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A spectacular 25th edition is being prepared by the The International Folklore Festival Veliko Tarnovo

The international folklore festival Veliko Tarnovo will celebrate its 25th consecutive edition in a spectacular way.

The international folklore festival Veliko Tarnovo starts on July 23 up to July 29 at the Summer Theater in the old capital. Concerts starting at 8 p.m. and admission free. Groups from Costa Rica, Egypt, China, India, Georgia, Colombia, Morocco, Hawaii, Mexico and Bulgaria will take part in the program. The slogan of this year’s edition is “Friends will be friends”, announced Stiliyana Yorgova, director of the International Folklore Festival. “Stories like this will remain in time and look for their continuation, not only because the Festival, as we all call it, is a celebration and established tradition for generations already. This is a magic that must be experience”, says Yorgova.

International Folklore Festival Veliko Tarnovo

Already in the distant 1998, a dreamer with a handful of like-minded people, knowingly or not quite, started something new and different. This subsequently turned Veliko Tarnovo into a world folklore capital. And captivated the residents and guests of the city with the magic of folk art. Hundreds of folklore ensembles from all over the world – Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa – have performed on the stage of the Festival during the quarter of a century since its inception. The performances of the participants paint pictures magically decorated with rhythms, colors and emotions.

Every year at the height of summer, V. Tarnovo becomes a different place – the city comes alive, excites, celebrates.

International Folklore Festival Veliko Tarnovo

The streets will be filled with people waiting for the new guests – participants in the next festival edition. Exotic Brazilian dancers, exquisite Korean performers, unadulterated and unforgettable Georgian collectives, mysterious dervishes, graceful Thai women, fiery Argentinians, authentic aborigines from a distant Indonesian island and more – the list continued with many and more different, interesting, memorable participants. The beauty and diversity of the world’s folklore wealth together with our rhythms, presented on stage by some of the best professional and amateur ensembles in the country. This makes this festival Veliko Tarnovo an attractive and magical place for participants and audience. And the audience is faithful, holding its breath in anticipation or bursting into unceasing applause. These are moments touching and sealed in the hearts of many people, recalls Stiliyana.

“We are the World”

International Folklore Festival Veliko Tarnovo

“We are the World” was the slogan of the 20th anniversary edition of the festival. On whose stage over the years, despite difficulties and adversities, the World passed to greet that proud and majestic Tarnovgrad, in which every a stone is a monument of culture, and behind every corner lurks an untold story, the host city for which the Festival has become a trademark. The festival song that a Costa Rican gave us in 2008 and is played every summer since by various musicians and singers says : “Veliko Tarnovo is a festival, Veliko Tarnovo is a carnival, we sing and dance for you!” We invite you to celebrate together this summer, to open our hearts and write another page in the festival history”, invites Yorgova.

Organizers and participants

The National Section for Bulgaria of CIOFF® – International Council of Festival Organizers for Folklore and Traditional Arts – an official partner of UNESCO with associate status and the Municipality of V. Tarnovo on the territory of V. Tarnovo and neighboring areas are the organizers of the International Folklore Festival Veliko Tarnovo. The festival has been awarded the status of “CIOFF® Festival”. For the past 24 years, 294 ensembles from 117 countries from 5 continents. Also 236 Bulgarian ensembles have performed on its stages. More than 636 concerts have been performed in front of more than 625,000 spectators.

Within the framework of the festival program, over the years, the following have been organized. The “Miss Festival” contest, dinners of traditional cuisine, plein air for young artists, in collaboration with VTU. Also exhibitions, scientific conferences, concerts in the Old People’s Home in V. Tarnovo, NSU “Vasil Levski”, kindergartens, etc., as well as a number of other accompanying performances of the participant groups. Every year, the audience determines their favorite by voting. Groups from Egypt, Georgia, Bolivia, Colombia, Bashkiria and others will be part of the participants this year.

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