Manchester gets a taste of the Transylvanian this month with the return of annual three-day festival Góbéfest. Back for a third outing at Albert Square from Friday 24th – Sunday 26th May, the free festival celebrates the arts, culture, food and drink of Transylvania and Eastern Europe. Thousands of revellers are expected to soak to the sights and sounds across the weekend, with dozens of artists on offer along with traditional food and drink stalls. Attendees can expect an eclectic range of live music spanning classical sounds, opera, Transylvanian Celtic punk rock, Hungarian speed folk, and gypsy jazz. A family activity tent will be hosting a range of arts and music workshops, along with enchanting puppet shows and folk dance demonstrations. We’ve picked out 5 highlights you won’t want to miss at the three-day festival…

// Ti Ti Ta Hungarian Folk Dance Group

Formed just down the M56 in Chester, the Ti-Ti-Ta Hungarian Folkdance Group was established in 2015 by a group of enthusiastic Hungarians. Performing all over Greater Manchester, their aim is to learn the traditional Hungarian folk dances and to proudly represent the Hungarian Culture and traditions. Ti-Ti-Ta performs authentic dance material, originating mostly from the present Hungarian regions but Transylvanian folk dances are also in their repertoire. Their dance teachers and choreographers are Viktoria Szűcs and Èvi Adonyi.

// Maros Ensemble

Established back in 1956, Maros Ensemble will perform on each day of the festival, cherishing the “rich traditions, customs, folk songs and dances inherited from their ancestors”. With this mission statement, the Ensemble presents traditional dances from East-Transilvanian villages inhabited by Romanians, Hungarians, Germans and Gypsies. Dressed in traditional costume, the ensemble have found fans for their melodic and energetic performances.

// Authentic Food Markets

High quality stalls will be open across the weekend, along with a food market offering authentic gourmet szekler street cuisine, including traditional Chimney Cake, Hungarian street food and deep fried speciality Lángos. Attendees can also get stuck into some authentic barbecue grills from Szeklerland, Pompás Mézes unique gingerbread and Székely Falat Szekler Bites.

// Mátyás Király Zither Orchestra Zither Workshop

One of Hungary’s most popular instruments, try your own hand at playing a Zither. This workshop is suitable for all age groups and is led by the fabulous Mátyás Király Zither Orchestra. Other workshops across the weekend include Hungarian wine tasting and educational puppet shows. The Mátyás Király Zither Ensemble will also be performing on Saturday afternoon.

// Bohemian Betyárs

Expect a dose of self-described “speed-folk freak-punk” from Bohemian Betyárs, with music blending punk, bouncing ska, swooping psychedelia, and melodic themes, all brought together in a sonic cocktail with Hungarian, Balkanic and Gipsy elements. Formed in 2009, the six-piece are a fiddler band with a purpose of spreading the feeling of bitter revelry.

Get a taste of what to expect with the playlist below, or listen on Spotify here.

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Góbéfest takes place from Friday 24th – Sunday 26th May 2019. Details are available here.

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