Being on the border between Europe and Asia, Bulgaria is a land, famous, among other things, for its amazing geographical location. Maybe this is the reason behind the mixed characteristics of Bulgarians – both warm and reserved, care-free and down-to-earth. One can never be sure about those things. One thing is certain though – the unique geographical location is a precondition for the beauty and diversity of its nature. The organizers of the Perelik World Music and Jazz Festival, “The Sound of Silence”, were probably inspired by the same fact and wanted their guests to befriend nature:
This festival is the embodiment of our understanding that in our life, we need spiritual supports, respect for nature and ecological lifestyle. It is a unique event in Bulgaria, the only one at an altitude of 2091 m, staged in a spot of magical beauty in the heart of a region famous for its ancient traditions, specific lifestyle and unique culture. Our ambition is to make it not only one of the numerous cultural events, but also to create its image as a place for communication between nature, art and spirituality.
The first edition of the festival was in 2006, so it has been around for 14 years. Because of its success, it has turned into an annual event. The name "Perelik" comes from an old Bulgarian word for "mountain" and is also the current name of a mountain peak near which the festival stage is built. The event takes place under the stars, in the heart of Rodopa Mountain, at 2091 m of altitude (Perelik peak has an altitude of 2191 meters). It is not far from the town of Smolyan in southern Bulgaria and could be reached by car. There also are buses from Smolyan to the place of the festival. It only lasts one day – the last Saturday of July. The stage is made out of degradable, eco-materials, such as thatch, straw and stones, so this annual gathering of thousands of people is in no way harmful to the nature. Moreover, after the end of the festival, the thatch and the straw are used to fertilize the land.
Musicians from all over the world, together with local ones, take part in this event. Every year, special culinary surprises and different workshops are included in the festival program. Apart from the local and foreign visitors, official guests of the festival are diplomats and ambassadors of different countries, who reside in Bulgaria and have fallen in love with its nature and culture. There is no entrance fee, so visiting the festival is affordable for any fan of jazz music. Around the area where the stage is built, there are places to park or put up a tent. The concert starts at around 8 pm. You can get more information about the program as well as the transport to and from the festival location on the official website of the Sound of Silence Festival.
Maybe by now, you are asking yourself “Why is this event called a festival, since it only lasts for one night?”. The answer is simple - the limited time means that the content (music) is very carefully chosen and that the program only includes the very best of local and world music. The message conveyed through the Perelik World Music and Jazz festival is clear, too. An event that has thousands of visitors every year inevitably draws all those visitors` attention to the fact that it is important to befriend and care for the nature around us.
Cover photo © credits to Facebook.com/perelikecojazzfestival
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