What are the best music festivals in and around Timisoara? We take a look at the biggest events in our area, so that you know what to expect before attending….

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Romania is rich in folklore and traditions. However, most of those who travel to Romania’s big cities aren’t aware of the folktales and traditions embedded in the country’s culture. That’s probably because most traditions have been born in the countryside and are not that strong in urban Romania.

 

Reviving Romanian traditions

But in recent years we have been witnessing a “back to the roots” movement, where old traditions are revived and made “popular” again, often with a modern twist. One of these traditions is the “ruga” typical of the Banat area. An interesting initiative meant to revive this traditional event is the Electroruga music festival that will take place in early September (1st-2nd September) in the village of Buzad, which is about 50 km away from Timisoara.

But to better understand the Electroruga festival, we should first understand the “ruga”:

 

Photo via The Village

What is the “ruga”? A “crash-course” for foreigners

In the Banat region, each village or town hosts a yearly celebration of the “ruga” or “negeia” (the name varies according to what part of the Banat you are in). This coincides with the celebrating the anniversary of the local church and the church’s patron.

But the “ruga” or “negeia” is much more than a religious celebration. The event has a religious origin but has evolved over time into a social event, a celebration that involves the whole town or village.

romanian-traditions-ruga

Photo via http://romania.orchesis-portal.org

The “ruga” usually lasts 3 days with religious sermons on each of these days. The evenings are marked by a big gathering with music, dancing, and drinks. Traditionally, locals prepare thoroughly for the celebrations. They clean their homes and prepare food and drinks for their guests. Because the “ruga” is the perfect opportunity for the family to get together – often, relatives and old friends visit to join the celebrations.

What is even more interesting is that, traditionally, the whole village contributes to the organizing of the event. Donations are made by all the villagers to hire a folklore band. On each of the three days, the locals wear their best traditional outfits to the evening sermons. The celebrations, with music and drinks, start immediately after the sermon is over.

The “ruga” or “negeia” used to be the most important event in the village life. It has unfortunately lost its significance as the younger population has slowly moved to big cities. Banat villages still celebrate it, but the “ruga” has lost some of its former glory in many places.

 

concert-the-village-buzad

Photo via The Village

Upgrading the “ruga” for 2018

Which brings us back to the topic of reviving traditions. This is more or less what Electroruga wants to do. Electroruga is an electronic music festival that will take place on September 1st and 2nd in the village of Buzad, about 50 km from Timisoara.

This interesting initiative is planning to reinterpret the tradition of the “ruga” with a modern twist: the “ruga” is a popular social event in traditional village life, as are music festivals in our urban lives. So why not combine the two and see what happens?! This is how Electroruga was born.

Festivals Timisoara

The festival is only in its infancy (we haven’t even seen the first edition yet), but we think it has potential (hence we are writing about it!). The festival mixes “modern” electronic music with the wish to support local traditions:

  • the festival wishes to support the local community by offering the locals the opportunity to sell their products at the festival.
  • The organizers have introduced the concept or “ER BNB” (pun intended) – festival-goers will be able to find accommodation with the locals.
  • the villagers of Buzad can attend the festival for free.

This all sounds very promising and we love the fact that the festival is trying to combine the “old” with the “new” to create an original event, all while caring about the local community.

 

We look forward to enjoying this “out of the box” festival and we’ll keep you posted with news about it!

 

If you love jazz and nature and are also visiting Romania in mid-July, you can’t possibly miss Garana Jazz festival! It’s one of the biggest open-air jazz festivals in Central and Eastern Europe and it’s happening just two hours away from Timisoara! That’s why it is one of the most popular music festivals in our area.

Garana Jazz Festival 2018 will take place between July 12th and 15th. Read on to find out why you should attend…

 

garana-jazz-festival

Photo via Garana Jazz Fest (Facebook)

21 years of jazz in Gărâna: music, nature, and people

The first edition of Garana Jazz Festival took place back in 1997 at the local inn “La Răscruce” (“at the crossroad”), as a jam session among friends. Since then, the festival has taken place every year, growing significantly with each edition.

Currently, Gărâna Jazz Festival takes place mainly in “Poiana Lupului”, a meadow near the village of Gărâna, in the heart of the Semenic mountains.

