film Festival, Enimation, International Children and Youth Film Festival, Stoptrik International Film Festival and FeKK Ljubljana Short Film Festival. The screenings of Slovenian films are usually visited by authors, with talks and discussions organised after the films. The film programme is also accompanied by music events and exhibitions at a nearby Minorite Church venue.


Ptuj Festival

19. 08. - 19. 08. 2022



Festival narodno-zabavne glasbe Ptuj

Osojnikova cesta 3 SI-2250, Ptuj

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Ptuj Festival was established in 1969 and was set up as an embellishment of the 1900th anniversary of the first recorded mention of the city of Ptuj. Organised by Radio Ptuj – who still handles it today – it was the first folk-pop music festival in Slovenia, coming into being merely a decade and a half after the genre itself was “created” by the Avsenik brothers. Their “classic quintet” still resounds in how the competition categories of the festivals are divided, the first for quintet formations with an accordion, trumpet, clarinet, guitar and bass, and the second for all the others.

This competition format, with the winners usually chosen by a combination of an expert jury and public votes, was later adopted by numerous other similar festivals. Nowadays, there are awards for the best songs in each category (including one for the best song according to the audience) and also for the best lyrics and best vocal performance.

The festival has in recent years settled at the yard of the Minorite Monastery in Ptuj. With both audio and video recorded by Radio-Television Slovenia (RTV Slovenia), the competing songs are later released by the Discography Unit, RTV Slovenia. There is also live streaming of the festival by Radio Maribor and Radio Ptuj.


Summer Puppet Pier Festival

1. 08. - 31. 08. 2021



Poletni lutkovni pristan - mednarodni lutkovni festival, Maribor

Vojašniški trg 2 SI-2000, Maribor

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Launched in 1990, the annual Summer Puppet Pier – International Puppetry Festival, Maribor offers a review of recent Slovene puppet creativity activity alongside many foreign performances for both children and adults. The Summer Pier Festival collaborates with several other Slovene puppetry producers and promoters.

The festival has invited performers from Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, Bulgaria and Israel, and even as far away as Iran, Taiwan, China, Brazil, and Japan.

Since 2019 the best performance selected by the children’s jury receives the Golden Giraffe Award.


The festival used to take place first at Lent, in the Atrium of Maribor Castle or Astoria garden and at the Rotovški Square, however in 2010 it has moved with the Maribor Puppet Theatre into a renovated Minorite building at Lent.

Performances had often toured also to Ptuj, Lenart, Celje, Medvode, Nova Gorica, Ljubljana, Lendava and to the Coast; Slovene productions have also toured to Austria (Carinthia and Styria).


Stories Today Festival

19. 03. - 25. 03. 2022



Pripovedovalski festival Pravljice danes

SI-2000, Maribor

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The successor of the Fairy Tale Marathon, which was conceived by writer and storyteller Anja Štefan and held for the first time in 1998, the Stories Today Festival hosts a wide array of Slovene and foreign storytellers who deliver tales hailing from the folklore of various peoples and regions. In doing so, they forefront the ancestral oral tradition and foster the art of narration.

It encompasses storytelling performances for children, storytelling evenings for adults, an open stage which provides an exciting opportunity to anyone wanting to try themselves at storytelling, and accompanying events.

At first the storytelling festival was organised by Cankarjev dom, the Slovene Ethnographic Museum and the Association of Slovene Museums, later on it grew into a partnership of various cultural organisations such as Vodnik Homestead, Kinodvor Cinema, Slovenian Cinematheque, Pripovedovalski variete Cultural Association, the National and University Library, and the Global Institute Slovenia – an institute for global learning and development projects. Recently some festival events have been hosted also by Maribor Puppet Theatre, Maribor Public Library and Vetrinjski dvor in Maribor.


Summer Stage Festival Ruše

13. 08. - 22. 08. 2021



Festival Letni oder Ruše

Pod goroj 20 SI-2342, Ruše

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The Summer Stage Festival Ruše was established in 2000 in Ruše, a small town at the foothills of Pohorje, near Maribor. It offers ten days of theatre performances, concerts of Slovene and international musicians, events for children, together around 35 different cultural events with around ten thousands visitors. The multicultural festival is mostly happening in a unique stone amphitheatre in a natural setting of the Pohorje forests. It is organised by Cezam Youth Centre Ruše


The very motto of the festival is: “Let the streets, halls and the summer stage at the foothills of Pohorje become alive once more!” The festival offers a wide range of cultural events, from concerts and other musical performances, workshops, theatre performances, for example street theatre, stand-up evenings or puppet shows, fine arts activities and exhibitions, social events, culinary offerings, dancing and more.

The festival hosts many commercial names that attract wider public, but also events of an alternative culture: for example, the pop singer Tony Cetinski, but also the virtuosos like guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski or saxophonist Vasko Atanasovski, or the United Nations Association Film Festival, which connects the authors of documentary films on the topic of human rights. With respect for tradition, amateur culturists as well as professional artists perform on Ruše’s stage.


