The summer is over but the autumn season just started in a fancy way with a number of exciting festivals and cultural events in Bratislava. The autumn programme in our city is vibrant and brings a mixture of music, culture, theater, film art and gastronomy. This is our autumn festival guide to help you get oriented in the number of upcoming events.
Hummel Fest 11.8. – 9.12.
The Hummel Fest 2018 is an idea of Krisztina Gyöpös dedicated to the remembrance of a unique composer and a symbol of Bratislava – J. N. Hummel. Through his activities in several European cities he created bridges between the European nations. This festival offers young composers a unique opportunity to make their work public. FREE entry.
Where: Primaciálny Palác, Hlavné námestie, Faustova sieň, Univerzitná knižnica Bratislava- Seminárna sála, Mirbachov palác, Koncertná sieň Klarisky, Múzeum J. N. Hummela
Wine-making Festivals 7.9. – 30.9.
Wine-making festivals, also known as vintage festivals, are traditional events celebrating wine and wine making and often include a demonstration of grape processing, pressing and tasting. They are connected with the period between harvesting the fields and autumn planting – usually held in September. In regions with vineyards, they used to be some of the biggest holidays of the year – especially when the wine harvest was particularly good. These events (in Slovak called “vinobranie”) have continued until now in the streets of Bratislava as well as its outskirts – with a wide range of gastronomic delicacies and a rich cultural programme.
Where: various locations in the city center as well as in the outskirts
Dates: 7.9. – 30.9.
Convergences 17.9. – 23.9.
For more than two decades the international chamber music festival Convergences has been a synonym for a unique experience, inspiring meetings and friendly informal atmosphere. This year the festival brings the famous and lesser-known pieces by Beethoven, Schönberg, Respighi, Tschaikowski, Dvořák and by the most significant Slovak romantic Ján Levoslav Bella. In addition to the renowned Slovak musicians (Milan Paľa, Marián Svetlík, Martin Ruman, Branislav Dugovič, Jozef Lupták) we can look forward to the performance of Robert Cohen – one of greatest cellists of the second half of the 20th century. You can also look forward to the excellent violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez, Professor at the London Royal Academy of Music. In addition to chamber programmes, three surprising projects will be introduced: Iva Bittová sings songs by Marián Varga and Luciano Berio, the Ensemble Oni Wytars performs temperamental Italian renaissance love songs and the Barokksolistene of the Norwegian violinist Bjarte Eike carry the listeners into the English taverns and pubs of the 17th century. Full programme.
Where: Great Lutheran Church, Nova Cvernovka, Klarisky, Design Factory
The Beer Saloon 19.9. – 21.9.
The Beer Saloon (Salon Piva) is a special degustating Craft Beer Festival which will take place in the Old Market Hall in Bratislava. Traditionally, you may look forward to fantastic atmosphere, great amount of small breweries (80 in the year 2017) and their beers (cca 400 different kinds of beer in the year 2017), tasting from special glasses and discussion with its makers, possibly distributors. Each brewery will introduce at least one of its new beers that you’ve not had an opportunity to taste in Slovakia yet. About 100 of these different beers were to taste at this festival last year. During the festival there will be a well-known Street Food Park happening on the square right before the Old Market Hall, which is known for tasty street food and great atmosphere.
Where: Old Market Hall
Festival Nasuti 21.9. – 22.9.
The two-day festival will take place at the premises of Nová Cvernovka. The program will consist of artistic outputs (installations, talks, performances) and educational part (lectures, discussions, workshops, close-reading groups etc.). It will also create a platform for individual presentations of NGOs, initiatives and creative individuals operating in the art, culture, ecology and sustainability.
The festival aims to raise public awareness of the waste management problem (in general) through attractive art and educational program. The goal is to help raise funds for a very specific cause: to solve the waste crisis of our creative and cultural centre Nová Cvernovka.
Artists are invited to work with (or on) the pile of debris. The construction waste, which currently has no purpose, will serve as an art material for objects, sculptures or installations, environments or performance scenes. Accompanying program will consist of talks, workshops and debates on the topics of environmental sustainability, waste management , art, aesthetics and ecology.
Where: Nova Cvernovka
Coffee Market at Freshmarket 21.9. – 22.9.
4th edition of the coffee market at Freshmarket will introduce you to the Slovak coffee roasteries and people from the coffee industry. Try an espresso, cappucino, filtered coffee, coldbrew or a coffee cheesecake. Free entry.
Autumn Kapitulska Courtyards 22.9.