Over the last two decades, Garana Jazz Festival has made many friends. Yearly, thousands of music lovers gather in the Semenic mountains for 4 days of jazz and nature. Over the years, hundreds of internationally acclaimed artists have played on this stage. To mention just a few: Eberhard Weber, Mike Stern, Jan Garbarek, Charles Lloyd, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Jordan, John Abercrombie, Miroslav Vitous, Zakir Hussain, Magnus Ostrom, Bugge Wesseltoft, Lars Danielsson, Avishay Cohen, Nils Petter Molvaer etc.

 

Gărâna Jazz Festival 2018

Garana Jazz Festival Timisoara Tourism

Photo via: http://www.culturapoloneza.ro/

The 2018 edition of Gărâna Jazz Festival takes place between July 12th and 15th in the same amazing village of Gărâna. There will be concerts taking place in three locations: the main stage will be in “Poiana Lupului”, but there will also be concerts hosted by the Catholic Church in Văliug and “La Răscruce” inn.

The lineup includes: La Classe operaia va in Paradiso (România, Elveția, Germania, S.U.A.), Pink Freud (Polonia), Elena Mindru Finnection feat. Adam Baldych Music (România, Finland, Polonia), Kekko Fornarelli Trio (Italia), Vincent Courtois, Erdmann, Fincker: BANDES ORIGINALES (Franța, Germania), Avishai Cohen’s Big Vicious (Israel), Puba Jazz Connection (România), BROTHERS (Polonia/Norvegia), Roberto Fonseca Trio (Cuba), RYMDEN (Norvegia / Suedia), Stefano Battaglia Trio (Italia) and many more. For a detailed lineup and schedule, please visit the event website.

Tickets can be bought from the event website and prices range from 85 RON (about 18 Euro) for one evening to 300 RON (about 65 Euro) for the whole festival.

 

garana-timisoara-route

Useful information: accommodation, location and how to get there

If you want to attend Gărâna Jazz festival, you have two options as far as accommodation is concerned:

  • book accommodation in one of the villages in the area: Gărâna, Văliug, Brebu or Crivaia; But please note, the festival is very popular and accommodation in the area is usually entirely booked a few months ahead of the festival.
  • camp: camping is allowed in the area and many people choose to camp and enjoy the surrounding natural landscapes while attending the festival. This brings a “plus” to the whole festival experience, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the Semenic mountains while having a chance to meet like-minded people.

As far as transportation is concerned, the best way to reach the festival is by car. From Timișoara, it shouldn’t take you more than 2,5 hours to reach the festival and the village of Gărâna. If you don’t have a car, you can try carpooling – the organizers encouraged car-sharing and there is a dedicated Facebook group for those attending the festival. You’ll just have to find people that share your schedule and split the costs of the gas.

Alternatively, you can take a train to Reșita and from there take a bus to Gărâna. The local transportation companies in Reșita usually organise regular transportation during the festival.

If you would like more details about the route to Gărâna, check out the indications on Google Maps:

 

Have a safe trip and enjoy!

We’ve written about our favorite music festivals in the area before, but since we have a lot of information to share, we will be dedicating special articles to some of the events we love: like JazzTM. Our favorite local jazz festival will take place on the first weekend of July, so don’t make any plans!

 

jazztm-2018

Photo via Jazztm.ro

About JazzTM

JazztTM will take place between June 29th and July 1st. Wondering how much this fantastic jazz event will cost you? We have great news: it’s free! You’ll just have to get here! (And maybe find some accommodation, food, and drinks). The festival is organized by the Timisoara City Hall and it is completely free to attend by music lovers. The festival’s goal is to make quality music accessible to everybody.

The event takes place every year with a main stage in the Opera Square and usually draws in a great number of people from all walks of life. It is a very interesting experiment, after all, that proves that music should be available to everyone, as it can touch everyone. The festival will be reaching its 6th edition in 2018 (June 29th – July 1st 2018), being one of the “trademarks” of Timisoara.

Previous editions have brought to Timisoara big industry names like Richard Bona, Kurt Elling, David Murray şi Macy Gray, Terri Lyne Carrington / Lizz Wright, Al Jarreau, The Cat Empire, Anoushka Shankar, Dianne Reeves, Liv Warfield w/ Prince’s NPG Hornz, The Ruff Pack, Marcus Miller, DeeDee Bridgewater, Dhafer Youssef, Imany, Jacob Collier, BadBadNotGood, The Chick Corea Elektric Band, Miles Mosley x The West Coast Get Down, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah și Monty Alexander etc.

jazztm-the-cinematic-orchestra

Photo: The Cinematic Orchestra

JazzTM 2018: Names Announced

In 2018, JazzTM will be hosting as many as 5 stages: the main stage in the Opera Square, three additional stages and a series of afterparty events (“nocturnal jams”).

