The people in
Bosnia and Herzegovina create plenty of opportunities for
celebrations, festivals and annual traditions all year
around. Sarajevo is well known for its wide array of
cultural festivals – featuring cutting edge films, the
newest jazz sounds, to alternative theatre productions.
To so the least, there is never a dull moment in Sarajevo.
Here is a list of the cities yearly festivals.
Sarajevo Fashion Week (November)
This is all you`d expect from an international fashion week. In addition, there are local touches such as 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.
Sarajevan Winter (February/March)
This festival is the longest of all the Sarajevo festivals. Lasting for a full 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.
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 tourists from everywhere. Also, the event is colored by authentic ethno sound on the Festival of original 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.
International Folklore Festival (July)
Taking place in the second half of July, this festival overlaps with Bascarsija Nights. In the course of one week, folk groups come from all over the wider region to perform in Sarajevo.
Summer on the Vrbas (July)
Traditional event «Summer on Vrbas» is held in the second half of July under 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.
Sarajevo Film Festival (July - August)
The SFF has become the most honoured festival in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Unlike the untouchable glitter of Cannes or Venice, this event is a perfect occasion to mix and mingle with local and international stars alike. Aside from the mainstage showings, the ‘Panaroma’ and regional shows host some of the worlds best documentaries and it’s definitely the best venue to get a taste of southeast Europe’s best filmmakers
Kids festival (June)
Kid`s Festival” – the biggest independent kid`s event in southeastern Europe- has become a traditional event that is waited and expected by all children in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kid`s festival is a unique combination 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.
Bascarsija Nights (July)
In the summer months, Sarajevo`s old Turkish quarter is a most delightful place to be. In July, this part of town gets even better. Throughout the month,‘Bascarsija Nights` offers a full month programme of folk dancing, opera, ballet, rock, love songs and poetry. There are art exhibitions and children programmes. All of the events are free of charge.
Banja Luka Summer Games (August)
During Banja Luka summer games, that are traditionally held in fortress „Kastel” in August, you can enjoy various concerts of ethno and rock music, theater performances and poet nights that make this mystical fortress alive during the summer. Many artists, bands, actors, singers and others not only from Bosnia and Herzegovina but also from neighbouring countries come here to Banja Luka to make those two months interesting for all.
European Literary Encounters (September)
(in the local language and French only).
This annual gathering has guiding themes like ‘Our Europe‘ or ‘The future of the book in Europe‘, but the activities sometimes wander rather widely from that theme. Reporters, directors, writers, poets, actors, philosophers and translators from the wider region (all the way to North Africa) gather and spend a week talking about their experiences and ideas.
Teatar Fest (September)
This festival 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‘.
MESS stands for "male eksperimentalne scene", "Small Experimental Stage". It is a theatre festival with a history of over a century. Theatre and modern dance performances are selected from all over Europe. The plays are performed in their original languages, sometimes with local language translation displayed above the stage.
Jazz Festival (November)
Having started in 1997, this is a relatively young festival. The festival has grown considerably in popularity and has maintained its very grassroots feel. 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.