About Festival Lent
Festival Lent is culture.
Culture of a city. Of a city entering summer.
Festival Lent is culture.
Culture of mingling. Mingling with glances. With smiles.
Festival Lent is culture.
Culture of senses. Music. Theatre. Dance. Cuisine.
Festival Lent is culture.
The culture of Maribor. Unique, and one of a kind.
How it all began ...
The first festival, folklore stories happened on Lent, the Drava banks, more than twenty years ago. In the past, Lent had been a vital haven for rafters who floated with timber rafts loaded with wood from the Upper Drava Valley to Belgrade, and today, the Lent area and the Lent Festival are equally important to the inhabitants of Maribor. Festival Lent is vital for visitors from near and far.
... BUT IT IS CHANGING
To this day, the town district on the left bank of the Drava River – from the Judgement Tower to the Water Tower, two remnants of the once formidable town wall – bears the name Lent (developed from "Lände", the German word for landing place). The Festival has outgrown this area, but continues to come back to the Drava banks, although many events are taking place on squares, streets, in courtyards, the city park, and other cultural institutions in the city centre pampering the visitors with good music, theatre, dance, cuisine, and the stroll along the unique promenade.
It’s the 23rd time for Maribor to enter the summer accompanied by the Lent Festival, which is the bigges openair festival in Slovenia and one of the biggest in Europe. Some describe it as “lentanje” (derived from the name, meaning “to stroll around the festival, and have fun”), others as far too short nights, some as unforgettable moments that have to be experienced and remembered forever.
THE FESTIVAL OF FESTIVALS
Within Festival Lent, several smaller, yet amazing festivals are taking place: the international folklore festival Folkart, the festival of street theatre Ana Desetnica, the JazzLent Festival and the festival of street-food Sladolent.
The vibrant festival happening is additionally enriched by the events for children and visitors of all ages in Art Camp, that is located under the treetops in the City park.
The Lent Festival is a big umbrella covering many different organizers of the cultural, sports and social life in Maribor.
THE FESTIVAL OF LEGENDS
At the festival's numerous venues by the Drava River and across the centre of town, a diverse yet harmonious selection of events takes place: jazz, classical and world music concerts; operas, ballets, theatre and dance performances; evenings with chansons and singer-songwriters; folklore events; street theatre performances; summer cinema; children's workshops; and sports challenges.
The festival’s stages have attracted numerous international stars, for example: Macy Gray, Mercedes Sosa, Paquito D'Rivera, Dr. John, Jose Feliciano, Lester Bowie, Stephane Grapelli, David Byrne, Maynard Ferguson, Taj Mahal, Alfredo De La Fé, Alfredo Rodriguez, Malia, Eric Burdon & The Animals, Living Colour, Maceo Parker, Femi Anikulapo Kuti, Uriah Heep, Taraf de Haidouks, Omara Portuondo, Sierra Maestra, Buchweat Zydaco, Jimmy Cliff, Keziah Jones, Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra, Esma Redžepova, Šaban Bajramović, The Dubliners, Sara Tavares, Olodum, Matt Bianco and others.
Festival Lent has also hosted legendary musicians such as Ray Charles, B.B. King, James Brown and Solomon Burke.
Ray Charles (Festival Lent 1996); B.B. King (Festival Lent 1997)
FOLKART - the diversity of folklore
Folkart was the first piece in the mosaic that was to become Festival Lent. It is the biggest folklore festival in Slovenia and the only Slovenian member of the international non-governmental festival association CIOFF®, which ranks Folkart among the best folklore festivals in the world as regards organisation, content and set design. Ever since its beginnings, Folkart also regularly visits other Slovenian towns and thus spreads global tradition and folklore all around Slovenia. The Folkart Festival is a firework of colours and diversity that creates strong bonds between people.
We hosted some of the best folklore groups from all over Europe, and we are also proud of our guests from far away. We had the chance to experience unforgettable moments on the Folkart stage together with Maoris from New Zealand, Buryats from Mongolia, Argentinian, Cubans, Sri Lankans, Africans, Filipinos, South Africans from Swaziland, and many more.
