Festival Lent starts in Maribor with opera and rock concert
More than 2,000 artists from 35 countries will perform over 300 events and give more than 1,000 workshops at 33 venues across Maribor in nine days.
The central venue after the floating stage had to be abandoned last year due to financial constraints, is Maribor's central square Trg Leona Štuklja, which can take some 1,500 people.
The SNG Maribor theatre will contribute two productions, Puccini's opera Turandot and ballet Peer Gynt by Slovenian choreographer Edward Clug.
The two highlights of the festival will be for the first time played at an open-air stage.
The main programme of the Folkart section will feature groups from Argentina, Finland, Fiji, Costa Rica, Kazakhstan, Serbia and Slovenia.
Concerts will be given by Serbian singer-songwriter Đorđe Balašević, women's choir Kombinat and the Trieste-based Pinko Tomažič mixed choir.
The traditional culinary event SladoLent, international street theatre festival Ana Desetnica, Live Courtyards, JazzLent and Saloon of Musical Artists remain a part of the programme.
The festival's budget will be slightly higher than last year, when it reached EUR 750,000, but still much lower than the EUR 1.5m it reached during the festival's heyday.
While in the past about 500,000 people visited Lent, last year, when the number of events was already halved, some 220,000 people attended and the organisers are hoping for a similar turnout this year.
Lent was first organised in 1993 and has over the years become Slovenia's biggest outdoor festival and one of the biggest in Europe.