IFEA 2013 in review: Lent Festival in Maribor (SL)

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Lent is the vibrant, exciting and colourful side of Maribor. Lent is the refreshing summer breeze off the Drava River. Lent is culture amidst fun, relaxation and the hustle and bustle of the city. 
Lent is also the largest outdoor festival in Slovenia and one of the largest in Europe. For the last 20 years, the Lent Festival has been taking place at the end of June and in early July, attracting over half a million visitors a year, which makes it the most recognisable cultural event in Slovenia. According to statistics, it has been visited at least once by one in four Slovenians!
The Lent Festival owes its name to an area by the Drava River which used to act as a harbour for timber rafts that made their way from the Upper Drava Valley all the way to Belgrade from the 13th to the 20th century. To this day, the town district on the left bank of the Drava River – from the Judgement Tower to the Water Tower, two remnants of the once formidable town wall – bears the name Lent (developed from “Lände”, the German word for landing place).
Its multicultural character makes the Lent Festival a very special experience which is best summed up by one simple word – “lenting”. Every summer, the Lent Festival turns Maribor into the world capital of lenting!

At the Lent Festival, both spectators and performers are actively involved in the most pleasant entertainment in the city: everyone lents as he or she pleases, yet we all lent together. For some, lenting is the first kiss; for others it is the experience of something new, wild and special. Lenting is the big stars on stage and the small stars in the sky; lenting is a chat over some good food. Lenting are the unique stories experienced by visitors and performers at the festival venues: in courtyards, on the streets, in the park, by the Drava River, along the Lent promenade and all across town; through day or night, without interruption; in sitting or standing, in lying or passing. 
Lenting is spending the night under a clear sky; it is an inspiring open-air concert and the wave motion of the crowd in the promenade; the laughter among old friends and the roaring applause at the main stage; the beginning of summer and the end of the school year.
Lenting is a play on words. Lenting is that which other festivals lack. Lenting is unique to the Lent Festival!
Check out Lent Festival 2014 at http://www.festival-lent.si/en/ !

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