Apr 12, 2012

Festivals in BiH

„Baščaršijske nights“ (July in Sarajevo)
For the entire month of July the old town in Sarajevo (baščaršija) hosts cultural events from whirling dervishes to Viennese sympharmonic and Celtic concerts. Each night has something special and most events are free of charge. It's the longest and one of the best events in the whole country.

Sarajevo Film Festival (August in Sarajevo)

The rebellious and artistic soul of Sarajevo flared during the war years. Amidst the death and destruction of Sarajevo, several Sarajevan artist decided to host an international film festival. It has gone from an improvised vision to one of the best film festival in Europe. It's a great place to meet and mingle with actors, producers, and the stars. Unlike Venice and Cannes, Sarajevo's film festival has no barriers between the viewing public and the artist themselves. Its a fun, laid-back occasion and an opportunity to check out great films, short films and documentaries from some of the world's greatest.

MESS (October in Sarajevo)
MESS theatre festival has been a tradition in Sarajevo for over a century. Some of the finest theatre groups in Europe regularly take part in this annual gathering. MESS also highlights the event with alternative and modern dance. Alongside the well-known names are also the best regional performers from southern Europe. Tickets are sometimes hard to come by but can be purchased online in advance. Check out the website.
Jazz festival (November in Sarajevo)
More and more of the big names in jazz are starting to buzz around the annual jazz in Sarajevo. The venues are usually small and intimate and there are always free jam sessions in jazz clubs around town after the show. Tickets can be purchased over the internet and there is good information about all the acts.

International Folklore Festival (July in Sarajevo)
Whereas folklore events in most countries aim to pay homage and preserve the old traditions that once existed in their homeland, folklore here is still very much alive and part of both rural and urban life. The great folk traditions of the Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs invite dozens of other folk groups from around the world to offer a 'peek into our past.... how we dressed, danced, played music, sang and lived“.
Teatar Fest (September in Sarajevo)
This theatre fest highlights young actors and actresses from around Europe and North America. The festival is free of charge and brings a wide array of excellent university theatre and dance groups.
„Sarajevan Winter“ (February-March)
Every winter Sarajevo hosts a regional thetre festival of friend and colleagues from former Yugoslavia.

Mostar Summer Festival (July)
Mostar is slowly creeping back into the cultural scene. To match its stunning architecture and beautiful surroundings, Mostar's summer festival hosts a great range of local productions in drama, music, art and film as well as international events in music and drama. It takes place for several weeks in July in venues all over the city. One of the main venues is the Croatian Cultural Centre near the Rondo.

Futura party (August in Sarajevo)
Futura is exactly what it sounds like – a great rave. Young people from throughout the region gather for finest new beats and hottest new DJs.

Una International Regatta (late July in Bihać)
The Una Regatta celebrated its 30th anniversary not too long ago. This rafting event is unmatched in the region as more and more enthusiasts gather to kayak, raft and have fun on Bosnia's most beautiful river.

Bullfight at Ilijino Brdo (20 July in Posušje)
Bullfights are gaining popularity in BiH. This events staged in western Herzegovina is a great day trip from the coast or Mostar. Bring a camera; you won't see this too often.

Summer on the Vrbas (end of July in Banja Luka)
This Banja Luka tradition is a time to visit this northern city. The cool Vrbas is a great attraction in itself let alone the various range of events and concerts.

Bullfight of Grmečka korida (9 August in Oštra Luka)
From what I understand this is one of the oldest bullfights in the country. Althought none of the bullfights is necessarily arranged for tourists, I must say it's a fascinating sight to see.

Celebration of the Apparition (24 June in Međugorje)
This event usually attracts over 100,000 faithful each year from every corner of the globe. It celebrates the day when a group of young teenagers saw the apparition of the Mother Mary on a stony hill in western Herzegovina.