Despite battling Covid restrictions and Brexit chaos, Transylvanian festival Góbéfest returns this Friday 3 September, with a new home of Cathedral Gardens.

One of the city’s most eclectic musical events, the free three day long bonanza features everything from Hungarian, Balkan and Irish folk, through to klezmer, ska, jazz, Romani music, classical, operetta and opera.

Friday’s line up includes include multi-instrumentalists Folktone band, who between them play violin, kontra, viola double bass, beaten gardon, dulcimer, kobza, drums, jaw harp and clarinet, Michael Cretu Trio and Slovakian indie/folk band Jóvilágva.

Saturday sees Ríoghnach Connolly and Ellis Davies (Honeyfeet) headline, supported by Ildiko Csige & Michael Billington and Yek Duy amongst others. And on Sunday, Manchester International Roots Orchestra will perform.

The Hungarian Choir of Great Britain, which began online in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, will make their debut performance at the festival, taking to the stage on both Friday and Saturday. An outreach project initiated by Góbéfest, the choir features singers from all over the UK.

For the first time, the festival is welcoming Teqball, a new Hungarian sport which sees a football kicked or headed across a curved table tennis table. Played as singles or doubles, festival goers will see expert demonstrations and be able to have a go for themselves.

Refreshments will be provided by a number of independent food and drink traders, offering favourites from around the Carpathian Basin, including barbecued chimney cakes from Chimney Cake Paradise, langos (deep fried flatbreads topped with creme fraiche and cheese) stuffed cabbage and gulyás soup from Langos Factory, Transylvanian bbq and street food from festival regulars Szekely Csarda and Pompas Mezes Hungarian honey bread. Beer is by Transylvanian artisan brewer Csiki Sor and a Szicsek palinka bar will provide traditional fruit spirits with no added sugar, up to 50 percent proof.

Family friendly activities running throughout the weekend include folk dance sessions, a Hungarian arts and crafts tent and a zither workshop.

A Kodály method music workshop is suitable for ages 2+ and a Ringato baby music session can be enjoyed by even younger children.

Góbéfest was established in 2017 to celebrate the little-known culture and traditions of the Székler people – a minority group of ethnic Hungarians living in Transylvania, which is part of Romania.

A Góbé is a friendly word for a ‘crafty Székely’.

Góbéfest, Cathedral Gardens M4 3BG, Friday 3-Sunday 5 September 11am-11pm Free


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