So far, Folkart has hosted over 220 foreign and domestic folklore groups with a total of more than 7.500 participants from 72 countries.
Folklore groups from Benin (FOLKART 2012) and Ukraine (Folkart 2013)
JAZZLENT – a platform for jazz improvisation
A hotbed of creativity, Jazzlent brings together friends of good music and jazz artists from all around the world. It has been devoted to many related musical genres, but is nowadays a synonym for current musical products, achievements, bands, and authors from all over the world. Its special emphasis is on Slovenian premieres by presenting musicians from all over the world, and also the autochthonous European jazz.
Through the years, Jazzlent has attracted a range of established performers, including: Medeski Martin & Wood, Les McCann, Chico Freeman, Tania Maria, Reggie Workman, Chucho Valdes, Brad Mehldau, Benny Golson, Ray Brown, Bela Fleck, Joe Zawinul, Esbjörn Svensson, James Morrison, Kenny Wheeler, Jimmy Whiterspoon, Enrico Rava, Monty Alexander, Fred Wesley, James Blood Ulmer, Ray Anderson, Cyro Baptista, Marc Ribot, Ebo Taylor, Jamaladeen Tacuma, Trilok Gurtu, Dhafer Youseef, Uwe Kropinski, Erik Truffaz, John Scofield, Tigran Hamasyan, The Skatalites, Manu Katche, Bill Evans, Tony Allen, Maria Joao, Bombino, The souljazz Orchestra, and many others.
Medeski Martin & Wood (Festival Lent 2013); Joe Zawinul (Festival Lent 2007)
VEČER STAGE – outstanding concerta and great fun
Regarded by many as "the rock venue", Večer Stage is situated in close vicinity of the Old Vine, the oldest grapevine in the world. It is synonymous for great fun and outstanding rock concerts that appeal especially to younger audiences.
So far, Večer Stage has hosted a number of magnificent performers, including: Asian Dub Foundation, Dubioza Kolektiv, Skid Row, Buldožer, Riblja ćorba, Al and The Black Cats, Emil Bulls, Laka, Gocoo, Kultur Shock, Elvis Jackson, Zabranjeno pušenje, Monster Magnet, Dog Eat Dog, Edo Maajka, S.A.R.S., Che Sudaka, OPM, Divlje jagode, Jinx, Lollobrigida, Partibrejkers, Jinx, Urban & 4 ...
Edo Maajka (Festival Lent 2013); Monster magnet (Festival Lent 2011)
MLADINA STAGE – the proving ground of future stars
The Mladina Stage is dedicated to the promotion and presentation of young, less-established musicians and bands. Since its beginnings in 2005, it has been attracting up-and-coming bands from all around Slovenia. What is more, in recognition of its fifth anniversary it opened its doors to international acts as well. The participation of foreign bands raises the bar for local performers and accelerates the development of the domestic scene. Musical education is one of the key factors that shape young people. Therefore, the Mladina Stage is a very important element of the Lent Festival. Also, every night/morning Lent comes to a close at the after party at Mladina Stage.
JUDGEMENT TOWER – an intimate venue for lovers of good music
A protected cultural heritage site, the Judgement Tower is one of the most intimate festival venues. The stage of the Judgement Tower hosts primarily traditional folk and jazz concerts and everything in between. It aims to promote insufficiently recognised or alternative artists since contemporary folk music has a strong educational and cultural dimension and is closely related to the traditional music of various peoples.
JURČEK STAGE – the perfect setting for solo performances
Once the smallest of the festival's stages, the Jurček Stage is taking over the role of the most important venue in 2015, with its location next to the Water tower. The renewed and expanded Jurček stage will be hosting well know names from the Slovenian and international music scene.
