New leap forward for famous folklore festival

Launched in 1953, the Východná folklore festival is the largest and most popular of its kind in Slovakia. With its key facilities recently modernised, it aims to keep its prestigious status and go on attracting performers and visitors from home and abroad.

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New open-air amphitheatre at the Východná folklore festival site. Copyright: European Commission New open-air amphitheatre at the Východná folklore festival site. Copyright: European Commission

“The Východná site is again fit to host some of the world’s best folk ensembles and traditional folk culture for many years to come”
Silvia Masaryková, Ministry of Economy and Construction of the Slovak Republic

The EU co-funded renovation project focused on the open-air amphitheatre that overlooks the village of Východná, in central northern Slovakia. The goal was to facilitate the development of tourism in the region through the reconstruction of the festival site’s infrastructure.

Refurbished site and facilities

Every July, the village of Východná hosts a three-day folklore festival to showcase diverse amateur folk groups and traditions. It features music, dancing, plays, films, handicrafts, exhibitions and parades. Located in a naturally beautiful area close to Slovakia’s border with Poland, the event draws on average some 1 500 folk performers and 70 000 visitors from the host nation and countries further afield.

After hosting the festival every summer for more than a half century, the site was in great need of renovation and modernisation. A project was therefore conceived to refresh its main facilities, with a major financial contribution from the European Regional Development Fund.

Work began in April 2005 and was mostly completed in time for the opening of the 53rd festival in late June 2007. The 30-year old amphitheatre that forms the centre of the festival was largely rebuilt and enlarged.

21st-century facilities

Built in the local Liptov village style, the latest amphitheatre has a new stage and auditorium offering performers better conditions. These facilities are designed for folklore festivals, and other cultural and social events of international importance.

The 28-metre high ‘Májka’ observation tower, offering panoramas of the surrounding area, was also developed. Other infrastructure was upgraded under the project, such as the main entrance, fencing, congress and information centre, tribune, sport and recreation facilities, sanitary amenities for visitors, and shopping stalls for folk products. As a result, visitor numbers are expected to more than triple by 2013.

Draft date