As for the names that will enchant us this year, the top names are: The Cinematic Orchestra, Gregory Porter, and Kurt Rosenwinkel. This “top 3” list is however accompanied by several interesting musicians, some of whom are Romanian: Bariș Demirel, The Jam Community, Sorin Zlat Trio, Krisper, B.A.U. and Trompetre. In case you aren’t familiar with this music, we encourage you to listen to these artists. You will most likely find something to your liking in this list. Check out the full program on the event website, here.

But let’s take a closer look at the headliners:

The Cinematic Orchestra

The Cinematic Orchestra, nujazz pioneers, are a group formed by Jason Swinscoe in 1999. It has since become one of the most respected British bands in the last 19 years. TCO have played “sold-out” at the Royal Albert Hall (twice), as well as at the Sydney Opera House. They participated in countless festivals all over the world.

 

Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter, an artist whose music is both timeless and current, has had a remarkable career, starting with his sensational debut with “Liquid Spirit” (2013) that quickly became a global phenomenon and the most-listened-to jazz album online (20 million hits).
The album received the platinum disc in the UK and Germany and the golden disc in France, the Netherlands and Austria.

Kurt Rosenwinkel

Kurt Rosenwinkel’s career spans over the last 25 years. During these years, he has had numerous collaborations with amazing artists like Brad Mehldau, Brian Blade, Mark Turner, Joshua Redman, Chris Potter and jazz legends like Joe Henderson, Paul Motian, and Gary Burton. Kurt Rosenwinkel is one of the most influential guitarists of his generation.
His latest project, entitled “CAIPI”, is an ambitious and profoundly personal project
with major influences of Brazilian music; its production lasted ten years.

 

Are you impressed yet?! See you in July? We hope so!
In case you’re as excited about music festivals as we are, follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more updates! We will try to provide you updated information on the most popular music events in the area.

If you are traveling to Timisoara at the beginning of August and you’re a festival lover, you might want to change your plans – or just improve them. Sziget Festival one of the biggest festivals in Europe and this year it will take place between 8-15 August. They have just announced headliners and, yes, they are big! And did we mention the location is just 3.5 hours away from Timisoara?!

If you don’t know the festival we can tell you it started off as a student festival in 1993 and now it became one of the biggest festivals in Europe. It was also the two-time winner of the European Festival Awards in the Best Major European festival category.

Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar, Kygo, Mumford&Sons and more…

 

The first names have just been announced a few days ago on the Sziget Festival Official Facebook page and website and there will be more to come in the upcoming period.

The full list of the first announcement:
Arctic Monkeys/Kendrick Lamar/Kygo /Mumford & Sons/Liam Gallagher/Bastille/Lykke Li/   Parov Stelar/The Kooks//Kaleo /Zara Larsson/Gogol Bordello/Clean Bandit/Blossoms / Milky Chance/Wolf Alice/Little Dragon/Cigarettes After Sex/ Goo Goo Dolls/Fink/Seasick Steve/  Above & Beyond/ Nothing But Thieves/Slaves/Everything Everything/Lewis Capaldi/ Lemaitre/  La Femme/Joe Goddard live/ Ummet Ozcan/Sam Feldt Live/Jay Hardway/The Him/Alle Farben   WhoMadeWho/Shame/Perturbator…and more to come

The Island of freedom…where dreams become reality

The festival takes place on an island and so all of the activities take place on this island. And we are pretty sure you won’t get bored! It’s worth mentioning that in 2017 you had 8 stages to pick from. And if one day you just feel like chilling in the sun and working on your tan, there’s a beach there!

photo: [ Sandor Csudai ] . www.facebook.com/csudaisandor

The accommodation:

As far as accommodation is concerned, you have two options: either stay in Budapest (but make sure you book something in advance – otherwise you might be left out) or buy a camping ticket from the Sziget Festival website (the basic camping is included in the 3-day, 5-day, and 7-day pass). You can even bring your own caravan or rent a house.  You have 6 campings to pick from, and they even have a family camping which is kid-friendly.

The prices:

The really early-bird tickets are already sold out but you can still find tickets at an affordable price, on the Sziget Festival official website.
1 Day pass: 70 €
3 Day pass: 189€
5 Day pass: 275€
7 Day pass: 299€

If you’re still not convinced, see below the 2017 Official After Movie. And stay tuned for the next announcement, we are pretty sure that the best is yet to come! In any case, if plan on staying in Timisoara, check some of our local festivals which take place this year.  

