Voices of minorities at Ljubljana's biggest street festival
Ljubljana, 29 August - Slovenia's capital will turn into one big festival venue for the next three days as the 31st iteration of Nights in Old Ljubljana Town gets under way tonight with a concert by the Big Band of RTV Slovenija.
Featuring 34 events performed by more than 150 musicians from 28 countries, the biggest street festival in Ljubljana is expected to attract more than 50,000 visitors.
This year, the festival is a part of the two-year international project Voices of Minorities, supported by the EU programme Creative Europe.
Voices of Minorities is a joint project of four festivals from four countries: Nights in Old Ljubljana Town, the Budapest Folk Fest, Hungary; Musicastrada in Tuscany, Italy; and Trefpunt in Gent, Belgium.
Janoš Kern, director of Imago Sloveniae, the institution behind the Ljubljana festival, has announced appearances by some of the best minority ensembles from various countries.
These include Gulaza, an ensemble from Israel featuring a male vocalist signing secret women's songs from Yemen, Hamsa Hamsa, the Spanish-Israeli ensemble combining flamenco with Sephardic musical traditions, the Afro-Cuban beat band Cubisma and tAman, a Bosnian sevdah ensemble.
Slovenian musical heritage will be presented by Ljoba Jenče, who will be spinning the thread of folk traditions from the Resia region.
The concerts will take place in evenings in the Novi, Dvorni, Stari and Gornji squares, in the Špica park by the Ljubljanica and in the City Museum.
All will be admission free and will take place regardless of the weather as raincoats have been provided in case of rain.
The mornings will be dedicated to an international ethnomusicological symposium themed Sound, a poem, a political activity, organised in cooperation with the International Council for Traditional Music.
The 30 participants from ten countries will reflect on music among religious minorities, asylum seekers and gay communities, and about social engagement in music.