Lublin’s culture is unique and inclusive, authentic and original, since it is rooted in the local context. It is characterised by participation and diversity, encounters of different cultures, religions and ideas, motivating inhabitants to discover themselves, other people and the world. Lublin’s culture also represents the most important phenomena of Polish and global culture.
Let us introduce you some of the Lublin's greatest festivals.
"Wschody" Art Song Festival is a competition open to up-and-coming soloists, non-professional and professional entrants from all over Poland. The Festival seeks to promote out-of-the-ordinary music and scount new talent. The festival is customarily headlined by established vocalists who perform live with their solo projects. So far, the Grand Concert Gala, the culmination of the festival, has been attended by Hubert “Spięty” Dobaczewski (lead singer of Lao Che), COMA’s Piotr Rogucki, and Katarzyna Nosowska.
“Codes” Festival of Traditional and Avantgarde Music is an international event devoted to the idea of combining the archaic and the new in music. Presentday composers and improvising musicians often formally and thematically allude to archaic musical forms and seemingly antiquated sonic patterns. The mixture of two distinctive canons of aesthetics forms a completely unique listening experience where the magic of archaic melodies and the artistry of contemporary music co-exist. The festival provides a rare opportunity for excellent contemporary music composers, representatives of the avant-garde jazz, traditional musicians, and artists reconstructing old music to meet together and co-work. The following musicians have so far performed in Lublin during the Festival: Laurie Anderson, Bill Laswell, John Zorn, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk Evelyn Glennie, Iva Bittová, Thurston Moore, Kronos Quartet.
The Night of Culture inspires both Lubliners and tourists to explore the charm of the city by artistically enlivening its main streets as well as back alleys, its less prominent districts and somewhat forgotten squares. During this special Night Lublin does not sleep as its residents‘ cultural sensibilities are reawakened, encouraging even the most passive and culture-wary of inhabitants to be active, to stay awake and be day and night receptive to artistic and cultural initiatives. During the Night of Culture all Lublin’s cultural institutions throw their doors wide open, offering not just free but also specially commissioned events to cultural night-crawlers walking the city’s streets till the early hours of the morning. Lublin’s cityscape – its urban setting – becomes the Night’s number one stage, where world-famous theatres share spotlight with buskers, and where symphonic music be- comes intertwined with jazz, folk, rock and dance-inducing electronica. Anything can happen and everything happens: concerts on rooftops, in courtyards and in squares, performances and happenings in backstreets, visual art in the city’s main artery, theatre plays in Old Town’s gates or in the city’s fountains, fashion shows on the stairs leading to public insti tutions, drive-in cinemas, film screenings in the parking lot of the City Hall. All the events – rising in numbers every year – attract tens of thousands of visitors.
The Different Sounds Art’n’Music Festival is a meeting of world-class artists that represent various nationalities and practise diverse music styles. The organisers scout rock, reggae, electro and the classical musicians. What inspires the Festival programmers the most is the liminal space where genres, traditions and cultural influences overlap. For that reason, they provide the original, premium artistic quality and unforgettable aesthetic experiences. So far the Festival’s line-up has included the following artists: Einstürzende Neubauten, Goldfrapp, Tony Allen, Asian Dub Foundation, Yat-Kha, The Tiger Lilies. Equally inspiring is the Festival’s very name – the idea of the „East of Culture” that enables to bring to Lublin the most exciting acts from among others countries such as Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia. Focused on music, the Festival is a multi-disciplinary event: apart from concerts, there are organised debates concerning European identity, workshops and exhibitions as well as a special “Little Different Sounds” programme dedicated to children.
The Carnaval Sztukmistrzów Festival has become a magnet for performers from all over the world, not only performing circus-theatre spectacles but conducting workshops as well, dedicated to the experienced professionals and aspiring beginners. The Festival features The Urban Highline – the biggest slackline festival in the world. Inspired by the figure of the Magician of Lublin – the title character of Noble Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer’s novel, the Carnaval is the biggest and the most important New Circus festival in this part of Europe.
“Meeting of Styles” - The International Graffiti Festival focuses on presenting graffiti as one of the progressive art modalities in public space. In accordance with the city’s mission statement, “Lublin - a city of Inspiration”, the municipality promotes all initiatives underpinned by the ideas of creativity and activism on the part of the younger generation. The acclaim generated by previous editions of the Festival is evidence of its popularity and of public demand for this type of events. Lublin’s increasingly active graffiti circle further testifies to the Festival’s evolutionary diversity.
The Jagiellonian Fair is the time when traditional culture is presented by the goods of music, singing and dance. Featuring concerts of both traditional music and music inspired by the heritage of past generations, the event involves dance nights where obereks, mazurkas and polkas are crucial as well as the exhibitions that show folk and the neo-folk artists. The Jagiellonian Fair is a chance to meet numerous artists, artisans, craftspeople from Central and Eastern Europe. Working closely with the top ethnologists, the organisers of the Jagiellonian Fair invite long-time practitioners and artists inspired by the folk art.