The festival takes place at some accompanying venues in Ruše, for example at Tržnica Triglav or at the Drava River Boathouse, but its recognisability is built around the atmosphere of the old stone amphitheatre, on the Summer Stage Ruše.


Lent Festival

24. 06. - 2. 07. 2022



Festival Lent

Kneza Koclja 9 Si-2000, Maribor

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Established in 1993, the international Lent Festival is among the largest open-air festivals in Europe and the most massive festival of its kind in Slovenia. Each year it presents around 300 diverse cultural performances and events on different stages, including various styles of popular music, opera, rock, ballet, jazz, classical music, street theatre, chanson, folklore and revivalist folk, theatre, busking music, events for children, dance performances and musicals, workshops for children and also sport events. The festival is a cacophony of sounds and quantity, easy going festivities and smoky barbecues, but also an occasion for quality performances at more hidden intimate venues.

Lent Festival regularly attracts around 500,000 spectators, dispersed during the 3-week-long event at over 23 venues, improvised stages and re-purposed old spaces along the banks of the Drava River. The Festival is a member of the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) and the Association of Slovene Festivals (SloFA).


Among the internationally acclaimed musicians and domestic music groups which have performed at Lent are: Ray Charles, James Brown, B.B. King, Cesaria Evora, Afro-Cuban All Stars, Living Colour, Maceo Parker, the Alfredo Rodriguez Group (featuring Tata Guines), Brad Mehldau, Jesus Alemany, Sierra Maestra, Solomon Burke, Zlatko Kaučič Kombo, Bratko Bibič & The Madleys, Paquito D’Rivera, David Sanchez, and more.

The festival also includes the Maribor component of the Ana Desetnica International Street Theatre Festival and stand-up comedy performances by Slovene and Croatian comedians, a section entitled Jazzlent and the vivid Folkart International Folklore Festival, Maribor from which Lent Festival itself actually evolved.

During recent years the Jazzlent stage has gained more attentive and consistent programming with attractive international and domestic musicians. The Jazzlent line-up for 2010 featured such highlights as Yuri Honing Wired Paradise (NL) and Abdourahmane Diop and the Griot Music Company (SN).

Picked from the list of hundreds of musicians, music groups, and bands the 2010 festival included Kaja Draksler Acropolis Quartet, Samo Šalamon Trio featuring Michel Godard, Ray Anderson’s Pocket Brass Band, Steve Swallow, James Blood Ulmer Trio Odyssey, Gangbé Brass Band, Fred Wesley & The New JB’s, Mahala Raï Banda, and Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra.

In 2010 a special exhibition entitled Re-start featuring photography by Borut Krajnc celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Slovene cult punk band Pankrti.


The majority of Lent Festival events are presented in the riverside area of old Maribor known as Lent, where the Main Stage (a floating stage on the water of the Drava river in the bay next to the Water Tower), others are staged at the ‘Večer’ Stage (sponsored by Večer Newspaper) in Lent, the Jazzlent Stage, the Jurček Stage (at Usnjarska ulica in Lent) and the Rotovž Stage, a tented venue located at Rotovž Square next to the Maribor Town Hall.

Main Stage

Seating: bleacher seating for c 2,200 spectators; performing area: 20m W x 20m D built on pontoons at the height of 3m on the Drava River, with optional extra stage 10m W x 6m D for orchestra or special guests; lighting and sound equipment: supplied according to needs; stage equipment: adaptable roof with installed sound and lighting system available for technically complex projects, space for mixing tables and operators; backstage: dressing rooms available on request

Večer Stage

Seating: 400 seats; performing area: 9m W x 8m D x 1.25m H with semi-elliptical canopy; lighting and sound equipment: supplied according to needs; backstage: dressing rooms available on request

Jazzlent Stage

Seating: 200 seats, 150 on bleacher rake; seating: 200 seats (150 in bleacher rake); performing area: 9m W x 10m D with semi-elliptical canopy; lighting and sound equipment: supplied according to needs; backstage: dressing rooms available.

Jurček Stage

Seating: 400 seats; performing area: 3m W x 3m D with canopy; lighting and sound equipment: supplied according to needs; backstage: dressing rooms available

Rotovž Stage

Seating: 660 seats, including 300 removable and 360 on bleacher rake; performing area: 15m x 15m x 6m H; lighting and sound equipment: supplied according to needs; backstage: dressing rooms available.


Ivan Potrč Library Ptuj



Knjižnica Ivana Potrča Ptuj

Prešernova 33-35 2250, Ptuj

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Ivan Potrč Library in Ptuj is a regional library established in 1945 and since 2000 housed in a 13th-century building built by the Salzburg bishops. It is named after Ivan Potrč (1913–1993), a Slovene writer and playwright. Comprising 3,200 square metres of space, it has a collection of 350,000 units of book and other material and incorporates different departments and a mobile library. Today the library functions as one of most important information and cultural centres in Ptuj and offers regular educational and cultural activities. It is also one of the partners and venues of the Days of Poetry and Wine Festival.

Library departments

The biggest department in the library is the study department, which includes literature and scientific writings. The reading room offers more than 200 magazine, journal, and newspaper titles as well as enables the use of computer workspaces in the information centre. The library also houses a study room with 24 seats and three smaller study rooms for individual studying.

