WHILE many theatres as well as the Slovak Philharmonic will go into hibernation over the summer for some time off, cultural life in the Slovak capital will simply move outside into the open air.
A host of outdoor activities, events, projects and festivals are planned for the summer months, with most of them organised as part of the Summer of Culture Festival Bratislava and Castle Festivities 2014. Lasting from mid June to mid September, the festival’s 39th year will offer some 3,000 artists from 32 countries in about 250 events.

The first events include laying the memorial tile on the Walk of Fame in front of the P.O. Hviezdoslav City Theatre, which this year commemorates Slovak actor Eva Krížiková. The ceremony on June 12 at 17:00 will be followed by a Móda v Meste (Fashion in the City) show on the Main Square at 20:00, bringing fashion closer to the people and all fans of inventive design.

In the follow-up event, graffiti and alternative music will be featured within the Bratislava Street Art Festival (between June 13 and 15), while those who prefer more classical genres can look forward to Musica Sacra, the festival of choir and sacral music taking place on June 12-15, presenting choirs from four countries.

And not forgetting about the youngest culture fans, the interactive-creative festival Kde Bolo, Tam Bolo (Once Upon a Time...) will offer workshops for children, who will also get to meet show business personalities on June 14-15.

The summer will see a slew of other music events, including the Viva Musica! Festival and the International Guitar Festival of J.K. Mertz in late June; the Slovak Folk festival of youth folklore troupes; the International Youth Music Festival; Festival Music Square, which features prominent foreign performers; the Cathedral Organ Festival, such as “the Pavarotti of organ-players” - France’s Olivier Latry; Music on the Danube, with performances onboard a ship; the Summer of Culture on Magio Beach; the Bratislava Cantat Festival, combining various choirs and orchestras; and Konvergencie, the September festival of chamber music. There will also be concerts in the roofed courtyard of the Slovak Philharmonic and in the Slovak National Gallery.

For fans of dance, The School Dance will offer a dance competition for children, in addition to the international open Irish dance competition Bratislava Feis in the Nivy Hotel on June 28-29. Sports fans may opt for Bratislava Inline Fridays and the Bratislava Downhill extreme cycling race. Other events include, for example, the Knights’ Camp - Knights’ Mounted Tournaments of historical fencing and martial arts at Devín Castle, and screenings of art films and travel documentaries.

Offering a taste of the multiculturalism, this summer will also bring the Medzinárodná (International) Bratislava cultural series represented by various embassies and cultural institutes, including a concert by Italian Roberto Cacciapaglia, Japanese events, Balkan Strings, Čači Vorba, Fetén-fetén, the festival march of the US Ceremonial Band and the French celebration of the conquest of the Bastille. The World Roma Festival will present Roma music and musicians from Slovakia and Romania, while the Minority Cultural Summer will feature the cultures of all minorities living in Slovakia.

The Socha a Objekt (Sculpture and Object) series will present sculpting art in outdoor venues of the capital, while the Dni Majstrov (Days of Masters) in early September will offer an overview of traditional and modern crafts and folk art.

The official opening of the Summer of Culture Bratislava is a performance of Midsummer Nights’ Dream on June 21, the famous Shakespearian story as re-told by composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, combing music and drama. The event that also opens the Viva Musica! festival begins at 20:30 on the Main Square and is free.

More detailed information can be found on the website of the organising Bratislava Cultural and Information Centre, bkis.sk. The Slovak Spectator will also provide more information about some selected projects and events later.