THE FESTIVAL IN THE UNDERGROUND CULTURE CAPITAL OF EUROPE
FESTIVAL LENT IN NUMBERS
Maribor, "Festival Lent". The greatest event of the city.
Once again, the festival giant included hundreds of hard-working employees of all ages that had worked around the clock in order to please the visitors.
With the festival slowly coming to an end, Narodni dom employees, students, volunteers and other staff members, that made the festival as successful as it was, will also be able to take a break. Although all festival visitors notice a number of people who keep the festival going and ensure everything is running smoothly, only a few realize what actually happens backstage. Allow us to introduce the true dimensions of Festival Lent.
This year's festival boasted with over 500 performances and a total of almost 1,000 different events, visited by over half a million people. More than 58 venues hosted over 10,000 performers from 37 different countries. This year, the staff included 687 employees and 81 technicians that made sure everything was well organized. Lets not forget the security guards that made Maribor's largest festival a safe place. This year, their staff included 48 students and 35 security guards.
The success of the festival is connected to the broad media coverage by home and foreign media that aired the latest festival news on television, radio, internet and newspapers and thus provided the visitors with up-to-date information. this year, this was carried out by 234 journalists of 86 media from 7 different countries. During the festival, there were 1032 posts connected to the festival.
With such a large number of participants, the happiness and a sense of pride is that much bigger when the festival is successful. Therefore, the last day of the festival was not only a big night for the visitors, but also fort he organizers, who celebrated the end of a successful festival and the beginning of summer.
Next: 20.6. till 5.7.2015
The culinary experience of the Festival
Excellent, fantastic, divinely are the most common words describing this year’s Sladolent which turns each night on Lent into a very tasty experience. The best chefs successfully brought a part of our homeland onto the plates and convinced everyone, who loves good food, that Slovenian cuisine is rich and that the modern cooking generations are creative and inventive. If the term “street food” was not frequently used before, it will obviously become an important part of the future local culinary offering. Under the roof of Sladolent many famous names swung their wooden spoons: Janez Bratovž, David Vračko, Tomaž Kavčič and Bine Volčič, and also a number of less known chefs who proudly (and successfully) represented the best restaurants from all over Slovenia.
Each chef tackles this kind of challenge in his/her own way. Some cook with seasonal food, some focus on a geographical region, and others take everyday dishes and turn them into something completely different. "We started with a wish to play with the concept of street food – the main course was a slice of pizza or, how we call it, “Pizza Cut” that is cut with scissors into small, tasty slices suitable for the ambient of the Festival. And for dessert we offered a “no milk shake”, a refreshing milky drink without milk, but with a lot of fresh fruit,” explained Igor Peresson from restaurant Etna from Divača during his the first time on Sladolent.
Ksenija Mahorčič (Restaurant Mahorčič), a more experienced “performer” on Sladolent used the festival atmosphere a bit different: “On Sladolent we try to improve the quality of street food and take the daily street food onto a new level. Personally, I focus on the presentation of the region when choosing the ingredients and dishes – in my case this is Karst and my approach is adjusted to this region.”The gourmets were offered a unique Chicken in corn and an herbal Schmarrn with ice cream made of Karstic goat milk, honey and elder. And how about the feedback?"Each year we get to know more new faces and this year the visitors are interested in the individual ingredients, preparation and recipes. We - the cooks - have always tried to make the people aware of what they are eating, where it is coming from and how it is prepared and this is why I am very happy about this kind of reactions.”
Like the whole festival, Sladolent will soon be closing its tents for this year and is kindly inviting everyone who has not yet tasted its delicacies (and, of course, those who have and are gladly returning) to come and do so during the last evenings of culinary delights. Today one of the best Slovenian female chefs, Ana Roš, is taking over and offering a creative combination of "Mychicken" and "Pizza&Bear", and she will be accompanied with Damjan Fink from Gostilna na gradu from Ljubljana andMarko Pavčnik, chef at the Tabor castle close to Laško. You are very welcome to try the culinary side of the biggest festival in Maribor.
Established in 1993, the international Lent Festival is among the largest open-air festivals in Europe and the most massive festival of its kind in Slovenia. Each year it presents around 300 diverse cultural performances and events on different stages, including various styles of popular music, opera, rock, ballet, jazz, classical music, street theatre, chanson, folklore and revivalist folk, theatre, busking music, events for children, dance performances and musicals, workshops for children and also sport events. The festival is a cacophony of sounds and quantity, easy going festivities and smoky barbecues, but also an occasion for quality performances at more hidden intimate venues.
Lent Festival regularly attracts around 500,000 spectators, dispersed during the 3-week-long event at over 23 venues, improvised stages and re-purposed old spaces along the banks of the Drava River. The Festival is a member of the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) and the Association of Slovene Festivals (SloFA)