9 Unmissable Music Festivals in Bulgaria

| © Free-Photos/Pixabay
Maria Angelova

New music festivals pop up every summer all across Bulgaria. In recent years, summer open-air events tend to be organized in villages and on mountaintops that add to the special atmosphere. Discover some of the unique music festivals to plan for your trip to Bulgaria this year.

1. Beglika Fest


Beglika Fest was one of the first major events in Bulgaria that dared to move the music out of the city stages and to let it flow among the tops of the pine trees high in the Rhodope Mountains. It stirs up a mix of alternative and world music with theater, experimental workshops, jam sessions, and many more. Its main idea is to gather a community of open-minded, free-spirited, eco-orientated (no plastic waste is allowed at the festival) enthusiasts. It is held at the end of August in an open space on the banks of Beglika Reservoir.

Beglika, Rhodopes, Bulgaria

2. Wake Up Festival


Wake Up started as an event aiming to inspire people of today to be more creative and positive by becoming a part of a like-minded community for a few days. The festival takes place on several hills near the Kuklen Monastery, a 20-minute drive from Plovdiv. There are several stages with different musical styles, a reenactment of Bulgarian traditions like Nestinari (fire-walking), yoga classes, spiritual lectures, etc.

Kuklen Monastery, Plovdiv, Bulgaria


3. Perelik Jazz Fest

This is the only Bulgarian festival that gathers local and international jazz bands in a barn on a mountaintop, where they play by the light of fire and candles only. Perelik Jazz Fest is an unforgettable experience for the million-star sky above you, the fires, and the opportunity to camp in the Rhodope Mountains.

Perelik Peak, Rhodopes, Bulgaria

4. International Jazz Festival Bansko


4. International Jazz Festival Bansko
© Petko3/WikiCommons

Outside of Bulgaria, Bansko is mostly known as an affordable ski destination, but the town gets busy in the summer, too. The International Jazz Festival Bansko that has been taking place every August for more than 20 years is the perfect excuse to escape from the city and breathe the crisp clear air of Pirin Mountain while listening to sax melodies on the stage. The festival is free.

Bansko, Bulgaria


A to Jazz Festival

A to Jazz Festival is the reason why the center of Sofia echoes with the jazz every summer. The three-day event is free for all, with bands and singers from around the globe and an overall laid-back vibe. The huge green grounds in front of the stage gather families with children, jazz aficionados, and casual onlookers in the name of good music.


5. Wrong Fest

Wrong Fest is a party weekend getaway for the dwellers of Sofia, as it takes place near the village of Voinegovtsi, a mere 20 km from the capital. The stage hosts both Bulgarian and international alternative, punk, and rock bands. There is a campsite and a wide variety of beer brands.

Voinegovtsi, Sofia, Bulgaria


6. Stage of the Centuries Opera Festival

Stage of the Centuries is an annual summer opera festival held in the impressive setting of the Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, North Bulgaria. Tsarevets was the castle where some of the greatest Bulgarians kings resided, and the whiff of history makes the experience even more special.

Tsarevets Fortress, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

7. Gela Bagpipe Contest

The remote village of Gela in the Rhodope Mountains is flocked with people once a year, on the first weekend of August when the biggest bagpipe contest in the country takes place. The festival is one of the most massive open-air events in Bulgaria, with more than 20,000 people attending, most of them camping on the meadows around the village.

Gela, Bulgaria


8. Solar Summer Festival

Held in the legendary Cacao Beach Bar in Sunny Beach, this festival brings to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast international star DJs like Fedde Le Grand, Tiësto, David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren, and many more. It takes place on several consecutive weekends in July and August.

Sunny Beach, Bulgaria


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