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 purpose of the event is to promote the idea of bugle calls that add colour and often give testimony to identity of a town. The tradition of Lublin’s bugle calls dates back to the 16th century: the first bugle call signal was heard in the streets of the city on 7 May 1575. Today, it is played every day at noon from the balcony of the Lublin Town Hall. Every year, the festival brings together over 40 trumpet players from major Polish cities. The presentation of the bugle-call will be accompanied by the performance of a brass band and the marching of the bugle-callers.
It starts at 3 pm in the Old Town on August 15 (admission free).
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 brothers Henryk and Józef Wieniawski are outstanding representatives of not only Polish but also world classical music. The value of Henryk Wieniawski's composition and instrumental skills is unquestionable. However, the younger of the two brothers, Józef, is a less known figure. The International Wieniawski Brothers Festival is a tribute paid to the two outstanding personalities and, specifically, to their talent and output. It also affords the participants an opportunity to get acquainted with the works of other top-rated world-class composers and performers.
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.
The event features interesting and thought-provoking talks on the publishing market and books that make a decent read before falling asleep and that are worth re-reading after some time. The invited speakers, among them, Justyna Bargielska, Grażyna Lutosławska, Michał Nogaś, Łukasz Orbitowski, Michał Rusinek, Justyna Sobolewska, Grażyna Stankiewicz, Małgorzata Szejnert, Marcin Wroński or Natasza Ziółkowska-Kurczuk share their reading fascinations.
The festival attemps to set at the legacy of Prof. Andrzej Nikodemowicz, Honorary Citizen of the City of Lublin and one of the greatest European composers of sacred music, against a broader artistic background. The event aims to promote the Polish and world cultural heritage, art-oriented education, spiritual formation and decency. Among the invited performers, there are first-rate artists, orchestras, choirs and chamber ensembles from Poland and abroad.
The International Literary Festival "Poests' Time" is a convention of acclaimed poets who read their poetry in front of their audience. The poets come from different generations, cultures, ideas and pursue different creative forms and literary views. The philosophical, cognitive and aesthetic values contained in poets' pieces become a starting point for reflection on contemporary culture and the role of literature in our world. This formula i.e. reading your own texts in public, gives a unique opportunity to penetrate the world of imagination and sensitivity of poetry writers, who do not often allow author-reader proximity. Poets's Time is a celebration of poetry across boundaries and dividing lines, such as the language, culture and personal experience.
The Oldest Songs of Europe Festival features the earliest music testimonies of traditional culture from various corners of Europe. Several dozen song groups and numerous soloists have taken part in the event to date, among them performers from Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Spain etc. Each edition is preceded by in-depth ethnomusicological studies conducted by a team of international scholars. The Festival offers classes in traditional dances from different parts of Europe, as well as exhibitions, screenings, conferences, discussions and lectures.
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.
The Chatka Blues Festival is one of the most engaging music projects in eastern Poland. It spotlights blues in its different forms performed by Polish and foreign artists. The event has been held since 2010 at the Chatka Żaka Academic Culture Centre in Lublin and boasts a high artistic level. The previous editions attracted such artists as Juwan Jenkins, Charlie Slavik, Jorgos Skolias, Alvon Johnson etc. The festival is the brain-child of Adam Bartoś, its artistic director.
The programme of the festival puts as much pressure on artistic practice as on art theory and education. In addition to performance art shows, the event offers a series of workshops, lectures, discussions, exhibitions, multimedia presentations, and film screenings. The “platform” is intended to bring audiences and artists closer and attempts to sensitise viewers to artists’ individual expression. The workshop participants are given the opportunity to confront their visual sensitivity with the audience. One of the goals of Performance Platform Lublin is to highlight the many ways, strategies, and directions that can be followed in performance art. The festival attracts artists of many generations and different descent, sometimes very exotic. Among them, there are recognised classics as well as budding artists. A broad-minded approach to the subject and the extent of offered experience create an extraordinarily rich and genuine picture of performance art in Poland and abroad.
The Festival is for everyone who feels the need to watch films in a company and confront their way of thinking about the women’s world and films about women with others. The films tell stories about challenges faced by women from various geographies, with uneven access to education, different cultural background, financial status, and outlook. Demakijaż purges the artificial images of women known from the mass-media, commercials, TV series, and popular movies. The programme covers film productions from around the world, including Ethiopia, Israel, France, Germany, or the Netherlands.
The Circulations: East European Competition of New Circus Stunts is one of a kind event in this part of Europe: it is a celebration of the New Circus. During the competition, the contenders - either artists in residence or invited guests from Central and Eastern Europe - perform best-in-class contemporary circus stunts: juggling, partner and aerial acrobatics, hula-hoop. The performances are evaluated by the jury made up of the theatre and New Circus experts from Poland and abroad, including a representative of the famous Cirque du Soleil. The final of Circulations is invariably a burst of energy and breath-taking images that delight people of any age.