In addition to book and audio-video material, the youth department offers various bibliopedagogic activities, such as story-telling hours, exhibitions, workshops, etc.

The local collection department contains around 70,000 units and collects and preserves the local collection material for Spodnje Podravje and Ormož regions, the oldest publications stemming from the 15th Century. The department also keeps a collection of rare books, old periodicals and the artistic and academic legacies of Štefka Cobelj, Alfred Bradač, Ivo Arhar, Jože Gregorc, Branka Jurca, and Ivan Potrč, the latter has been kept in a separate study room since 2007.


Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum



Pokrajinski muzej Ptuj - Ormož

Muzejski trg 1 2250 , Ptuj

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Housed since 1926 first in the Dominican Monastery at Ptuj and later at the Ptuj Castle, the Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum is a public institution that looks after the cultural heritage of the Lower Drava area, of the Štajerska region. It comprises archaeological, ethnological, cultural, educational, restoration and history sections, a library, and additional units in the Ormož and Velika Nedelja castles.


The first museum in Ptuj was the open-air Povoden Museum, created in 1830 by curator Simon Povoden. However, the origins of Ptuj Regional Museum can be traced back to the Museum Society, established in 1893 by members of the Tourist Society of Ptuj with the aim of preventing the transfer of valuable excavated archaeological material from Ptuj to Graz or Vienna. The Museum Society’s first collection, stored in the premises of the grammar school in Ptuj’s present-day Prešernova Street, originally comprised only archaeological objects, but in 1895 Professor Franz Ferk donated his extensive private collection, consisting of museum objects of various types. As a result of this valuable donation, the museum was renamed the Municipal Ferk Museum. The museum’s collections were cramped in the grammar school, so in 1926 the Municipality of Ptuj bought the former Dominican Monastery which had been dissolved by Joseph II’s reforms of 1786. The premises were renovated and two years later they were occupied by the museum’s collections.

In 1945 the museum was entrusted with the management of the Ptuj Castle complex of buildings, in which the furnishings of the castle’s last owners – the Herbersteins – had been preserved almost completely. The library and archives became independent institutions in 1954 and 1955 respectively, while the museum extended the geographical scope of its activities and was renamed the Regional Museum Ptuj in 1963. Today the museum covers the wider area of Ptuj and Ormož and is officially known as the Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum.

European Capital of Culture 2012

As the partner city of Maribor, European Capital of Culture, the museum opened the renovated former castle horse stables as a new venue for its rich collection of the Shrovetide carnival masks from the Ptuj region, and hosted the fourth International Congress of the International Lychnological Association Ex Oriente Lux in cooperation with the Gorenjska Museum and the Municipality of Ptuj.

Programme and activities

The Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum preserves and displays various archaeological, historical, cultural and ethnological collections and other services. Permanent collections can be seen in Ptuj and Ormož and their nearby surroundings.

In the scope of the main unit, there are three workshops which protect and restore items belonging to the cultural heritage, as well as survey climatic conditions in the museum. The Textile Workshop has long been the only workshop of its kind in Slovenia, capable of mending fragile fabrics. In the 1980s, the Textile Workshop started to work on precious tapestries kept in the museum. The Metal Workshop takes care of archaeological evidence, artefacts, weapons and armours, while another workshop deals with wooden furniture, artefacts and works of art made of wood. Priority is given to the local museum items, although from time to time the workshops work on items belonging to private or other public institutions collections.


The permanent collection installed at Ptuj Castle and the adjacent former horse stables incorporates exhibitions on feudal dwelling culture, arms, musical instruments, glass paintings, the Shrovetide masks and the France Mihelič graphics collection. Works of international significance displayed here include the world-famous statues of St Barbara and St Katarina (1410) from Velika Nedelja Castle, which belong to the group of sculptural works from the ‘Ptujska gora workshop’, which created several masterpieces in the International Gothic style; the Brussels (scenes from the Odyssey) and French (Verdure) tapestries of the early and late 17th century respectively; and the famous Turqueries paintings commissioned by Johann Josef Herberstein after his return from a diplomatic mission to Constantinople in 1666. The museum holds also the biggest musical instruments collection in Slovenia.

The Old Prisons building was renovated in the 2000s and hosts the Ptuj and its Surroundings in the 20th Century permanent exhibition.

In 1899 and 1914, the sites of Mithras Shrine I in Spodnja Hajdina and Mithras Shrine III in Zgornji Breg, respectively, were arranged for presentation. By 1987 archaeologists had discovered evidence of five Mithras Shrines; however Mithras Shrines I and III are still the favourites with visitors.

Venues and branches

The Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum also manages two galleries – Mihelič Gallery and Salon of Art, as well as numerous cultural heritage sites, including the Ptuj Castle (in which the museum is located), the Povoden Museum, Ptuj, the Old Prisons, Mithras Shrine I in Spodnja Hajdina, Mithras Shrine III in Zgornji Breg, and the Roman Brickworks Kiln, Ptuj. The other related monuments in the region are: Orpheus Monument, Ptuj and Velika Nedelja Castle.