The Golden Stag Festival in Brasov

One of Romania’s most famous international music festivals is held in the center of Brasov, in the Council Square (known as “Piata Sfatului”). Though it hasn’t been organized annually, The Golden Stag Festival has become a cherished Romanian tradition, a good opportunity to see important international artists perform on a Romanian stage. During the festival the city is always loaded with tourists from and outside Romania so it’s literally impossible to find a hotel room to stay in if you don’t book ahead. For all those who like quality entertainment in a beautiful environment, this event is a real delicacy.

When & Who & Why

The first edition took place between 5 and 10 March, 1968, out of an initiative of Romania’s government. They were trying to copy the Italian festival San Remo and demonstrate the whole world that Romania was indeed a “free country” (it was under the communist regime then). The festival was hosted by the Dramatic Theatre in Brasov and the coordinator of the event was the National Television (Televiziunea Romana or TVR in short). The Golden Stag went on until 1971 when it was suspended and then from 1992 without interruption until 1997. Up to 2001, there was another break but then the festival was resumed until 2005. From them on, only two more editions were organized, in 2008 and 2009, due to lack of funds. Every time, the festival got together artists from all over the world that competed against each other as far as their interpretation (and not only) was concerned. Every night, after the contestants were done, the festival went on with performances of other national and international artists: Jacques Hustin, Gilbert Becaud, Josephine Baker, Toto Cutugno, James Brown, Kylie Minogue, Diana Ross, Christina Aguilera, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Rogers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, UB 40, INXS, Scorpions, Tom Jones, Ricky Martin, P!nk, Sheryl Crow, Kelly Family, t.A.T.u., Ruslana.

The fairy tale

The Golden Stag is in fact a well-known Romanian fairy tale that goes like this: a man had two children, a girl and a boy whom he got lost in the woods because his new wife told him so. As they were thirsty and hungry, the little boy drank water from a well and turned into a golden stag. He took care of his sister like this until they grew up. One day, a prince saw his sister, fell in love with her and succeeded in making her his wife. A gypsy girl, the prince’s favorite until then, lured the new princess into the woods and tried to fool the prince into making him believe that she was his new wife. The stag was the only one to tell the difference and, once the princess was rescued, they all lived happily ever after.

As you can see, The Golden Stag Festival in Brasov has it all: a wonderful setting (one of Romania’s most beautiful city), good music and a legendary aura. What else can you wish for?

 

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