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Enriching the cultural beat of Maribor

We are an event centre for all ages and all tastes. Our programs are dedicated to children, youth, and adults, fans of all kinds of music, from classical to rock and jazz, fans of good comedies, theatre plays, connoisseurs of modern performance art, we offer something for young curious minds, artists, and visitors of visual art events.

Narodni dom Maribor is a public institute founded in September 1992. We started working in the building of Rotovž town hall at the Main square in Maribor. On the Slovenian cultural holiday on February 8th 1993 the institute moved into the building of Narodni dom at the address Ulica kneza Koclja 9. This event had a symbolic meaning because the building used to be the head office of the cultural and national revival of the Slovenian essence in Maribor.

During the first year of existence, 8 full-time employees together with external collaborators organised 279 events visited by more than 243.000 people. In 2001 the number of these events was more than 1.100, and we had more than 630.000 visitors, which is a proof of our ambitious program of activities that heated up the cultural and entertainment scene in the city. In the first ten years of existence, the events of Narodni dom Maribor cultural and event centre attracted 4.5 million visitors.

In the past five years, we counted more than 1.800 events per year, which are visited by over 630.000 people. That way the total number of events exceeded the number 26.000, and the number of visitors since our founding until today climbed to over 12.8 million!

We organise about 1.800 events per year – based on this, we are the second biggest organiser of cultural events in Slovenia. Three quarters of these events take place during Lent Festival.

Lent Festival – the festival of festivals, which we have been organising since 1993, is the biggest multicultural international open-air festival in South-East Europe. For more than 20 years, the end of June and beginning of July have been marked by this festival that has been attracting more than 250.000 visitors to its numerous venues. This is why this is the most recognisable cultural event in Slovenia. One out of four Slovenians has already taken part in it. Every summer you can witness a colourful and diverse spectrum of different events along Drava river, on the streets and squares of the city, in the City park and the city centre, on numerous festival stages – from operas and ballets, theatre and dance performances, jazz concerts, classical music concerts, world music, singer-songwriter performances, concerts of chansons and ethno music, folklore events, street theatre performances, events and activities for children as well as sports challenges.

During the varied and diverse festival happeningseveral festival sets are taking place, which, based on their scope and quality, are independent festivals within the Festival: Folkart international folklore festival, Ana Desetnica street theatre festival, Jazzlent festival, and Sladolent street food festival. Folkart international folklore festival, from which Lent Festival actually emerged, is the only festival of its kind in Slovenia, complies with the standards of the non-governmental organisation CIOFF®, and is assessed to be one of the best organised and most high-graded folklore festivals in Europe and the world. Additionally, the vivid festival happening is complemented by the rich program for children and youth, Art Camp, taking place in City park.

Some of the most important programs of cultural life in our city continue their successful path under our roof, among them Concert management, which was founded in 1946 and is the oldest office of its kind in former Yugoslavia, and Glasbena mladina, that is dedicated to young people and has been collaborating with them since 1965. We keep on improving our programs, reforming, updating, expanding them and we network with other organisations. In 2013 we became the guardian of the title European Capital of Culture 2012, acquired the new premises (and contents) in Vetrinjski dvor mansion, and in 2014 we re-connected with Festival Maribor.

Narodni dom Maribor culture and event centre employs 39 full-time employees and about 10 permanent external collaborators – producers and other staff members, most of them within Lent Festival. Besides that, a permanent team of twenty students is taking care of our dear visitors, making them feel welcome at our events. 

Program and conceptual milestones

Before founding

1946 – first concert organised by Concert Management – first office of its kind in Slovenia and one of the oldest in former Yugoslavia – March 18th 1946 the first concert was organised by Concert Management – in March 1950 the first performance of the newly founded Maribor philharmonic orchestra

1965 - Glasbena mladina Maribor - one of the first in Yugoslavia – an important partner of Concert Management

1968 – Festival of baroque music – 26 editions of this elite Maribor event – founding of the (festival) ensemble Collegium Musicum – in 1994 the festival transforms Glasbeni september (Musical September)

1989 – first Folkart  - until today, more than 250 folklore groups from all over the world participated – over 9.000 participants

From founding until today

1992 – founding of Narodni dom Maribor
- Narodni dom Maribor culture and event centre with its head office in Rotovž was founded in September 1992
- on February 8th 1993 it moved to the premises of Narodni dom, former Dom JNA, at the address Ulica kneza Koclja 9 in Mariboru

1993 – first Lent Festival
- more than 100 events attracting 180.000 visitors at 13 festival venues were held at the first festival
- until today: almost 14.000 events organised during 22 festivals
- more than 87.000 performers from 117 countries
- the festival has been visited by more than 10 million visitors
- there are more than 45 festival venues
- the annual average is more than 500.000 visitors 
- each festival is sponsored by up to 170 sponsors
- the festival is prepared and carried out by 980 festival staff members

