Akord Festival Maribor

From Culture.si

Akord Festival Maribor
Cesta k Tamu 12, SI-2000 Maribor
Phone386 (0) 590 255 77
Dušan Hedl, Coordinator

Phone386 (0) 41 832 736

The last edition of the festival was held in 2013.

Archival article

The Akord Festival was established in 2010 by the MKC Maribor Youth Culture Centre and a year later taken over by the Subkulturni azil Maribor. A continuation of the former cycle of open-air ethno music concerts organised in the old city centre of Maribor, the festival narrowed its focus and put its emphasis on the accordion, which is an instrument that holds a very ambiguous position in Slovenia. It is, on the one side, a focal instrument in the commercially successful and critically disputed, polka and waltz based oberkrainer music (called narodno-zabavna glasba, roughly translated meaning "folk pop music" of the wider Alpine ethnic region). While this is more present in rural parts, there are also the more modern, jazz and world music influenced urban uses of the instrument that have recently gained much popularity. With all this in mind, the festival is also called the "Festival of accordion music with a difference".


The first edition of the festival hosted modern and hybrid sounding musicians like the jazz-oriented band Bratko Bibič & The Madleys and the innovative accordion players Jure Tori (who also plays in the rock band Orlek) and Lothar Lässer (an Austrian musician of wide-ranging musical interests). The programme's course later changed to include more opposing musical visions (like the rock inclined KvinTon and the more traditional accordion virtuoso Klemen Rošer), thus accentuating both sides of the accordion's cultural positioning.

In terms of timing, the festival curiously chose the morning hours for the concerts and as such also sees this as a way of urban revitalisation. Besides the concerts, there are also screenings of films that one way or another deal with the accordion, like the documentaries Harmonikarji (The Accordion Players), which presents various Slovenian accordion players of different musical credos, and V ritmu volovske vprjege (In the Rhythm of the Ox Harness) which deals with the artistic path of the artists Uršula Ramoveš and her husband Janez.

Also, in the course of the festival in 2010, hymns from Slovenia and other parts of Europe were for the first time adapted for accordion, and, a year later when the festival again took place, the notations were freely distributed to the interested public.

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