Manchester M2 5DB
The UK’s only Transylvanian festival of arts and culture, Góbéfest, returns to Manchester from Friday 22-Sunday 24 June 2018.
Last year saw 10,000 adventurous revellers put their best foot forward to try out traditional folk dancing and soak up the unique sounds of a zither orchestra. Transylvanian craft beer and delicacies including chimney cake and lángos (fried dough served with various toppings such as crème frèche and garlic) also went down well.
This year’s free event, in the town’s central Albert Square, promises a larger outdoor stage and extended programme. It will also shine a light on the culture and folklores of other European countries, including Bulgaria, Lithuania, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia.
Main stage acts promise to span every genre and draw from across the Carpathian Basin region of Eastern and Central Europe. They include:
- Tamás Szarka and Ghymes – a platinum-selling Hungarian-Slovakian band who have been recording and playing together since the 1980s. An eight-piece, including lute, zither, sax and flute, their sound is rooted in Hungarian and Central-Eastern European folk traditions
- Selfish Murphy – a Transylvanian Celtic punk band, with a set list that includes The Leaving of Liverpool and Wild Rover. Since 2011 they have been transporting the convivial atmosphere of the Irish pub to Transylvania.
- La Mort Subite describe their sound as Balkano Carpathian Franco Greco Russo Turco Gypsy Jazz Folk. “Think of us as conjuring up images of a smoky workers’ bar in Paris, a wild night-time gathering around a gypsy campfire, a drunken Hungarian wedding party in the small hours and a Greek taverna on a hot summer’s evening,” they say.
In the family tent, youth arts workers from 10 European countries will lead free music and visual arts workshops. They will share the customs of their homelands with festival goers as part of Erasmus Plus programme.
Góbéfest was established in 2017 to celebrate the little-known culture and traditions of the Székler people – a group of ethnic Hungarians living in Transylvania, which is part of Romania. A Góbé is a friendly word for a ‘crafty Székely’.