The festival of film, music, and art just outside the city limits
Written by Kristina Petkova, edited by Scott Green, photos by KMedia
Three days full of friends, DJ parties two nights in a row, concerts, film screenings, art workshops, craft beers, and lots of fun! This is what Dolna Malina Open Fest was for me between 26th and 28th August 2022.
The festival took place in 7 different locations across 3 villages in the area but I spent most of the time in the so-called Zone 5. This is where the main music stage and camping area were located. The music competition, open stage for dancers and musicians, film screenings, and DJ parties took place here.
The world's most famous and popular language is music
The moment I arrived at the festival (after crossing the cutest little bridge over the river built on the previous days by the organizers) I was welcomed by the music on the open stage. Amazing young musicians were singing, playing, and mixing rock, pop, and Bulgarian folk motifs.
On the second day of the festival, there was a music competition showcasing 15 young musicians performing in front of a professional jury. The winner won a 10,000 BGN prize to go towards the creation of a music video to be shot in partnership with K Media, a video production company and main organizer of the festival, MustArt Organization, and the BUFO cinema center.
Among the highlights of the festival were concerts two evenings in a row. The guys from Cool Den made the audience dance non-stop! It was planned that immediately after them, the party would continue with a DJ set by Martin Nox, who should have blown the audience away with remixes of beloved tracks. He is a well-known DJ in Europe, and made a special exception to come to Dolna Malina Open Fest! Unfortunately though, due to weather conditions, he was unable to come on stage.
On the second night, People of Maha were on stage. The Bulgarian-Brazilian alternative trio blew away the audience with their amazing stage presence. DJ 89 along with two amazing Bulgarian folklore singers made the audience sweat and dance immediately after! His music is loved because it mixes electronic music and Bulgarian folk motifs in a modern way.
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time
Besides being a music festival, Dolna Malina Open Fest is also a creative art festival. I was presented with a wide choice of artistic activities, among them, I received an amazing henna tattoo on my left arm.
I also enjoyed drawing in the art relaxation corner guided by a professional painter and art therapist. In the evenings I was enjoying a set of creative and humorous short movies in good company with craft beers.
During the festival, there were not only fine arts but also… martial arts. Aikido presentations were shown every day of the festival. Yoga of laughter was also offered to the visitors.
First, we eat. Then, we do everything else
Did I just mention craft beers? The organizers took good care of us and provided an amazing variety of food and drinks. You would have enjoyed it as well if you are a big BBQ and craft beer fan like me, kindly provided by Sofia Electric Brewing and Holy Smokes BBQ. Even if you are vegan or vegetarian they were offering great options - coleslaw and homemade style french fries with cheddar.
Don’t be sad you missed it
This is the 5th edition of the Dolna Malina Open Fest and every year it is becoming bigger and more interesting. I am sure next year the organizers Yonko Dimitrov (founder) and K Media will again offer great music, sports and movie competitions, film screenings, great food, craft beer, and many many more surprises.