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What is Špancirfest?

In August of every year since 1999, the streets of Varaždin, Croatia, have come alive with music, performances, and creativity.

For those who love live entertainment, art, workshops, and the beautiful surroundings of a historic city, Špancirfest is an experience unlike any other.

Špancirfest is a street festival, and the name translates into “Stroller’s Festival”.

The festival lasts for a total 10 days, starting at the end of August and lasting until the beginning of September.

In 1999, when this 10 day festival first began, it was held in a single common place amongst the backdrop of the city, but now it has grown much larger.

Not only do tens of thousands of performing and creative artists arrive to put their talents on display, but the amount of visitors to Varaždin for Špancirfest has grown exponentially.

The festival is comprised of several smaller venues, including:

  • Hlapec Fest – features plays for children under 14 years old
  • Komedija Fest – comedy
  • Ulica Fest – a conglomeration of street performers and buskers, such as musicians, artists, dancers, acrobats, and puppeteers
  • Jazz Festival
  • Moderato Fest – pertains to classical music and live concerts
  • Ritam Fest – more concerts, including contemporary style

In fact, during the length of of the festival’s existence, over 15,000 performers have been welcomed to participate. There are over 300 subprograms every single year.

Špancirfest doesn’t have a traditional program either, ensuring every time you visit, you are seeing something completely new and original. While performers repeatedly come back, the aim of the festival is to develop a community where the performers and visitors alike are active participants in the success of Špancirfest.

For example, there are dance programs, activities such as Chinese jump rope, aerial acrobatics, clay workshops, and other presentations for visitors of all ages happening every single day.

The day usually begins around 9:30/10:00 in the morning and ends around 23:00. You can plan out every single day, ensuring everyone in your group has something to do.

For example, you might want to go to an arts and crafts workshop while dropping the children off for a drama and theatre workshop then meet up later in the evening to watch the freestyle dance battle before listening to soulful tunes from a live band.

In short, Špancirfest is not your typical festival.

It is rich in both content and character, provides entertainment and education from globally renowned street performers and groups, and has an expansive selection of creative programs that consists of open-air exhibitions, workshops for all ages, and productions.

Thus, you are experiencing more than just a festival, you are immersing yourself in the culture of Varaždin. Not only does the city come alive during the time of the festival, it is indeed the ideal setting for it.

Varaždin itself is a diverse location in Croatia and has dozens of attractions to visit when you aren’t participating in Špancirfest activities.

This year, instead of doing the usual beach vacation, why not enjoy a truly unique festival in a beautiful cosmopolitan area that is home to both budget-friendly and luxury bars, restaurants, galleries, theatrical productions, clubs, shops, and a number of excursions?

We guarantee you’ll keep wanting to come back to enjoy the epic festival known as Špancirfest year after year.

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