Bakcynalia is ranked among the legendary student song festivals. Previously known as the Bakcynalia Epidemic of Tourist Song, the event boasts a long history. Next to Yapa in Łódź, Bazuny in Gdańsk and the National Student Song Festival in Kraków, Bakcynalia used to be one of the most recognizable events showcasing academic culture. It hosted the most popular artists of the late 1970s, the 1980s, and the early 1990s. The festival came back in 2007 after a several years’ break. Today, it is a regular event at the Chatka Żaka Academic Culture Centre. It is filled with concerts by invited stars and has a competition show where fledgling young performers from Lublin and the country display their talents to a broader audience. Some of the accompanying events include Small Bakcynalia – a competition for high schoolers, Festival Travel Meetings, a photo competition, an after-competition exhibition, and festival singing.
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 Lublin Film Festival has succeeded and expanded the idea of the IFF Golden Anteaters. The festival has become a reality thanks to the passion and undiminished enthusiasm of its organisers. This enthusiasm was already there during the first edition in 2007 when the festival was merely a local event attracting amateur filmmakers from Lublin. Now, it has become Lublin’s largest international event gathering cinema personalities and cinema lovers from around the world. The idea of the festival is to promote original, art film projects, both short and full-length, also from outside the mainstream. It also creates opportunities for young filmmakers to learn, network and make contacts within the industry. The organisers attach much attention to keeping a high quality standard of the event while remaining open to novel film trends and creative personalities. Any arthouse or independent cinema individual can take part: there are no age, geographical, professional, or thematic restrictions. 2017 saw more profound changes: besides the new name, which alludes to an upgrade in the development of the festival, the programme has swollen to include more events, including the Lublin Filmmakers Networking Meetings.
Eastern Art Salon is an intercultural dialogue and debate over the evolution in the visual arts. The event also takes a closer look at the role of art and the artist in the context of Art. World. The open formula of the event attracts various perspectives on existing trends within broadly understood contemporary art. The participants are artists of different artistic background (painting, sculpture, photography, video). The exhibited works are an expression of the latest discoveries and achievements in artistic creativity.
The All Souls’ Day Jazz Festival is a great opportunity of changing perspectives: from the wistful nostalgia of bleak November days and meditation over the inevitability of death towards gazing into the past and reflecting on what previous generations have done for us. It is about learning to be grateful for the gift of life and the time that has been given to us. Apart from the musical layer, the festival conveys some deeper spiritual meaning. It is a chance to remember the departed musicians and give their work a new meaning; to “bring them back to life” by rekindling their memory and the memory of their achievements. The Lublin All Souls’ Day concerts propose a genuinely religious approach to the November remembrance of the dead by the Church, which, indeed, has nothing to do with the “the festival of the dead”, as it is called by some erringly. The All Souls’ Day Jazz Festival allude to All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day celebrations that recall the departed by emphasising the hope of eternal life instead of focusing on grief over their loss.
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.
This is Poland’s oldest and one of the largest festivals showcasing music inspired by folklore. It was inaugurated in 1991. The goal of the event is to disseminate traditional culture in all its forms and manifestations, mainly through the presentation of innovative transformations of music folklore. By employing contemporary means, the performing artists create free and outof-the-box interpretations of folk sources. The outcome is music of an original and modern tinge but, at the same time, perpetuating the traditional values of folklore. Thanks to its compelling and diverse offer and the convivial atmosphere accompanying the festival, Saint Nicholas Day has earned the opinion of an important cultural event and one of the most interesting and prestigious feasts of folk music in Poland.
Splat!FilmFest is Poland-only international festival of horror, fantasy, and genre cinema. The programme covers premières of world’s best productions. The festival features excellent horrors and thrillers, gritty dramas, black comedies, sci-fi and fantasy movies and completely crazy productions that would not be admitted to any other festival in Poland, let alone official cinema distribution. The programme also provides for meetings with special guests, original lectures and competitions: all in an extraordinary setting.
Jazz Bez is a Polish-Ukrainian jazz festival boasting a long tradition. It came to Lublin several years ago. From its very beginning, the event has been driven by several important goals. The most important ones have been to create conditions for Polish-Ukrainian artistic exchange, to promote jazz music and bring it closer to the wider public, to transplant the idea of the festival to other cities and to strive to maintain a high quality of performances. The Jazz Bez International Jazzestival is a celebrated and well-known project in the Polish and Ukrainian jazz community. It is seen as a dialogue through music also encouraging an artistic exchange between Poland and Ukraine through a transborder jazz marathon. The festival offers dozens of various concerts and accompanying events, some of them accessible live in Lublin. By promoting good and bold music and nurturing cooperation between the two countries, the festival transcends divisions and boundaries between artists. The programme of the festival has been gradually evolving towards embracing a greater number of events and audiences, and the idea of the festival is readily borrowed by other cities.
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.