The Festival focuses on multiculturalism and the culinary heritage of the Lublin region. It is also the biggest culinary festival of the region, attracting residents and tourists alike through its confluence of cultural events and the traditions of Lublin’s cuisine. This is a splendid opportunity to wind down and get familiarised with assorted specialities of the Lublin region. To this end, the organisers would like visitors and local participants to slow down and unhurriedly partake in and partake of surrounding flavours and scents. Recharged, suffused with the positivity offered by a diverse set of dishes available, the tourists will return home relaxed and satisfied. The Festival’s signature features include: a wide-ranging repertoire of cultural events, including among others concert of Balkan and Ukrainian music, exhibitions and expositions, contests and culinary workshops.
The Lublin-based “Open City” Festival is one of the most important showcases of modern art in Poland and the biggest exhibition of this kind in Eastern Poland. The rationale behind the 8th iteration of the Festival is to emphasise the symbolic dimension of the space of Lublin by introducing to it commissioned artworks. The artistic interventions of the participants of the Festival are construed as “alien bodies” growing inside the very tissue of Lublin, moments of an unexpected change in the (physical and symbolic) space, which we have so far regarded as well-known and thoroughly critiqued. As a result, art is exposed both to fleeting emotions of passers-by and to fickle weather conditions. Artists usually play the role of performers of ideological programmes formulated by the funders of monuments. For the duration of the Open City Festival we will reverse this division of labour and bestow upon the participating artists a much needed sense of agency. Full documentation of all artists’ realisations (in the form of a catalogue of temporary art) and permanent artworks constitute the added value of the Festival.
International Festival Theatre Confrontations is one of the best and most highly regarded theatre festivals in Poland. It was first organized in 1996 by the outstanding theatre directors: Janusz Opryński, Leszek Mądzik, Włodzimierz Staniewski and Tomasz Pietrasiewicz. The Festival focuses at the most intriguing and inspiring artistic achievements that provide new ways of understanding the theatre as a form of art. Since 2010, the main programme has been supplemented by the “Lublin showcase”, which is a presentation of the Lublin-based theatre troupes, performers, actors, actresses, and directors. In addition, 2011 saw the inclusion of the MAAT Festival, which is built upon the idea of theatricality and the theatre stemming from the corporeal, the expression of the body. International Festival Theatre confrontations are accompanied by series of interdisciplinary events: films – Festival cinema, concerts – musical confrontations at night, exhibitions – confrontations’ Gallery, as well as numerous debates.
Falkon is one of the biggest fantasy conventions in Poland. every year it attracts over 1000 participants. It embraces all that fits into the notion of fantasy and science fiction and as such it focuses on literature, lm, art and computer games. The three days of the convention are filled with lectures, discussions, competitions, tournaments, performances and other attractions. The distinctive feature of Falkon is that all the participants learn and have fun; they broaden their horizons, create a community of a kind, which, although colourful and varied, is bound by a common pursuit – the desire to develop their interests. The aim of the convention is to promote and preserve the interest in fantasy among both teenagers and adults. The aim of the convention is to promote and preserve the interest in the broadly defined fantasy and science fiction among both teenagers and adults by exposing them to literature, lm, art and games.
Highly rewarded in Poland and Europe, The International Dance Theatre Festival was launched in 1997. The idea of the festival is to enable dancers from all over the world to meet, exchange ideas and inspirations. The organizers emphasise the universal dimension of the event and remind us that contemporary dance is a unique medium of communication – a fully democratic form of art that can convey the impact of intellect upon emotions. The festival presents interesting performances by professional dance theatres from all over the world and promotes Polish artists seeking opportunity to present and discuss their work. It is a platform of exchange of experience and mutual inspiration for practitioners of the different types of art.
The Festival is a showcase of contemporary Ukrainian culture. It consists of concerts of popular bands from Ukraine that offer a wide array of musical styles, interpretations, and aesthetic types. There are also stage performances, theatre plays, lm screenings, exhibitions, art workshops - all of which have become over the years the Festival’s flagship events. In addition, there are also educational events, such as the school-level quiz on Ukrainian culture, a football tournament - known as the Friendship cup, and a guided tour of Lublin featuring the sites of Ukrainian heritage. The aim of the Festival is the presentation of the most interesting and original trends endemic to contemporary Ukrainian culture as well as the dissemination of the Polish-Ukrainian intercultural dialogue.
During The Christmas Festival the Po Farze Square (plac Po Farze) echoes with carols evoking the magical atmosphere of Christmas. The nativity scene is different every year; the square is decorated with colourful lights and beautiful Christmas trees. The Old Town becomes a miniature Bethlehem, where the spirit of Christmas is omnipresent. The opening of the Festival takes place during the Old Town Christmas eve, a yearly event organised by Dominican Friars. Contests for children and concerts given by the artists make the event extremely popular within the residents of Lublin.
The New Year’s Eve celebration has a special place in the event calendar of Lublin. Each year, the residents of Lublin welcome the New Year together in the city centre. Everyone can join for free. The special attractions range from sketches and DJs playing dance music to concerts of top Polish pop stars. Every year at midnight a representative of the city authorities wishes people a happy New Year and the sky is illuminated by the outstanding show of the fireworks.