Whatever your music tastes, Bulgaria showcases an eclectic mix of music festivals across the entire country over the summer months. From folk to jazz and hip hop, there’s something for most music lovers. Tickets are either free or are very cheap and camping facilities are usually provided. Many of the summer music festivals in Bulgaria take place amongst stunning mountainous backdrops, on the coast and in locals towns.
Click on the festival name below to link to their website details.
Meadows In the Mountains – Rhodope Mountains: 9-11th June
There’s two main stages: The Sunrise Slope and The Sunset Valley, set in the exceptionally beautiful surroundings of the Rhodope Mountains, 850m above sea level and a stones throw away from the Greek border. Along with live music and DJs, other activities include horse & cart taxis, mountain zip line, downhill grass bobsleighing, death slide, horse riding, waterfalls, mountain walking, thermal spring, hammocks, local village life and locally sourced food.
Kavana Rock Festival – 1-3rd July, Kavana
(Line up yet to be announced for 2017)
Taking place in Kavana Stadium, this festival has made Kavana infamous with rock music. Every year hundreds of people descend on the town to hear the best of the year’s line up in rock and metal music. Look out for the huge rock star murals that adorn the sides of the town’s old apartment blocks if you go.
A to JazZ Festival – Sofia: 7-9th July
Dixie Jazz Festival – Veliko Tarnovo: 6-8th July
Named after the original Royal Dixie Band who inspired the event through creating this cultural event, held at The Asenevtsi Monument and Melon Bar. Performers come from all over Bulgaria and the Balkans to play an array of differing jazz music, and all for free too! You can also look forward to the extra events that are part of the festival this year: Jazz for kids, an exhibition of photos from the previous festivals, jam sessions and a Dixieland parade on the streets of the old capital
Wake Up! Bulgaria – Rhodope Mountains: 6-9th July
A mere 20km from Plovdiv, yet with the stunning backdrop of the Rhodope Mountains, is this family-friendly festival. Celerating its fifth year, it combines live music stages and DJs with spiritual, cultural and enriching lectures, workshops and activities. Take your pick from Laughter Yoga to watching the Nestinari (fire dancers), there’s a host of entertainment for both adults and kids.
Bansko Beat – Bankso: 15-16th July
There’s not a lot of information online about this music festival in Bankso with conflicting information as to whether it’s free or has an entrance free (35lv for one day, 50lv for both days). One thing is for certain, it will be held in the main square and will host music from indie rock and reggae.
International Folklore Festival – Veliko Tarnovo: 16-24th July
One of the biggest in the Balkans, this Folklore festival has more than 120 bands from Bulgaria and many other countries. Take part in this folklore fiesta for traditional music, dancing and brightly coloured costumes which takes place on the Summer Theatre stage in Veliko Tarnovo, Marno Pole Park. Similar folklore festivals are also hosted in Varna, Burgas and Primorsko.
Stage of the Ages – Veliko Tarnovo: July & August
You don’t have to be a huge opera or ballet fan to enjoy the atmosphere of one of these popular concert. Held every year at the Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, the festival takes place outdoors over July and August. Tickets are priced between 10 and 40 leva and can be purchased from the Municipal Tourist Agency office.
Broken Balkanz – Vitosha National Park: 22-23rd July
Artists and musicians from all over the Balkans which includes, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Romania come together to put on a night of bass music in this open air festival. If drum and bass is your thing, look out on their Facebook page for warm up concerts in Sofia which are on before the actual festival. Festival location is in the Vitosha National Park.
Bass Sea Festival – Varvara, Black Sea: 17-20th August
Bulgaria’s drum and bass festival debuts this summer on the beach near Burgas and will be a new platform for more than 35 Bulgarian and international artists. Lots of fun is promised, including boat parties and when you’ve had enough of beach raving, the Strandja Nature Park, one of the biggest protected natural reserve areas in Bulgaria, is close by.
Mindya Rock Festival – Mindya 25-26th August
Hailed as Bulgaria’s Woodstock, this festival has been gathering momentum since it first started in 2009. Located in the village of Mindya, close to Veliko Tarnovo, it’s primarily a rock and blues festival with folklore musicians also performing. The festival is a complete cultural event that brings arts and crafts with music and people from different backgrounds. This free festival is a non-profit event and provides camping facilities for everyone.
International Jazz Festival – Bankso, 5-12th August
Representing all genres of Jazz, this festival hosts a range of worldwide artists who all come together in Bankso and is the biggest of its kind in Bulgaria. Held on an open air stage in Nikola Vaptsarov Square, with smaller concerts being organised on smaller stages and local venues, attend this festival for free.
If you know of any more summer festivals in Bulgaria that are coming up, feel free to comment and add them at the bottom of the page.