OPEN BUZLUDZHA 2024

by Anthony Georgieff; photography by Eliza Kesedzhiyan, Aaron Tylor and Anthony Georgieff

Contemporary festival brings light to Communist ruin

 open buzludzha festival 2.jpg

The fourth iteration of the OPEN BUZLUDZHA festival is scheduled to kick off on 8 August and will last for three nights/four days. A plethora of local and international club scene bands will converge on the lawn beneath the controversial former Communist Party House Monument on Mount Buzludzha, informally referred to as the UFO. These include Wickeda, Hayes & Y, Kerana and the Cosmonauts, Two Cities One World, Funkilicious, Heptagram and others. Thousands of Bulgarians will be joined by an international crowd for the festival that in 2024 has a motto: Memories from the Future.

Some of the non-musical activities include Mission Buzludzha, Message in a Bottle, Theatre of the Future, Uncomfortable Questions, and Buzludzha CoolTour.

The festival is the brainchild of Dora Ivanova, the young German-educated architect, who has been causing ripples in this country's cultural and political landscape during the past few years as she has taken upon herself to render the crumbling former Communist Party monument safe and open for visitors. Dora Ivanova's foundation has received support from the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles and from a variety of international institutions aiming to preserve endangered and controversial architectural legacy through Europe. Having invested about a million leva so far and having employed hundreds of volunteers, the Buzludzha Project has now stalled, owing to the intransigence of the Stara Zagora regional governor who has declared the building "unsafe." At present, entry into the cavernous construction continues to be banned.

For a full interview with Dora Ivanova, please wait until next month's issue of Vagabond, Bulgaria's English Magazine. For the time being, book your tickets for the Open Buzludzha 2024 here

Accommodation and camping details can be seen here

Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the continued effort to preserve the Buzludzha UFO and make it accessible to everyone.

  • COMMENTING RULES

    Commenting on www.vagabond.bg

    Vagabond Media Ltd requires you to submit a valid email to comment on www.vagabond.bg to secure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Learn more on how the company manages your personal information on our Privacy Policy. By filling the comment form you declare that you will not use www.vagabond.bg for the purpose of violating the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria. When commenting on www.vagabond.bg please observe some simple rules. You must avoid sexually explicit language and racist, vulgar, religiously intolerant or obscene comments aiming to insult Vagabond Media Ltd, other companies, countries, nationalities, confessions or authors of postings and/or other comments. Do not post spam. Write in English. Unsolicited commercial messages, obscene postings and personal attacks will be removed without notice. The comments will be moderated and may take some time to appear on www.vagabond.bg.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Discover More

IS RACISM IN BULGARIA ON THE RISE?
"We are fascists, we burn Arabs": the youngsters start chanting as soon as they emerge from the metro station and leave the perimeter of its security cameras.

TRAINING BULGARIA'S YOUTH HOW TO DEBATE
Оne of the (many) notable things Marcus Tullius Cicero said over 20 centuries ago is that "to live is to think" – and if we are not ashamed of what we think we should not be ashamed to voice it.

BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM AND ITS BULGARIAN CONNECTION
Where are the Bulgarian Oscars? For years this question – coupled with the notable lack of a Bulgarian Nobel Prize winner in anything – has troubled the Bulgarians, perhaps bespeaking a very deeply ingrained cultural inferiority complex.

ANGRY SOFIANITES
From job opportunities to entertainment options: living in Sofia, Bulgaria's largest city, has its perks. It also has its downsides.

IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
"Dimitrina?" I have not heard from her for more than a month, which is unusual. "Почина." "Po-chi-na?" I type the word phonetically in an online translation tool. "What?" "Почина. Me, Dimitrina sister. Bye."
ARRIVAL CITY
As an airplane is swooping over a field beside Sofia Airport, two horses and a donkey do not look up, but keep grazing among the rubbish. Shacks made of bricks, corrugated iron and wood encroach upon the field.

AMERICA FOR BULGARIA FOUNDATION CELEBRATES BULGARIAN SUPERHEROES
Everyday Superheroes was the main theme of the event, celebrating the efforts and the energy of ordinary Bulgarians who work in spite of the difficulties and the hardships to make Bulgaria a better place.

TRADITIONAL MUSIC AND DANCE
As you hold this book in your hands, a Bulgarian song travels in outer space. The song in question is "Izlel e Delyu Haidutin," a traditional Rhodope tune sung by Valya Balkanska.

WHEN A ROSE IS NOT EXACTLY A ROSE
Attar-bearing roses and beautiful girls in traditional attire picking them dominate the images that Bulgaria uses to sell itself to both Bulgarian and international tourists.

DECIPHERING BISHOP'S BASILICA OF PHILIPPOPOLIS
This May, for two days, historians, archaeologists, restorers and experts in other fields shared their findings and ideas about the Bishop's Basilica of Philippopolis at a scientific conference in Plovdiv.

VERY SUPERSTITIOUS
Once you start paying attention to Bulgarians, you will observe some inexplicable actions. Dozens of men and women wear red thread around their wrists. An old woman cuddles a baby, and then spits at it.

FOR A COUPLE OF LIONS' HIDES
Under GERB, Bulgaria's public has become accustomed to scandals of various magnitude that come and go about every second day, sometimes several times a day.