The Bansko Jazz Festival is a free festival held in the mountain town of Bansko Bulgaria, since 1988. Bansko’s Jazz Festival is always held at the beginning of August, with headline acts from around the world as well as local bands, singers and performers.
In 2019 the dates for Jazz Fest Bansko are from August 6th to August 10th 2019.
There are bands and performers from Bulgaria, Turkey, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, France, Italy, the UK, Greece and the USA. You’ll get to hear Big Band music, Dixieland Jazz, Blues and a whole lot more.
Bansko Jazz Festival Dates 2019
The Bansko jazz Festival 2019 starts on August 6th at 7 pm and runs until August 10th. Most performances run until around 2300, or midnight, but you can also find midnight Jazz that goes until 230am.
The Bansko Jazz festival is just one of the free festivals organized and held over the spring, summer and autumn – you can find out more about Bansko activities here.
This is Bansko, a ski town in summer and she’s beautiful. There are a lot of Bansko summer activities apart from just the festivals.
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History of the Bansko Jazz Festival
The Bansko Jazz Festival began in 1998 and has always run at the beginning of August (so you can book your visit for next year already!). The brainchild of a local doctor, Dr Emil Iliev, the festival has always been an international affair and it’s always been an eclectic mix of jazz styles. Here you’ll find swing, blues, be-bop, Dixieland jazz, boogie, there are violins, double bass and pianos on stage.
The Bansko Jazz Festival Stage – Map of Bansko Jazz Festival
The stage is in Bansko’s main town square, the Nikola Vaptazarov Square, an open, paved area, with grassy spots surrounded by laidback restaurants and cafes. Seating is on long rows of wooden benches, which also make an appearance at Bansko’s other festivals and open air events over the summer. Or you can sit on the grass, stand at the pop up food and drink areas or wile away the evening in one of the cafes and restaurants.
Bansko Jazz Festival Cost
The festival is free, apart from the VIP tickets. You can pay for a ticket to sit in the VIP area, or, like most folks, enjoy the music and vibe from different vantage points throughout the evening. In 2019 there is a large VIP area roped off, but still plenty of seating, or bring a camping chair and claim space.
A ticket for the front VIP area costs 100 leva for the full festival, or you can buy daily tickets for 20 leva each.. Tickets can be bought from the reception Kiosk area or the Bansko Municipality. Some hotels will also provide them to their guests on request. If it rains, then the proceedings move indoors and there’s a 20 leva fee.
Food and Drink at Bansko Jazz Festival
There are several refreshment stalls – where you can imbibe a large cold beer for 3 leva or decent Bulgarian wine for 7 leva. There’s bottled beer and wine too. If you don’t want to sit down at one of the local restaurants or cafés, then there are snack stalls too.
Chips, meatballs, sausages, huge slices of pizza, crepes, ice cream, popcorn and candy floss sit alongside the usual market stalls of hot corn on the cob.
If you’d like to find out more about the Bansko Must Eats – a list of great Bulgarian Food that you MUST try – then take a look.
The Bansko Jazz Festival Program 2019
The Bansko Jazz Festival has key features and types of performances each year.
You’ll find standard jazz, bebop, blues, swing, Dixieland, boogie-woogies. The festival is traditionally opened by the Big Band of Bulgarian National Radio with conductor Yanko Miladinov.
The program begins at 7 pm each night. Each performance lasts around 90 minutes and there are three or four performers each night. If that’s not enough for you, then there’s also Jazz at Midnight in three of the town’s hotels too.
Bansko Jazz at Midnight
The festival continues at three venues throughout the town from 23:30 until 02:30 if you’re in need of a little more music.
The Piano Bar at the Hotel Perun Lodge
Christina Kirova quintet:
- Christina Kirova – vocals
- Angel Nikolov – piano
- Alexander Vasev – keyboards
- Stefan Vrachev – bass
- Isaac Benbassat – drums.
The Piano Bar at the Kempinski Grand Arena Hotel
Maggie Alexieva “MEY” & Lolas quartet:
- Maggie Alexieva “MAY” – vocals
- Ljubo Tzanev – piano
- Radoslav Slavchev – bass
- Bogomil Enchev – drums
The Grand Hotel
Michael Yosifov Quartet
- Mihail Yosifov – trumpet
- Milen Kukosharov – piano
- Dimitar Karanfilov – bass
- Atanas Popov – drums
You’ve still got time to get here for the 2019 Bansko Jazz Festival, so come on and join in, it’s a fabulous family atmosphere and some great music.
Plus there’s a workshop for 2019 Jazz Festival Bansko
Additionally, for 2019, there’s a free Afro-Brazilian Percussion workshop on the 9th August at 1400 in the Nikola Vaptsarov Hall in Bansko
Claudio Kron of Brasil will lead a workshop, using authentic instruments, where you can get involved in a performance similar to that use by percussion groups in the Rio Carnaval! No experience is necessary!
Bansko Jazz Festival 2020
The Bansko Jazz Festival 2020 begins in early August! Be sure to get yourself there!
Read More About Bansko
Where is Bansko
Situated at the foot of the Pirin mountains, Bansko is well known as Bulgaria’s biggest ski resort. The town is around 2 hour drive from Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia. It can also be reached in around 2.5 hours from Plovdiv.
How to get to Bansko
Bansko is easily reached from the capital city of Sofia – find out how in our guide to getting from Sofia to Bansko. It’s also easy to get here from Bulgaria’s second city, the train journey from Plovdiv to Bansko is fabulous.
Where to stay in Bansko
Here are our recommendations for where to stay in Bansko.
Momini Dvori Boutique Hotel
2 Nikola Vaptsarov Sq., 2770 Bansko, Bulgaria
Fabulous location off a side street in old town Bansko, this family run boutique hotel provides free shuttles to the gondola ski lift during the ski season and is charmingly located in the old town area.
- Large private bathrooms with robes and slippers
- Free sauna
- Fabulous Bulgarian and international food at the tavern with terrace
Book a room in the old town now! Rooms here aren’t often available!
Boutique Hotel Uniqato
119 Pirin Str, 2770 Bansko, Bulgaria
Balconies with town or mountain views and free parking at the hotel. This is a great location located very close to the gondola ski lift.
- Private bathrooms
- Flat screen TV
- Free wifi
- Great Victoria Italian restaurant attached to the hotel
- Free steam bath and sauna
- Private underground parking
Great location – fabulous books – reserve yours now!
Guest House Hayloft
4 Mingyo Todev Str., 2770 Bansko, Bulgaria
One of the best places to eat and stay in Bansko. A superb family run traditional tavern and guest house, rooms have free Wi-Fi and satellite TV. Next to Pirin Street, with pubs and restaurants, but off the main track.
- Rooms all have hardwood floors & wooden furniture
- Private bathrooms with hair dryers and free toiletries
- Incredible hosts with amazing food and hospitality
Amazing hospitality and lovely rooms – book yours now!
Other Resources About Bankso
- What to do in Bansko in the Summer Season
- What to Eat in Bansko
- Get out into the mountains with a Buggy Tour in Bansko
- Bansko Tourist Information
- Find out how to get from Sofia to Bansko
- Our guide on how to get from Plovdiv to Bansko
- An excellent trip out for a good cause – the Dancing Bears Park in Belitsa
- Take a ride on the highest railway in the Balkans – from Bansko to Septemvri!