Craft beer and a cacophony of swirling skirts, stamping feet and lutes, zithers and accordions can only mean one thing…
This May sees the return of the UK’s only free festival to celebrate in riotous colour the arts, culture, food and drink of the fabled-region of Transylvania.
Last year’s event in Manchester’s central Albert Square, saw 17,000 adventurous revellers put their best foot forward to try out traditional folk dancing and soak up the sounds of a Celtic Transylvanian punk band. Festival goers shook hands with one of Hungary’s biggest pop stars and sampled delicacies including the spit-roasted sweet treat chimney cake and lángos.
This year’s free event also includes a family activity tent. Arts and music workshops will run throughout the weekend. Other family friendly activities include enchanting puppet shows, a makers’ craft market, folk dance demonstrations and small-batch craft food sampling.
Góbéfest was established in 2017 to celebrate the little-known culture and traditions of the Székler people – a minority group of ethnic Hungarians living in Transylvania, which is part of Romania.
A Góbé is a friendly word for a ‘crafty Székely’.
Event organiser Ottilia Ördög is herself a Székely Hungarian, now settled in UK for almost 30 years. She said: “Góbéfest brings the magical sounds, sights and smells of one of Europe’s most mythologised and unspoilt regions to the centre of Manchester.
“The weekend will serve up a family friendly and unashamedly enthusiastic mix of music, dance, arts and crafts and food and drink, offering just a glimpse of the true flavours of Transylvania and the Carpathian Basin.“