Once the colourful skirts start spinning under the stage lights and the smiling faces of dancers from all around the world light up, we know: it’s time for – Folkart!

Folkart, the festival that built the foundation for Festival Lent back in 1989. The only Slovenian festival of its kind sponsored by the international festival association CIOFF® (Conseil International des Organisations de Festival de Folklore) and one of the “Big Five” in the world of folklore. By far the largest festival of its kind in Slovenia and the one that brought the world to our town – we’ve hosted dancers from a staggering 82 countries!

The festival celebrates its thirty-fifth birthday this year. The folk heritage and intangible art fest is about to be – even more festive this year. Even more colourful. Even richer.

The lineup of participating groups is so amazing that we can hardly believe it ourselves. We will take a trip around the Earth from the comfort of our seat under the Main Stage on Leon Štukelj Square. Our journey will take us to Serbia, Bolivia, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, China, and all the way to New Zealand! Local colours will again be represented (as befit the founders of the festival) by our “Kudfolk”, the Academic Folklore Group Študent.

Let’s start with a never-been-done: Folklore Group Elenco, hailing from El Paz, will put Bolivia on the list of festival guests for the first time. The ethnic and cultural diversity of this South American country is like a rare gem – while parts of the country remain unexplored to this day, it is nonetheless beautiful, stunningly diverse, and rich. The perfect choice for Folkart’s milestone anniversary. The same goes for our next guest, Indonesia. Its culture connects the rich heritage, languages, and traditions of an astounding 600 peoples. China’s numbers are stunning, too, but this is not the only stunning thing about China. Its culture is among the oldest in the history of mankind; the respect and careful safeguarding of tradition that are ingrained in the DNA of each and every member of their population of one and a half billion allow us to enjoy its unspoilt riches even today. These riches will be on full display at the anniversary iteration of Folkart, brought by dancers from the renowned Folk Dance Ensemble of Zhejiang Conservatory of Music from the city of Hangzhou. Representing Serbia will be the Folklore Dance Group Španac of the University of Belgrade. We look forward to their performance that is known for its originality, thunderous rhythms, and infectious wit. We could say something quite similar about the performance of dancers from Zimbabwe. Ezimnyama Dance Company from Harare raises the temperature with amazing energy and an infectious joy of music, rhythm, dance – life! We will round up the celebration of life and diversity with our guests from New Zealand. Their indigenous peoples, the Māori, kept us on our feet already at one of the past Folkarts, but their ritual war dance, the Haka, is sure to stun all of us again when we experience it through the performance of Ensemble Taumata Whitireia from Wellington. Oh, just so you know: their name means “peak of the mountain”. We’ll just call them “highlight of the festival”. You’ll see that it’s more than justified.

Hurry and get your tickets – the cheapest travel pass for an unforgettable journey around the world!