One of the most unusual festivals can be found in western Slovenia. Locals call the area Soca FestiValley due to the many festivals that take place in the summer months in the area.
One of the most unusual festivals is the Soca Outdoor Festival – a 2 day festival that took place for the second time in July 2014. It truly is a festival full of adventures and includes categories like a full and half outdoor marathon in the mountains, mountain biking and enduro race competition, a paragliding speed competition and much more. To get an impression of how adventurous this festival is, GoPro and Red Bull are two of the main sponsors of the event and they are very selective of what fits their brands and what not.
This year, the festival took place the second time and was a huge success. Participants are mainly from Slovenia but for being organized the second time this year, about 15 percent of the participants were foreigners mainly from Italy, Austria and also a few that made their way from a little bit further like Sweden and other countries. Moderation of all events unfortunately is in Slovenian, maybe this will change at some point. However, signs and registration process all over the festival is in Slovenian and English, making it a little bit easier for foreigners making their way through the festival!
The festival officially starts on Friday with a big party and famous local bands playing on a stage in Kobarid. Apparently some of the best and most known Slovenian pop bands played this year. On Saturday the day started early, the first competitions started at 7 AM and throughout the day several others took place.
For those that are not competing and just visiting the festival to watch or cheering for others, there are some site programs. There is an area just for kids so that the adults can do their own thing but you can also sign up for all kinds of workshops, classes or rent a kayak or SUP on your own and paddle down the river. There seems to be enough covered for everybody to have a good time, no matter if you actively attend or are just there as a spectator.
On Saturday evening, there was a big climbing competition in Koberid where women and men competed at a boulder wall against each other. Very spectacular to see such competition and see how the whole town is into this kind of sports!
On Sunday evening the festival ended with a big party right by the river. It seemed that most participants left early, probably because they had to show up at work the next morning but the organizers seemed to be relieved about a well organized festival and partied with a few locals until the morning!
Anybody who loves festivals that take you to the borders of your comfort zone while being in a beautiful surrounding will love Soca Outdoor Festvial in Tolmin and Kobarid in western Slovenia!