This autumn event takes place at the Kapitulska Street and related courtyards, Baxova Tower, Albrecht House, city walls and at the Zidovska Street. You can look forward to the market and live music by Music Park and Longital, theater ZkuFra, magician Ivan, Storytelling, discussions and lectures. The Albrecht House will be made accessible to the public with a lecture on the object’s history and about the family that used to own this house. The city walls will host the military camp with the presentation of weapons and a fencing show.
Where: Kapitulska Street, Zidovska Street, city walls
Antiques Market at Cerveny Kamen Castle 22.9.
A traditional market at one of the most beautiful castles around Bratislava. Come and choose your antique piece.
Where: Cerveny Kamen, Casta
Festival Ochotníci 28.9. – 30.9.
The festival offers the best of the amateur theaters from Slovakia. It takes place in the premises of A4 Club in Bratislava. During the three days you get to see the five best performances created in the past season and a Bratislava premiere of Daxner from Tisovec. Recommended only if you understand Slovak language.
Burger Festival 28.9. – 30.9.
Burger Festival for the first time in Slovakia! Three days of burger craziness will take place at the square next to the Eurovea Shopping Centre. You can look forward to more than 30 burger specialists, a beer stage, good coffee and sweets. Even vegetarians will be catered for. There are many competitions and accompanying events taking place like making your own burger, voting for the best burger place or taking a photo in the photo corner.
Where: Eurovea shopping centre
Ultimate Freedom Yoga Festival 28.9. – 30.9.
This is a three-day International Yoga Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia. On 4 stages, 16 yogis and teachers all the way from Canada to Thailand come to teach and share their knowledge of Yoga, Massages, Tantra and Indian philosophy. Suitable for all levels.
Where: Nova Cvernovka
White Night 29.9.
White night is a prestigious international art project that aims to introduce contemporary art forms and reveal less known places of Bratislava and Kosice to the wider public. The visitors will see new artistic expositions from around the world including an unforgettable artwork Submerge by the international artistic group Squidsoup. The programme is very rich and organizers recommend to study it in advance.
Where: two festival tracks (water and historical) within Bratislava city
Cabbage Days 5.10. – 7.10.
Dni Zela or Cabbage Days are traditionally organized the first October weekend in Stupava. This festival preserves the tradition of the cabbage growing in the Zahorie region and presents works of local craftsmen. This year, the 22nd edition will be as usually accompanied by the Craftsmen market and the exhibition Harvest.
Dates: 5.-7. 10.
Apple Festival 6.10.
The apple fest revives the tradition of apple-growing and celebrates this tasty local fruit and the goods you can make by using it, such as sweet or salty cakes, non-traditional soups or ciders. The visitors will be able to taste freshly collected apples from the local growers. This festival has a tradition since 2008 and started in Modra.
Where: Modra, Senec, Pezinok, Limbach, Svaty Jur, Dunajska Luzna, Jablonove, Bratislava (Raca, Petrzalka, Vajnory, Nove Mesto, Devinska Nova Ves, Freshmarket)
Battle of Bratislava 6.10.
The Garden of Janko Kral will host the 4th edition of the cultural-historical festival Battle of Bratislava. The main event will be the reenactment of the military clash/besiegement from the first half of the 17th century set in the surroundings of the historical Hungary.
Where: Garden of Janko Kral
October Flea Market 6.10.
37th edition of the popular flea market Burzoblsak takes place at Drienova 16. You will find clothes, handmade products, vinyl records, books, paintings, antiques and various objects discovered in the attic here. Free entry.
Where: Drienova 16
Bratislava in Movement 6.10. – 22.10.
This international festival of contemporary dance offers many events and a wide range of contemporary dance from around the world. The Bratislava in Movement Festival was established in 1997 and shaped by a community of dancers and teachers from the Contemporary Dance Association founded in 1996. The festival systematically presents the work by Slovak choreographers and aims at showing their creations in international context. The selection is obviously personal and based on experience and taste, but on the other hand driven by an effort at objectivity, i. e. presenting latest trends.
Where: various places
Dates: 6.10. – 22.10.
One World Festival 11.10. – 16.10.
Join the 18th international documentary film festival One World that is the only cultural and educational event in Slovakia that deals with human rights and global issues in their complexity. Each year, it presents around 60 documentaries of mostly foreign origin, discussions on current issues, photo exhibitions and concerts. This year’s edition is called SHUT UP!. It reminds us of those who are silenced by the powerful ones and the importance of not staying silent. Full programme.
Where: Kino Lumiere, Kino Mladost, KC Dunaj, VSMU, Dom Quo Vadis, Univerzitna kniznica, Komunitne centrum Mareena
Sustainability Festival Pomalo 14.10.
