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Summer festivals in Slovenia

Slovenia is a land of festivals, and especially in the summer, all parts of the country are vibrant. Enjoy music, watch a film or a theatre performance and learn about traditional Slovenian dishes and local customs.

Ljubljana is a true capital of experience, offering a wide range of festivals. Our biggest summer festival is the Ljubljana Festival, which always features great world-class orchestras and artists from different genres. This year it will take place from 20 June to 3 September. Traditionally, the festiuval starts at Congress Square in the centre of Ljubljana with the Summer Night, this time dedicated to the work of singer-songwriter Tomaž Domicelj. His best-known works will be performed by a number of local singers, accompanied by the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, Big Band and the RTV Slovenia Youth Choir.

A varied programme for the 71st Ljubljana Festival

This year's Ljubljana Festival will feature a variety of guest orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra with conductor Andris Nelsons and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the Concertgebouw Orchestra from Amsterdam with conductor Ivan Fischer and the festival will close with the Gewandhaus Orchestra from Leipzig with renowned conductor Herbert Blomstedt.

Orff's greatest hit Carmina Burana will this time be staged from a concept by choreographer Edward Clug. Ballet lovers will also be able to see a performance by the Astana State Opera and Ballet Theatre ballet dancers as well as a production of Daniele Cipriani's impresario for dance, art and ballet entitled Les Étoiles.

At Cankarjev dom there will be a concert by Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski who, accompanied by the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Vasili Petrenko, will pay tribute to Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. Russian soprano Anna Netrebko will also perform, interpreting excerpts from Verdi's works with three other singers and the Radio Symphony Orchestra.

The Spanish theatre group La Fura dels Baus, directed by Carlus Padrissa, will return to the Festival with two performances; To Be or Not to Be and Pastoral for the Planet. Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer Maria Pages will also be performing at the festival once again, this time with the performance Scheherazade.

Zagreb's City Theatre Komedija will stage the musical Beauty and the Beast, while Venice's La Fenice Theatre will offer Puccini's Madam Butterfly. Musical theatre will also present the musicals Mamma Mia! and The Water Man.

There will also be several concerts of film music and fans of the English band Pink Floyd will be able to enjoy the rock opera The Wall.

  • Visitors to the Ljubljana Festival sitting outside and watching the performance on stage.

    The Ljubljana Festival will feature world-class performances. Photo: Ljubljana Festival

Scents of the sea

The Slovenian Mediterranean and the Karst region invite you to numerous festivals and events. In the beautiful surroundings of Piran and Koper, an international summer chamber music festival dedicated to Giuseppe Tartini, who was born in Piran, will take place in August and September. The Dreams Festival, which will take place in June in the Karst region and Goriška Brda, will offer summer evenings of music and poetry by various performers from both Slovenia and abroad. The Vilenica International Literary Festival will host poets, writers, playwrights and essayists from more than 20 countries at the beginning of September. For a sweet end to summer, Koper invites you to the Sweet Istria gastronomic festival at the end of September.

The festival atmosphere of thermal Pannonian Slovenia

Ptuj, Slovenia's oldest town, offers a wide range of events in summer, but the most renowned international poetry festival in this part of Europe is the Days of Poetry and Wine, which combines the art of poetry and oenology.

The Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival, held in Ljutomer, is dedicated to genre film, horror and fantasy. In addition to a varied film programme, there will be wine tastings, a concert, workshops and lectures.

In mid-July, Laško will host the Beer and Flowers Festival, where visitors can learn about the rich tradition of brewing and taste famous Slovenian beers.

The Seviqc Brežice Festival showcases European and world music heritage. Each year, the festival's concert programme covers musical heritage from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. Jazz lovers will find their place in August in Novo mesto. Jazzinty is an international jazz festival with a long tradition, which takes place in the Old Town.

A real festival for metal music lovers is Metaldays, which is considered to be one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Europe. This year the festival is moving to Velenje, to Vista Park by Lake Velenje. The atmosphere will also be very merry in Velenje in September at the Pippi Longstocking Festival, which is the largest family festival in Slovenia.

  • People sitting in a frescoed hall and watching a musical performance.

    The Seviqc Brežice is an early music festival. Photo: Andrej Tarfila/

Soča Valley

Each year rock, punk and reggae music lovers from all over Europe gather at the confluence of the Soča and Tolminka rivers. The Punk Rock Holiday and Overjam International Reggae Festival have a long tradition in the Soča Valley.

The Sajeta Creative Camp is a festival that brings together different creative practices. Although music takes centre stage, film, multimedia, poetry, sculptures, performances, dance and graphics also have their place.

  • People swimming and socialising by the Soča River.

    Music festival in the idyllic surroundings of the Triglav National Park. Photo: Boris Pretnar/

Come to Bled

At the beginning of July, the Bled Festival invites you to come and enjoy classical, jazz and crossover music. The Okarina Festival Bled is also interesting. Visitors can listen to the sound of flutes, the unusual rhythms of percussion instruments, the sounds of violins, oriental instruments and voices in languages that only a few people understand.

Festivals in Maribor

At the end of June, the Lent Festival will once again open the colourful summer events in Maribor. Days and nights at Lent and other locations traditionally provide a mix of art, culture and gastronomy. In September, the traditional Maribor Festival delights, hosting renowned local and international performers of orchestral, chamber and vocal works. Youngsters can visit the Summer Puppet Harbour, which is an international puppet festival offering performances, workshops and exhibitions in August.

Slovenia is a land of festivals and offers much more than can be presented in one place. Visit our country, get to know the attractions, enjoy music, dance, taste Slovenian food, feel Slovenia.

  • Couples in national costumes dancing on stage. Musicians playing, women singing.

    Festival Lent is celebration of art, culture and creativiy of all generations. Photo: Narodni dom archive /

Author: Danila Golob

Date: 5. July 2023

Time to read: 4 min