1993 – Maribor philharmonic orchestra, Concert Management, Glasbena mladina (Music youth)
- re-establishment of the Maribor philharmonic orchestra
- Concert Management and Glasbena mladina (267 concerts until 2003 and almost 100.000 listeners) under the patronage of Narodni dom Maribor

1994 – first Orchestral series
- 180 concerts 
- more than 105.000 listeners

1994 – first Chamber music series
- 174 concerts 
- 565 participating artists
- more than 40.000 listeners

1994 – first chamber music festival “Glasbeni september”
- more than 220 concerts until 2007 
- almost 43.000 listeners

1995 – first Comedy series
- until today: 628 performances
- more than 230.000 visitors of the series' performances
- most series' performances carried out in 2005 – 56 of them!
- 477 performances for non-subscribers and more than 90.000 spectators
- 169 performances of own productions and co-productions and more than 50.000 spectators
- in total the Comedy series attracted already more than 410.000 spectators
- during the years 2008 and 2012 there were 8 different series' dates and times per season
- 8 own productions and co-productions

1996 – 300.000 visitors
- more than 300.000 visitors in total counted at events of Narodni dom Maribor

1999 – first series Jazz in Narodni dom
- until today: 80 concerts
- almost 9.000 listeners

2000 – 600.000 visitors
- more than 600.000 visitors in total counted at events of Narodni dom Maribor

2002 – expansion of Comedy series
- in one year, the attendance of comedies rose for 147 % (17.600 visitors)
- in four years this number was tripled: 22.400 visitors (in 2005)

2003 – first the music series for young people – Youth series
   - until today: 151 concerts
   - 39.721 young listeners

2004 – first children's theatre series
   - until today: 71 performances 
   - more than 16.000 young visitors and their companions

2005 – renovation of Union Hall
- Union Hall in Maribor finally awaits its complete renovation, on April 7th it is festively re-opened by the Symphonic orchestra from Utah

2005 – Festival Izzven
- 32 concerts and 7.637 visitors at 5 festivals

2006 – database of Concert Management
- from 1946 to 2014 2.370 concerts
- more than 4.000 performers (orchestras, ensembles, small ensembles or individuals), almost 500 conductors and more than 1.250 soloists performed at 106 different venues

2007 – first KIS project (Kulturno izobraževalno središče – Cultural and educational centre)
 - almost 3.000 participants at events

2008 – first specialized subprograms within the Youth series
- subprogram Pizzicato for children from 6 to 8 years, subprogram Furioso for children from 9 to 18 years

2008 – Glasbeni september becomes Festival Maribor
- new festival concept
- new art director, Australian conductor, violinist and composer Richard Tognetti

2009 – establishment of the project Kulturni dnevnik (Cultural diary)
- in the first year: 21 events and 2.940 visitors
- until today: 215 events and almost 22.000 visitors

2009 – new subprogram of Youth series
- third subprogram Crescendo for children from 9 – 12 years added

2009 – more than 700.000 visitors per year
- in 2009, more than 700.000 visitors in total took part in the events of Narodni dom Maribor

2009 – comedy Svobodni zakon (The Open Couple)
- an extremely successful comedy, first staged in October 2009
- in the first year 22 replays and 8.369 spectators, in 2010 49 replays and 16.228 spectators 
- until today: 109 replay and more than 37.000 spectators
- at the “Dnevi komedije 2010” festival the play received the award for best theatre play, actor Tadej Toš won the best actor award

2012 – Maribor, European Capital of Culture 2012
- during this year, Narodni dom Maribor carried out 1.541 events
- the number of all event visitors reaches 782.426
- since 2014, Narodni dom Maribor is the guardian of the content heritage of EPK 2012

2013 – FOLKART under the honorary patronage of UNESCO
- during the 10th anniversary of the Convention for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage FOLKART was honoured with the honorary patronage of the director UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova, as the first festival of its kind.

2013 – Vetrinjski dvor mansion
- since autumn 2013 we are managing the space in Vetrinjski dvor mansion
- in the first year we already organised 107 events, and produced 44 of them
- for the first time the events in December are combined into the Fairy City program, in 2014 Fairy City becomes a festival
- in 2014 the first users start using the space, we host many guest programs and own events  

2014 – co-producer of Festival Maribor
- 12 concerts
- 7.115 visitors

2014 – additional dates and times for Kekec series subscription
- due to the high demand, we had to add new dates and times for the children's series

2014 – After-Lent Art camp
- For the first time Art Camp programs are taking place after Lent Festival, during the summer holidays  

2015 – Choral boom
- 6.742 children from 198 schools performed at Ljudski vrt Maribor
- one of the biggest choral and dance events in Slovenia

2016 – 70th anniversary of Concert Management Maribor
- in honour of the 70th anniversary two exhibitions were organised: on Leona Štukelj square “Maribor, capital of music”, and in Union Hall “Musical prints”
- e-archive of all concert programs and program booklets

*Data about the number of events and visitors refer to the data collected since the founding in 1992 until the end of 2015. 

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