The pilot edition of the festival Pomalo will bring inspirational lectures and workshops about slow fashion, zero waste, ethical fashion, sustainable design and fair trade. You can also look forward to the SWAP event – mutual clothes swapping.
Where: Old Market Hall
Fashion LIVE! 17.10. – 19.10.
Fashion LIVE! Is a fashion event and its 6th edition will bring the best from the Slovak and foreign fashion industry to Bratislava. More info coming soon.
Where: Old Market Hall
Bratislava Jazz Days 19.10. – 21.10., 28.10.
This jazz festival has a long tradition in Bratislava and every year it brings together high quality artists from all around the world. The headliners of the 44th edition will be famous jazz names like Jamison Ross, Kennedy Administration or The Manhattan Transfer. The concerts take place in Incheba Bratislava and Atelier Babylon. Check the full programme in English here. The festival lasts for three days but offers a special bonus concert of John Scofield Combo 66 one week after the festival.
Where: Incheba Bratislava, Atelier Babylon
Dates: 19-21.10. , 28.10.
Synthfest Slovakia 20.10.
This is the first, unique all night festival for all producers of Slovak electronic synthesizer music with the complete showcase of the Slovak electronic synthesiser music from the 80’s until present. It will present 29 Slovak bands and projects associated with the SYNTH SLOVAKIA community.
Where: Atelier Babylon
Autumn picnic 20.10.-21.10.
The Autumn Picnic in Bratislava is the event about food, drinks, good vibes and music. Among the street food options, you will also find a wide selection of snacks, vegetarians and gluten-free food.
Where: Tyrsovo nabrezie (Danube embankment)
Dates: 20.10. – 21.10.
Hvalur Festival 24.10. – 25.10.
Hvalur means “whale” in the icelandic language. This is the first Festival of Icelandic Music in Slovakia. The interest of the organizers is to create a stronger community between Slovakia and Iceland that involves artistic and cultural exchange. The name of this Festival tells the story of a “whale” and a “whale song”, the strongest voice in the ocean, a beautiful voice that has the power to communicate thousands of miles away. It shows us that distance does not matter in the realm of music. In addition, this enchanting whale song is the synonym for the uniqueness, natural beauty, identity, strength, and togetherness of a collective. The festival takes place in Atelier Babylon and during the two days, you can listen to six concerts performed by diverse Icelandic bands including Hugar, CeaseTone, Sunna Fridjons, Kælan Mikla, Sykur and Magnús Jóhann.
Where: Atelier Babylon
Halloween parties 25.10. – 2.11.
Spending the days around Halloween in Bratislava? Then have a terrific, terrifying time with this pick of the best thematic parties in our capital! And if one night of scaring yourself silly isn’t enough, you can join Halloween parties on different days – get inspired here!
Bratislava Mozart Festival 26.10., 28.10., 11.11.
The unforgettable concerts will take place at beautiful locations in Bratislava. Detailed programme can be found here.
Where: St. Martin’s Cathedral, Primate’s Palace
Dates: 26.10., 28.10., 11.11.
November, month of photography 1.11. – 30.11.
The tradition of dedicating November to photography started more than 20 years ago in Bratislava. It is actually the 28th year now and this event belongs to some of the most significant events of its kind. Why should you be interested in something like this? In short, you have a chance to see around 30 exhibitions spread around Bratislava’s galleries and museums – most of them have free entry! You can also get a festival pass for a symbolic amount which is valid to the rest of the places.
Where: various places
Ars Poetica 13.11. – 23.11.
Ars poetica, true to its name, focuses on propagation, cultivation and the development of poetry and understands poetry as an eternally young medium, which helps the past to meet the future, where geniuses of the past meet the citizens of presence as well as the yet unborn children of the future. Ars Poetica is an annual, internationally renowned festival of poetry which inspires the debate on contemporary poetry not only in Slovakia, but in broader, international context.
MORE IDEAS FOR THE AUTUMN SEASON
When autumn starts, Slovakia wakes up to live through the tradition of famous duck and goose festivities. This over 100-year old tradition is famous, especially in small villages like Slovensky Grob or Chorvatsky Grob or other places around the Little Carpathians wine path. Pick a place you like and book an unforgettable goose dinner:)
The theater summer break is over and you can again look forward to the numerous opera and ballet productions by the Slovak National Theater. Full programme.
Autumn is also perfect for classical music and the Slovak Philharmonic is a great option with a tradition since 1949. If you like the combination of a historical building and classical music, this is the right place for you. Full programme.
NOTE: The featured pictures come from the official websites and Facebook pages of the mentioned events.
Author: Zuzana Mytna