Góbéfest, returns to Manchester from Friday 22-Sunday 24 June 2018.  Celebrating the arts, culture, food and drink of Transylvania and beyond…


Last year saw 10,000 adventurous revellers put their best foot forward to try out traditional folk dancing, soak up the unique sounds of a zither orchestra and sample Transylvanian craft beer and delicacies including chimney cake and lángos (fried dough served with various toppings such as crème frèche and garlic).

This year’s free event, in the town’s central Albert Square, promises a larger outdoor stage and extended programme, which will also shine a light on the culture and folklores of ten European countries, including Bulgaria, Turkey, Lithuania, Romania, Croatia, Hungary, Greece and Slovakia.

Due to the popularity of the food and drink stalls last year– and long queues – an even greater number have been invited. New additions will include a bar selling pálinka, a traditional spirit drink from the Carpathian Basin region that can be anything up to 86% proof. Mancunians will also be able to sample mititei for the first time, a highly spiced and skinless sausage that is a BBQ favourite across Romania.

Main stage acts promise to span every genre and draw from across the Carpathian Basin region of Eastern and Central Europe. In the family tent, youth arts workers from 10 European countries will lead free music and visual arts workshops, sharing the customs of their homelands with festival goers, as part of the 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’. With its roots firmly in Transylvania, Gobefest 2018 will also showcase the practices and folklores of other cultures across Europe.

Event organiser Ottilia Ördög is herself a Székely, now settled in UK for almost 30 years and working as a cultural leader. She says: “You have heard all the mysterious myths and legends, now come and experience the magic of Transylvania, right in the centre of Manchester.

“Góbéfest promises to be a unique celebration, offering a dazzling extravaganza of music, dance, cuisine and multicultural activities , captivating the whole family with the authentic and  diverse sounds, tastes and flavours of Transylvania and the Carpathian Basin. I am really looking forward to involving more cultures in the festival this year, celebrating diversity and difference and welcoming youth leaders from around Europe.”

Music – Zene

Music is at the heart of Góbéfest, as we welcome award-winning musicians from the Carpathian Basin to perform everything from energising folk music right through to classical, jazz, rock and world music.  Góbéfest aims to encourage international collaborations between musicians and showcase new music commissions.

“Folk melodies are the embodiment of an artistic perfection of the highest order; in fact, they are models of the way in which a musical idea can be expressed with utmost perfection in terms of brevity of form and simplicity of means.”  Béla Bartók .

Dance – Tánc

Dance will also play a major part in the festival and we will welcome several folk dance troups from all around the UK. Come and learn the steps of the Csárdás, a traditional Hungarian folk dance which starts out slowly and end up fast, or get involved in the Góbéfest Táncház, a Dancehouse event which involves the audience in the performance. Expect to see some colourful costumes from various parts of the Carpathian Basin, and you will surely learn some new melodies too.

Workshops & Activities

There will be opportunities for people to get to know the Hungarian culture, through workshops and activities for all age groups to enjoy.  From community music workshops, using the popular Kodály method, an internationally known method of music education; to other exciting arts crafts activities. Look out for our open days and outreach workshops, leading up to the festival. The festival team of award winning artists and facilitators, all eager to help you discover something new, whether it’s an unusual instrument or a brand new rhythm.

“Real art is one of the most powerful forces in the rise of mankind, and he who renders it accessible to as many people as possible is a benefactor of humanity” Zoltán Kodály

Góbéfest Market

Visitors to the festival will be able to taste of range of delicacies and delights, such as Lángos, Kürtőskalács. Mititei and Gulyás, whilst admiring the array of arts and gifts stalls.  We are selecting some high quality market stall holders from around Europe, bringing a selection of unique offerings for everyone to try. 

Kürtőskalács – A type of chimney cake originating from Székelyland but also highly popular in Hungary.

Gulyás – A delicious Hungarian stew.

Lángos – Delicious fried dough served with toppings such as grated cheese, creme freche and garlic

Beat Bazaar Projects

Góbéfest is organised by Beat Bazaar Projects, led by cultural leader Ottilia Ördög.  Beat Bazaar Projects is a local not for profit creative and cultural organisation, that works in partnership with other local community organisations in Manchester, the UK and throughout Europe. Community members and young people are contributing to the Góbéfest preparations , eagerly looking forward to sharing their culture with the wider Manchester community. Festival volunteers and contributors come from diverse backgrounds, originating from around Europe, including Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, etc.


“Let’s explore the deeper meanings of diversity together”

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