Music festivals


The music festival format has been at the forefront of the concert industry for the past two decades. Festivals are no longer just music events and celebrations of music. Instead, with their infrastructure, small towns, micro-economies that are part of the larger tourism industry, have become a significant part of creative industries and the national, regional and local economies. Slovenia doesn't have its own major international festival based on the models of contemporary multi-genre festivals. However, it has several internationally known genre-specific festivals and multi-media festivals and smaller niche festivals, as well as a strong network of small local festivals, which, while presenting actual and trendy international music, put Slovenian artists and the scene on the international map.

A good festival programme is conceived and planned at least a year in advance and builds on longer-term models. In our country, the integration of the local story is often strongly present in the narrative of the festival. Constant monitoring of the scene is crucial for a festival's existence, continuity and growth. A festival producer or selector must also appear at other festivals and fairs abroad, enter international networks and follow new names and trends at home and abroad. Except for a few, most festivals depend on the co-funding mechanisms at the local and national level. Unfortunately, the sponsorship platforms necessary for the success and financial background of a festival are still poorly developed in Slovenia. Thus, co-productions, collaborations and participation in international networks are many times necessary.

Successful festivals that integrate their own unique model, strong international programmes of artists, the specificity of location and collaboration with the local community in our country are represented by two festivals in the Soča region, the internationally renowned festivals MetalDays and Punk Rock Holiday. Each builds its own specific narrative and both have become known international brands with a strong international audience.

The following is a list of Slovenian music festivals, from pop, rock, punk, metal, jazz, world music, electronic, folk, to classical and new music, experimental, festivals, that are part of the international festival circuit and local ones that are significant for enriching local cultural production. This is a display of the variety of our festival music scene.

If you are an international producer or a music group interested in finding the right festival for your music, just click on any of the links below to find more information on each festival and how to contact the organisers.

And for a visual overview of festivals taking place in Slovenia, be sure to have a look at our infographics of all the Slovenian festivals (2012–2021). For an overview of the music festivals in 2021, see the calendar-in-progress Festivals in Slovenia 2021.

Butik Festival

Founded in 2019, Butik is an electronic music festival located in Tolmin at one of the most picturesque festival sites in Europe. Surrounded by the Julian Alps, the confluence of the emerald-green Soča River and the ice-cold Tolminka River provides a breathtaking backdrop for a unique festival experience.

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Butik festival - foto Arin Rapus 2022.jpeg Butik Festival: German DJ Gerd Janson performing on the main stage on the beach near the Soča River

Lent Festival

Lent Festival 2009 fireworks display.jpgLent Festival regularly attracts around 500,000 spectators, dispersed during the 3-week-long annual event at over 23 venues, fireworks display, 2009

Established in 1993, the international Lent Festival is among the largest open-air festivals in Europe and the most massive festival of its kind in Slovenia. Each year it presents around 300 diverse cultural performances and events on different stages, including various styles of popular music, opera, rock, ballet, jazz, classical music, street theatre, chanson, folklore and revivalist folk, theatre, busking music, events for children, dance performances and musicals, workshops for children and also sport events. The festival is a cacophony of sounds and quantity, easy going festivities and smoky barbecues, but also an occasion for quality performances at more hidden intimate venues.

Lent Festival regularly attracts around 500,000 spectators, dispersed during the 3-week-long event at over 23 venues, improvised stages and re-purposed old spaces along the banks of the Drava River. The Festival is a member of the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) and the Association of Slovene Festivals (SloFA)

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Lent Festival 2009 fireworks display.jpg

Tolminator Festival

The new festival Tolminator builds on the tradition of metal festivals in Tolmin, which has long been considered one of the epicentres of the European metal scene, attracting thousands of people from all over the world. Limiting its capacity to 5000 visitors, Tolminator brings a new focus on fans with the aim to provide a unique festival experience in the most spectacular festival location in Europe.

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Tolminator log.jpg

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