To be continued…..

Festivals and traveling a lot of times go hand in hand. Those of you who like both going to music festivals and travelling, probably try to combine these two passions as often as possible. If you are planning to travel to Timisoara, you should probably know that there are some great music festivals you could attend during your trip. In this article we will tell you about the best international festivals in and around Timisoara. And the best thing is that they are all quite affordable.

 

 

Revolution Festival – Organized by EXIT

Although you may not have heard of Timisoara Revolution Festival, we are sure you’ve already heard about the EXIT Festival from Novi Sad, Serbia. A few years ago, the organizers from Exit Festival and the local authorities from Timisoara teamed up and started organizing Revolution Festival. We can call it the “little brother” of the festival from Serbia.

The two-day festival has become one of the major attractions in Timisoara. The festival has already had 3 editions and some of the artists that played here are: Rudimental (Dj Set), Dubioza Kolektiv, Eluveitie,  Skunk Anansie, John Digweed etc.

Did we mention the festival has about 7 stages with a wide variety of music, starting with DNB, Rock, Reggae, Trance and Cuban music? No matter what your favourite music gender is, you can find something to dance to at this festival.

And the best thing?! The price.

Tickets: The ticket price is 15 Euro if you buy an early-bird ticket and about 20 Euro/day or 40 Euro/ 3 days at the entrance.

Period: Beginning of June, exact date to be announced.

Duration: this started out as a 2-day, festival, but the last edition lasted 3 days (Thursday-Saturday)

Location: The Timisoara Village Museum (Muzeul Satului)

 

 

Plai Festival – World Music

 

Plai festival was first organised in 2006 and every year it gathers thousands of festival-goers from all over the world. Plai is actually more than just a music festival, but a cultural one. One of their aims is to celebrate cultural diversity, by hosting different kinds of workshops and events. With activities like theater plays, film projections, handmade workshops and, of course, music, PLAI festival has become a landmark for festivals in Romania.

In 2014 PLAI Festival has been nominated by European Festivals Awards for the Best Small European Festival Title. Some of artists who have visited the festival throughout the years are: Al Di Meola, Mariza, Paco de Lucia, Zaz, Patrice, Gentleman, Asian Dub Foundation, Baba Zula, Manu Chao, Everlast and more.

Tickets: about 30 Euro for 3 days of festival

Period: First Weekend of September

Duration: 3 days (Friday-Sunday)

Location: The Timisoara Village Museum (Muzeul Satului)

 

JazzTM – Timisoara Jazz Festival (Free Entrance)

Jazz Tm Timsioara

 

Although JazzTM is quite young – the first edition was held in 2013 – it fast became one of the best jazz music festivals in Romania. Some of the organizers have also worked on PLAI Festival and their 11 years of experience has surely paid off.

With one main stage in the city centre, in Victory Square, and 2 more stages in different parks around Timisoara, the festival has gathered some of the most appreciated jazz players from all over the world.

Some of the artists which played on stage of JazzTM: Paolo Profeti European Collective , Paolo Profeti European Collective, Monty Alexander Harlem Kingston Express, Imany, Marcus Miller, Dianne Reeves, Al, Jareu, Andreya Triana, The Cat Epire, Richard Bona etc.Warfield

Tickets: FREE

Period: beginning of July

Duration: 3 days (Friday-Sunday)

Location: Victory Square

 

 

Garana Jazz Festival

 

The Garana Jazz Festival first started off as a jam session back in 1997. It was just an event between friends at “Hanul La Rascruce”. It has since then become one of the most important open-air jazz festival in Central and Eastern Europe.

The festival takes place in the village of Garana, in the Semenic Mountains, one of the must-see places if you are around Timisoara. Besides the great music, Garana offers an opportunity for a great getaway from the city, thanks to the lovely views it offers. It is surrounded by two lakes, forests and, of course, fresh air. Even though this isn’t in Timisoara, it is just a 3-hour drive away and the trip is worth it, both for the music and for the views.

If you need accommodation during your stay, make sure to book your accommodation in advance, as most of the festival-goers book theirs (for the festival) with as much as one year in advance. But don’t worry, you can also camp there – there are plenty of people who just camp in nature during the whole festival.

Tickets: about 65 Euro for the 4-day festival or 20 Euro for a 1-day ticket

Tickets: Abouy 60 Euros

Period: usually mid-July

Duration: 4 days (Thursday-Sunday)

Location: Garana, Caras-Severin