[Festivals Stories] Off the Beaten Path
In the summer of 2018, a group of distinguished Bulgarian musicians who live and work in the United States and Europe established the Off the Beaten Path chamber music festival in Kovachevitsa, Bulgaria. In the tradition of festivals worldwide, the organisers presented significant works of the classical chamber music repertoire in the region's settings – surrounded by majestic nature and ancient history. The first three editions of the Festival featured over 20 musicians from the United States, France, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Spain, and Germany. The events were sold out and attracted considerable media interest. In addition, the organisers established many partnerships with local businesses and helped promote the region as a cultural destination.
Besides the popular classical concerts in Kovachevitsa, the festival presents concerts for local children, introducing them to classical music in interactive, engaging concerts, specifically designed for young audiences. There are community outreach concerts for local audiences in the nearby town of Gotse Delchev. All events are attended by enthusiastic audiences of all ages and backgrounds and supported by the local municipalities.
Due to the pandemic during the summer of 2020, the Festival was presented virtually online and on Bulgarian National Radio and Radio FM Classic. As a result, the event received over 8,000 views online and reached a wide international following. In the summer of 2021, a documentary film about the Festival was broadcast on National Bulgarian Television. It will be rebroadcast on its various channels and internet platforms for the next two years.
Parallel with the development of the Festival, the musicians also spend considerable time and resources dedicated to the upkeep and renovation of the Svetlana cultural centre in Kovachevitsa by establishing various initiatives to attract sponsorship for the centre. In the summer of 2021, the Foundation received a grant from the Agora platform and the America for Bulgaria Foundation for the development of its fundraising initiatives from the local communities.
More information: www.neo-path.com
(General Editor: Simon Mundy)
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