KantFest was launched in 2003 in the small-town of Ruše as a singer-songwriter festival and contest, to which unsigned and unpublished musicians can apply. There are no limits regarding the genre of music, anything from guitar-based folk to rap is welcome, but the festival's focal point is on the lyrics. The most original singer-songwriters are selected by a jury of renowned musicians. The award's name, Kanta is based on a wordplay of the name of the festival and translates to English as "bin". The name also alludes to the waste and hyper-productivity of our consumer society, which mainly rewards quantity and not the quality of the music. Kantfest is usually structured as a 1 to 2-day festival, where musicians first present themselves in Ljubljana, and the following day the competition and announcement of the best three singer-songwriters continues in Ruše.
Over the years, the festival has grown, instituted some annual traditions, and even offered some international exchanges where Slovene singer-songwriters were invited to perform abroad and foreign singer-songwriters were invited to perform on Slovene stages. Since the organisers believe that females are scarcely represented in the singer-songwriter scene, they dedicated one evening in 2007 in Ljubljana solely to female singer-songwriters.