Festivals in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo Film Festival (July/August)
The Sarajevo Film Festival is the largest film festival in Southeast Europe, and is one of the largest film festivals in Europe. It was found in Sarajevo in 1995 amid the siege of Sarajevo in the Bosnian Independence War, and brings international and local celebrities to Sarajevo every year. It showcases an extensive variety of feature and short films from around the globe.
Sarajevo Fashion Week (November)
This is all you`d expect from an international fashion week. What’s more, there are local touches, for example, an opening show in which actors and singers wear handmade Bosnian fashion, and a closing show in which the best dressed public figures in Bosnia and Herzegovina receive fashion awards.
Sarajevo Winter Festival (February/March)
This festival is the longest of all the Sarajevo festivals. Going on for an entire two months and with at least one event on the agenda daily, this is a festival that includes many genres of art. There are all sorts of music, dance and theatre, of course, but there are also things like organised trips to the museum and city walks. Sarajevo Winter Festival is a cultural festival held annually since the winter of 1984-1985.
The “Sarajevo Winter” Festival has traditionally been held under the auspices of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, European Union, UNESCO, The Presidency of B&H, The Federation of B&H, The Council of Ministers of B&H, Sarajevo Canton, City of Sarajevo and Stari grad Municipality. The International Winter Festival attracts exhibits from all over the globe, including contemporary artistic presentations, concerts, sculpture exhibitions, and cultural commentary. Since its first year in 1984, this festival has turned into a fundamental piece of life in Sarajevo. The International Sarajevo Winter Festival has received one of the highest awards possible, called “Sestoaprilska Negarda Sarajeva.” Going on for two full months, this festival features at least one event daily and showcases many genres of art. There are all kinds of music, dance and theatre in addition to activities such as organised visits to the museum and guided city walks.
Kozara ethno festival (June – July)
Kozara ethno festival throughout two days of its duration, shows people from Kozara, how they used to live there back in the past, their customs that are real attraction for visitors from all over the world. Also, the event is colored by authentic ethno sounds on the Festival of unique ethno songs and music where groups of man and women from Kozara region participate as well as some guests from neighborhood. Come to the festival to Piskavica to meet men and women from Kozara and enjoy songs, music and traditional cuisine. This ethnic festival lasts two days and showcases the Kozara people’s traditional way of life and their customs. Traditional music is played and ethnic cuisine prepared. Members from neighboring towns likewise participate.
International Folklore Festival (July)
Taking place in the second half of July, this festival overlaps with Bascarsija Nights. Throughout one week, folk groups come from all over the world gather to perform in Sarajevo.
Summer on the Vrbas (July)
This traditional event is held in the second half of July under the walls of Kastel fortress. Writers, actors, cultural-artistic associations, artists take part in this event and in attractive sport program one can participate in kayak race, rafting regatta, swimming competitions. Every year there are also parachutes and of the bridge jumps, sport clubs promotions etc, etc. This traditional event is held near the Kastel Fortress. What makes this festival one of a kind is its mix of of athletic events and cultural interests. Both artists and athletes display their impressive skills and abilities, so from kayak racing to meetings of artistic associations, there’s no way that visitors won’t find something just right.
Kids festival (June)
Kid`s Festival – the greatest kid`s event in southeastern Europe has has turned into traditional event that is waited and expected by all kids in Bosnia. Kid`s festival is a is a one of a kind blend of education and fun. This is a kid`s week with a range over 20 activities and movies during a day: creative artistic and pedagogic workshops, international kiosks, performances, magic shows, jugglers, dancers, etc. The main show presents a wide and popular range of cartoons and feature movies for kids. The biggest independent kids’ event in southeastern Europe is a great destination for a family get-away. Keep the kids entertained with cartoon films, workshops, kiosks, jugglers, dancers, and magic shows, and maybe catch a show or two yourself!
Bascarsija Nights (July)
Baščaršija Nights is the biggest culture festival in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Taking place throughout July every year, the festival exhibits various aspects of the nation’s culture. This includes performances of classical music, rock and roll, folk music, theatre, various exhibits, folklore, books, film, children programmes, opera, ballet, and much more. There are art exhibitions and children programmes. All of the events are free of charge. This month-long festival is filled with 40-50 events that span anyone’s interests. Free admission and the beautiful location of this festival has added greatly to its charm over the years. Enjoy literary events, children’s programs, classical music, films, and classical opera and ballet.
Banja Luka Summer Games (August)
During the Banja Luka summer games, guests can enjoy a variety of concerts showcasing ethno and rock music, theatre performances and poetry nights. Many artists, bands, actors and singers from neighboring countries come to Banja Luka. Held in August, the Summer Games draw crowds from all over the globe and Bosnia. Just like Summer on the Vrbas, this event takes place around the historic town of Kastel.
Teatar Fest (September)
Teatar Fest shows experimental projects researches the ‘directing, performing, speech, movements, costumes, music and other important elements of the theatre expressions‘ and presents ‘projects which research new spaces, visions and media‘. This festival showcases experimental performances and researches the ‘directing, performing, speech, movements, costumes, music and other important elements of theatre expression’.
This is a theatre festival with history of over a century. Theatre and modern dance exhibitions are chosen from all over Europe. The plays are performed in their original languages, sometimes with local language translation displayed above the stage. This festival takes place every October. MESS, which stands for Small Experimental Stage, offers theater and modern dance performances are hand selected from all Europe. You can explore lots of creative performances that span many different cultures and languages, sometimes providing on-stage translators for specific events. This is a theatre festival with a century-long history. Theatre and modern dance performances are chosen from all over Europe and performed in their original languages, sometimes with local language translation displayed above the stage.
