Festivals and events in Romania: what’s on the agenda this August and September

As summer draws to an end, the number of festivals and cultural events held in Bucharest is increasing although some opportunities are still available in the country. Below is a selection for the end of the season and the beginning of fall.

Smida Jazz Festival

August 17 – August 19, Smida, Belis, Cluj

This festival is focused on promoting contemporary jazz and novel approaches in jazz music. It takes place in the village of Smida, at the heart of the Apuseni Nature Park, a protected area that encompasses no less than 1,500 caves and several underground glaciers, such as the Scărișoara Glacier or the Live Fire Glacier. In addition to concerts, the public can attend yoga sessions, a treasure hunt, guided tours of the surroundings, public readings and various workshops. More here.

Awake Festival

August 17 – August 19, Teleki Estate, Gornesti, Mures

This year, the festival’s lineup includes names such as Morcheeba, Milky Chance, Wilkinson, The Subways, Fink, Subcarpați, Ivan & The Parazol, Mihail, and Fran Palermo. Among the local artists, Vita de Vie will perform alongside the Tîrgu Mureș State Philharmonic. Besides various workshops on topics as diverse as technology, nutrition or entrepreneurship, the festival will also host the TIFF Films Caravan, with a selection of the best Romanian shorts presented at the Transilvania International Film Festival. More here.

Undercloud Independent Theater Festival

August 22 – August 31, Bucharest

The festival has added two new sections this year, dedicated to dance and to performance. It will host over 35 events, and guests from Romania, England, China, France, Israel, Poland and Portugal. In addition to theater shows, the public can attend reading and dance performances, workshops, conferences and book launches. More on the program here.

Cerbul de Aur

August 29 – September 2, Brasov

Revived after a nine-year break, the event has a festival and a competition part. The lineup includes names such as James Blunt, Amy Macdonald, Nicole Scherzinger, Gigliola Cinquetti, Edvin Marton, and Eleni Foureira. More here.

George Enescu International Competition

September 1 – September 23, Bucharest

Young musicians from 39 countries are expected at the competition, which will open with the triple concerto written by Paul Constantinescu, at the Athenaeum in Bucharest. Violinist Ştefan Tarara, pianist Josu de Solaun and cellist Eun-Sun Hong, all of them previous winners of the George Enescu competition, will be performing. The program of the competition and the recitals it covers here.

Bucharest International Dance Film Festival

September 6 – September 9, Bucharest

The festival will open with the documentary feature film Dance by Steven Cantor, screened at Elvire Popesco cinema. The movie tells the story of Sergei Polunin, the youngest soloist of the Royal Ballet. More here.

Balkanik Festival

September 7 – September 9, Bucharest

World music takes center stage at this event, which brings to the Romanian capital artists such as Asaf Avidan, Yasmin Levy, Tirana Fanfare meets Transglobal Underground, Kroke, Light in Babylon, and Manonera. More here.

Película – Latin America Film & Experience

September 12 – September 16, Bucharest

The event combines film screenings with music, dance, photo exhibitions and food. This year’s focus country is Peru. For the first time, this year’s edition will have a competition section dedicated to films from Latin America. More here.

David Garrett concerts

September 13, 14, Bucharest

A second concert of the star violinist was added after the first one sold out but both had to be rescheduled because of the artist’s health problems. The violinist is known for his crossover performances, which brought him worldwide success, beginning with his 2006 album Virtuoso.

Martha Graham Dance Company performance

September 19, Bucharest

The performance of the famous American dance company is part of the JTI Encounters event. The show will include five choreographic performances, namely Dark Meadow, Ekstasis, Lamentation – Variations, Errand into the Maze, and Woodland. More here.

Outernational Days

September 19 – September 23, Bucharest

The music festival celebrates diversity, from electronic hybrids in Iran, Egypt and Lebanon to trans music in Mongolia or Indonesia. It covers live concerts, workshops, lectures and film screenings. More here.