Budapest Spring Festival is a traditional and primarily conservative high-end festival in Budapest Hungary (trying to involve more progressive classical pieces too). The festival is sometime in March, a ten day cultural extravaganza to celebrate spring. See our Budapest Event Calendar for the current events in March, and the details about the 2013 Budapest Spring Festival
It’s been attracting thousands of sophisticated culture vultures for many decades. Approximately one third of the visitors come from foreign countries.
Mostly Classical, but…
Budapest Spring Festival mostly features classical music of the highest quality with excellent musicians, singers, conductors (orchestral, opera, operetta, chamber events, church choirs, etc.) and modern artists (fine art exhibitions are abundant, theater and dance performances color the palette, occasionally with foreign celebrities, like John Malkovich performing at the Budapest Vig Theatre).
Spring fair on Vorosmarty Square
In addition to the big spring events, you can enjoy the spring fair on Vorosmarty Square in downtown Budapest where lots of high quality Hungarian handcrafts are for sale.
There is always something on at the weekends, nice programmes for all, and usually for free on Vorosmarty Square, which is just many of the dozens of venues of the Budapest Spring Festival.
Themed Spring Festival
There is always a central theme or a highlighted artist every year (e.g. Haydn in 2009, Franz Liszt in 2011), and the Festival has a guest country annually (e.g. in 2009 it was the Czech Republic). The Festival has its own festival centre building (Budapest Fesztivalkozpont). Budapest Spring Festival was celebrating its 30th birthday in 2010, so by now it is really a well established cultural event in the spring.
While music concerts and performance arts can bear the features of the same mainstream cultural waves in several countries, there are some outstandingly unique programme opportunities at Budapest Spring Fest.
If you wish to see something exotic, something rare in Hungary, we recommend checking out the following options.
- the 100 member Gypsy Orchestra concert that most probably stands out (check on youtube if it is your cup of tea).
- you can get a glimpse into the folk tradition of Hungary if you visit the National Dance House Gathering and Arts and Crafts Fair (around March), and of course you can see new world and Hungarian premieres.
- Klezmer music is not played in every country, but Hungary has a thriving Jewish community, and you may hear some klezmer music too. Lively, sad and cheerful, beautiful music.
Official site of Budapest Spring Festival
Btf.hu (Budapest Tavaszi Fesztival)
Photos of the Budapest Spring Festival
Here are some photos of the events at Budapest Tavaszi Festival (BTF for short), which shows how versatile the programmes are.