The 13th Bansko International Jazz Festival: Best Ever

Aug 18, 2010 3 Comments by

You don’t have to wait for the ski season to come to Bulgaria. Recently, it seems a lot of visitors of all ages and tastes have been attracted to different parts of the country by interesting music events. Reportedly, Johny Depp is one of them, too.

Bansko Jazz Festival

Anyone who happened to be in Bansko from 7 to 13 of August must have had an incredible time. This is the time of the Bansko Jazz Festival, which has become one of the most significant musical events in the region. This year was the 13th edition of the festival.  It did not disappoint its fans and again offered unforgettable performance by Bulgarian and international musicians.

Every day had its own highlights, let me just mention famous British jazz band Incognito, No Square Quartet from France, Israeli Tango Project, among others.  The festival closing night was spectacular – piano genius Axel Zwingenberger playing together with one of the jazz history makers – Beny Golson. Among all the good Bulgarian musicians who played there, I really have to mention world-famous Ialdaz Ibrahimova and Milcho Leviev.

And the headliner of this year’s edition – the man declared to be the best soul singer of all times – Grammy-award winning Solomon Burke himself came to Bansko for an amazing concert. The audience was fascinated not only by his performance, but also by his friendly and natural behavior – one hundred lucky ladies from the audience received red roses from him.

I’m sure even if you’re not a jazz fan, you would have been happy to get away from the heat elsewhere and enjoy the lively atmosphere in the cool mountain town during the Jazz Festival week. Consider it early enough for next year.

For more, read The Doctor Says it All.

The Spirit of Bourgas

Your taste for music could have taken you to the other side of Bulgaria – on the sunny Black Sea coast for another major event this August – the Spirit of Bourgas festival, which was listed among the 20 Top Music festivals in Europe by “The Times”. This is a unique three-day rock festival with several stages along the beach that synchronously have performers of all kinds of genres. This year it was held from 13th till 15th August and ‘The Prodigy’ were the stars of the first night. Rumour has it that famous actor Johnny Depp was one of Prodigy’s VIP guests.

Other highlights were Serj Tankian, Gorillaz sound system, UNKLE, Apollo 440 and many famous DJs.

At the same time, nearby Sunny Beach resort had its event as well:

Solar Summer Festival 2010

This event caters to the club fans, with Richie Hawtin, Fat Boy Slim, Armin Van Buuren, Mark Knight and Victor Calderone playing this year on Cacao beach.

Kavarna Rock Fest

Hard-rock fans know their way already – the town of Kavarna near Varna on the north coast of the Black Sea has become known for its mayor, keen rock fan himself, who invites rock legends to perform there.  For the fifth year, Kavarna hosted its Rock Festival from 23 to 25 of July. Let me mention just some of the names that played on stage this year and the fans will know what it is all about: Destruction, Sodom, Kreator, Annihilator, Accept.

All the above festivals attract visitors from Romania, Greece, Serbia and UK. Only the Bansko Jazz festival is free.

In addition was a whole pleiad of stars who performed in Bulgaria this year, among which Sir Elton John, Bob Dylan, Morcheeba, Metallica, Rammstein, Massive Attack, AC/DC.

You have enough time to plan your destination for next summer. Follow your taste for music. There are airports in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Bourgas with cheap flights (only if you book well in advance).

In the meantime, if you consider a getaway in September or October, have in mind the following events lined up in Bulgaria:

Nigel Kennedy – the world-famous British violinist will be playing on 1 September in Plovdiv. Mind that he will be performing on the stage of the centuries-old Roman Amphitheatre, which will inevitably add to the experience.

Placebo – this band from London will be playing on 13 September in Sofia.

Scorpions – coming to Bulgaria as part of their swansong world tour, 9 October in Sofia.

Julio Iglesisas – the legend will be having a concert in Varna on 11 October and then in Sofia on 12 October.

There is a week of arts called Apolonia, traditionally held in the town of Sozopol (some 30 km from Bourgas). It will be from 28 August to 5 September this year. Although usually having mostly Bulgarian singers and plays, this event is definitely worth immersing into. The festival attracts the whole art elite of Bulgaria and gives a special bohemian atmosphere to the old seaside town.

Even if none of the above events is enticing you into coming to Bulgaria, let me tell you that usually autumn in Bulgaria is long, warm and colourful and sometimes goes on till November. I intend to enjoy it

TIP OF THE DAY:  Book you Ryanair flight to Plovdiv I guarantee you will love Plovdiv and whilst its around 3.5 hours to Bansko it makes a perfect city and ski break trip.


About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.

3 Responses to “The 13th Bansko International Jazz Festival: Best Ever”

  1. Elsie Stockdale says:

    From all I hear, the Nigel Kennedy concert in Plovdiv was only the culmination to three days of intense Nigel-watching, ranging from what he ate (sushi) to what he wore (Aston Villa shirt, what else ?) to his own preparations for the concert (playing arpeggios and Bach). Must have been a blast, that concert ! The audience couldn't have been more prepared for it !

  2. Man And Van In London says:

    Hey I praise your blog! Just wanna state that this is handy , Thanks for taking your time to write this

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