Jazz Fest Sarajevo (November)
Begun in 1997, the festival has grown considerably in popularity. The week long event not only covers some of the worlds best Jazz but also invites new and cutting edge artists for late night performances in several venues around the city. If you love Jazz – jazzfest is for you. The Jazz Fest Sarajevo is an international music festival, held annually in the first week of November in Sarajevo, and is the largest of its kind in Southeastern Europe. Jazzfest is Sarajevo’s jazz scene at its finest. This internationally-minded festival blends perfectly with the strong cafe culture that has regained its strength in Sarajevo. Any jazz lover should mark this festival as the perfect opportunity to experience jazz in an original, European setting.
Urban Music Fest RASTOK (August)
Urban Music Fest RASTOK is an annual summer music festival on Plateau Rastoke in Jelah, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has been staged annually since 2003, usually on the first weekend of August. In the beginning the festival was for rock bands, but coverage spread to punk, alternative rock, metal, dub, reggae, ska, jazz and other fusions of urban sound. The festival was held in Jelah under the name Jelah Summer.
Festival Prijateljstva (July)
Festival Prijateljstva (Friendship festival) is international multicultural festival, which starts every last Friday in July in the city of Goražde, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The festival includes different art forms: from pop, rock, folk, traditional, spiritual and classical music to the theater, film screenings, followed by children workshops and costume parties. There is something for everyone from kindergarten to the oldest generations.
Demofest is an annual music festival held at the Kastel Fortress in Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was founded in 2008 with the aim to provide young unsigned bands with an opportunity to develop and revive the rock scene of former Yugoslavia. Today, it is the biggest festival of unsigned bands in Southeastern Europe and one of the biggest free festivals in this region. Demofest is a music festival held every year in Banja Luka, that also includes a competition section for aspiring music artists. It is held in the medieval Kastel Fortress located on the beautiful river Vrbas.
OK Fest (June/July)
OK Fest is a combo of all kinds of activities you wouldn’t normally expect at a music fest: there’s rafting, hiking, concerts, trips to one of the last remaining primeval forest in Europe, movie projections and lots of sport activities. Also, you can swim in the biggest open pool in ex-Yugoslavia.
WH Fest (July)
West Herzegowina Fest or WHF is a well-known music fest that holds an annual competition for regional bands, writers and screenings for short-movie entries.
Mostar Summer Fest (June/July)
Mostar Summer Fest is a popular music festival held in Mostar, Herzegovina with a line-up always filled with regional stars.
Mostar Blues&Rock Festival (July)
Mostar Blues&Rock festival is an international music fest held every year in Mostar, since 2003. It features some of the most famous blues and rock musicians such as Tito & Tarantula,Ten Years After, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Sugar Blue, Snowy White, Dr. Feelgood, Deborah Coleman, Danny Shephard and many others.
Color Festival (August)
Color Festival is a unique festival in the region mirroring the Holi festival in India. It features electronic dance, deep house and techno music among others.
BH Beer Fest (July)
BH Beer Fest in Bijeljina features many regional artists and it is the biggest beer-and-music combo festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina where you can try popular regional beers.
Javorwood is a one-day multimedia&art festival held on mountain Bjelasnica, which hosted the Winter Olypics in 1984.
Sarajevo vino fest 2017 (February)
The aim of the festival is to promote viticulture, wine industry and culture of wine consumption, promotion of tourism and catering services, expansion of restaurant menus in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as improving the overall image of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the promotion and development of fair and festival tourism.
Coffee Fest Sarajevo (March)
In Sarajevo, which is said to foster a distinct culture of coffee drinking the third “Coffee Fest Sarajevo” will be held on 22 and 23 March 2017. A large number of exhibitors will be presented in a beautiful hall of My Face cafe. Visitors will be able to enjoy various flavors of coffee, chocolate and hot beverages, and to meet a wide range of innovations designed for enjoying the delights of coffee at home, at work or in a cafe.
Omladinski Filmski Festival (July)
Youth Film Festival (OFF) Sarajevo has a tradition that lasts for nine years. The original and primary reason for its establishment was to activate and promote young people and their values. For the last three years Youth Film Festival Sarajevo is the project of the Association of Young Artists of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the only holder of the project. The next edition of the Festival will be held from 26-30 July 2017. Youth Film Festival Sarajevo has international character. The festival has so far introduced nearly 50 authors from 11 different countries. The festival includes three different concepts: the competition program, the showcase program and the educational program.
arTZ Festival (June)
During four days of the festival audience have the opportunity to see a variety of entertainment and artistic programs suited for all ages and generations. There are different conceptual festival zones, namely: Theatre zone, Film & Video zone, Open air zone, Visual Art and Music Zone.
Street Arts Festival Mostar (May)
The aim of Street Arts Festival is to create a stable multicultural artistic platform through artistic activity of young people in the public space of the city. This project promotes street art, enlivens the public space of the city and connects artists from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the region and Europe. The festival contributes to the creation of urban culture in Mostar and establishing direct communication with the citizens of Mostar using the creativity of the young population.
Adventour – Zimski festival (Decembar)
Adventour is a winter festival held on an olympic mountain Bjelasnica. As part of the day and night programs, indoor and outdoor stage, many popular music names perform, such as: LAKA, SUNDAY STORIES, SARAJEVO BIG BAND, SERIOUS BEAT LOVERS, DJ PETRA, EXPONATI, MAKHIBEATZ, MUZIČKI ATELJE BASICS.
Festival evropskog teatra (November)
VIVA FILM FESTIVAL(June)
Festival of ecological, religious, tourism and youth documentary