Imagine yourself hosting a party at your home. You put on your best clothes, curate the perfect playlist and make sure your space is looking its best. Perhaps you add some decoration, some fairy lights, bunting and balloons. There are platters of tasty food to eat and the drinks will flow all night. You hope there will be some dancing. And as the guests start to arrive, excited for the celebrations, you feel that final ingredient fill the air – it’s the unmistakably party spirit – mixed out of all the groundwork you laid in place and the people who are there to enjoy it. It’s what makes the perfect party.
Festivals, like house parties, also need party spirit – the two-way process of a well-planned event and the enjoyment of all its guests. When a festival gets this right, it makes for something special. Some of my fondest memories are from festivals – the Edinburgh Fringe, Aarhus Festival, Glastonbury and Gracia – and now I have a new one to add to the mix – the wonderful Nights in Ljubljana Old Town.
Nights in Ljubljana Old Town is a three-day festival celebrating the city’s diverse music scene and all the cultures that play a part in it. It’s more civilized soiree than raucous house party, and is a joy to wander with a glass of wine in hand as you stumble across anything from experimental jazz by the riverside to the haunting sounds of a flautist playing in a candlelit alley. There are nine stages scattered around the winding streets of the city’s picturesque old town, which is perfectly crowned by a medieval castle upon the hilltop. The focus is primarily on music, but there are also performance art pieces and seminars during the day.
A highlight was the opening concert set in a square beneath the baroque town hall. It was a tour of the world’s music from didgeridoos to thumping African dance and a young group of classical violinsts. It set the scene perfectly for the next few nights – nights of music, wine and gelato.
As we spent the evenings wandering the streets and exploring the different music, I felt immersed in party spirit. The festival is outdoors so people gather in the streets, some watching the shows from vantage points in street cafes and restaurants. There was the buzz of cheer, goodwill and fun that goes with a successful party. Smiles were abound.
Party spirit is infectious – it warms the soul and shows you a good time. It’s not always around so when you find it, you drink it in, nourishing your enjoyment. It’s why I love festivals. They are places you go to celebrate – places where people have put in an effort to throw a party and spread festive cheer. Our trip to Nights in Ljubljana Old Town Festival was a perfect example of this – good music, good food, and good people – a little festival with a lot to give. Go there for a dose of party spirit.
Finding "The Greatest Party Of All Time' In Rotterdam
Raw Herring on Flag Day in the Netherlands