Comedy is the type of theatre which allowes people to relax and have a good laugh in the evening. The stage was moved several times, but is now, after more than 20 years, returning to the Minoriti stage, now called the Zavarovalnica Maribor stage. Attracting great visitor numbers, the performances at the stage are almost always sold out.
MUSIC ARTISTS' SALON – a selection of classical music
Set in Union Hall and to some extent in Maribor's historic synagogue, the programme of the Classical Music Salon comprises classical concerts by local and international artists. Apart from established ensembles, the list of performers also includes participants of master classes from all around Slovenia, the best chamber ensembles of the music academies and conservatories in Klagenfurt, Graz and Ljubljana, and the best orchestras and ensembles of Slovenian music schools. In order to increase their chances of being selected, the applicants must prepare a programme that is attractive, fresh and well thought out, and includes works by Slovenian composers. The selection process also seeks to ensure a diversity of ensemble types.
STAND-UP COMEDY STAGE – the biggest stand-up comedy event in Slovenia
Festival Lent's Stand-up Comedy Stage offers the widest assortment of stand-up performances in Slovenia. It serves as an annual overview of the development of the stand-up comedy scene in Slovenia and the entire region of ex-Yugoslavia.
STREET THEATRE FESTIVAL ANA DESETNICA – creativity in the street
Every year the Ana Desetnica Street Theatre Festival enlivens the streets of Maribor with exciting events and a good measure of creativity, attracting numerous visitors that are in want of culture, fun, laughter, improvisation and originality in the street. The first idea to hold a street theatre festival in Slovenia originated at Lent and has since developed into an integral part of the festival. Today, Ana Desetnica is an all-Slovenian event, as many of the popular street performers regularly visit eight Slovenian towns.
The streets of Maribor have been the venue for performances by a number of internationally renowned groups, including Jo Bithume, Les Plasticiens Volants, Malabar and Les Goulus from France; Xarxa and Leandre from Spain; Titanick from Germany; the Argentinian aerial acrobats Voala; and the Belgian troupe The Primitives.
ART CAMP - an adventure for the whole family
Art camp is hosting Festival Lent program during the day, in the sunny embrace of the Maribor city park where you can celebrate life, flowers, and light. It is pampering its visitors with culture and sports, art, science, recreation, and fun. Creating in nature, and with nature, from recycled materials - something for your heart and brain.
The Triglav stage at the end of the promenade invites you to spend your mornings with ŠUM – the festival of school cultural productions, and in the evenings to musical and dance delights. The artistic program, theatre and puppet plays, folklore and dance will let your soul blossom.
Art camp is like a big family. We grow, blossom, and have fun together!
SLADOLENT – the street food festival
The youngest specialised festival, the Street Food Festival was added to the Lent recipe as part of the preparations for the European Capital of Culture. If in the past the Lent Festival's culinary offer was considered as an extra service, then SladoLent has succeeded in making (good) food and outstanding chefs an integral part of the creative and (multi-) cultural concept of Festival Lent.
SPORTS LENT – for active people and sports fans
Festival Lent also takes good care of all sports aficionados. The most popular events are the Lent Air Show and the bridge jumping competition which takes place at the Old Bridge.
QUALITY AND QUANTITY
Ever since the first Festival Lent in 1993, we have been following a clear objective: to bring quality cultural events close to the general public at an affordable price.
This concept exemplifies our vision and mission and at the same time shows who we are, why we are doing this and – above all – whom we are doing it for. As a consequence, each summer Maribor turns into a city of youth, laid-back fun, playfulness, creativity and good company. With the Lent Festival, the city becomes a multicultural world in which visitors, performers and organisers alike can identify with culture. Every year during the Lent Festival, Maribor turns into a capital of culture and enjoyment!
FESTIVAL LENT 2017: 23. 6. – 1. 7.
FESTIVAL LENT 2018: 22. 6. – 30. 6.
FESTIVAL LENT 2019: 21. 6. – 29. 6.
FESTIVAL LENT 2020: 26. 6. – 4. 7.