Ptuj Festival was established in 1969 and was set up as an embellishment of the 1900th anniversary of the first recorded mention of the city of Ptuj. Organised by Radio Ptuj – who still handles it today – it was the first folk-pop music festival in Slovenia, coming into being merely a decade and a half after the genre itself was "created" by the Avsenik brothers. Their "classic quintet" still resounds in how the competition categories of the festivals are divided, the first for quintet formations with an accordion, trumpet, clarinet, guitar and bass, and the second for all the others.
This competition format, with the winners usually chosen by a combination of an expert jury and public votes, was later adopted by numerous other similar festivals. Nowadays, there are awards for the best songs in each category (including one for the best song according to the audience) and also for the best lyrics and best vocal performance.
The festival has in recent years settled at the yard of the Minorite Monastery in Ptuj. With both audio and video recorded by Radio-Television Slovenia (RTV Slovenia), the competing songs are later released by the Discography Unit, RTV Slovenia. There is also live streaming of the festival by Radio Maribor and Radio Ptuj.