A huge Hungarian celebration of Székler people is coming to Manchester this summer, shedding a spotlight on the little known culture of the Hungarians that reside in Transylvania. Taking place at Cathedral Gardens – which was also home to the Manchester Food & Drink Festival and beloved Italian food festival, Festa Italiana – Góbéfest will combine food, drink, live folk music and dancing, bringing the very best of the Székler culture back to the city.
This year’s festival will mark Góbéfest’s seventh year in Manchester, after launching in Albert Square back in spring 2017 when it attracted over 10,000 people to the event. Since then, the event has attracted thousands more visitors, and promises to be a “unique celebration, offering a dazzling extravaganza of music, dance, cuisine and multicultural activities, captivating the whole family with the authentic and diverse sounds, tastes and flavours of Transylvania and the Carpathian Basin.”
Between June 23 and June 25, the little slice of Transylvania will be home to plenty of delicious, Hungarian street food, alongside steins of central European style beer with a Mancunian swagger from Manchester Union Brewery and Szicsek Palinka cocktails. Expect langos, paprikash and chimney cakes, alongside steaming bowls of goulash as well as plenty of activities for all of the family to get involved in.
Hungarian folk music will provide the upbeat atmosphere, with plenty of live acts set to perform across the two-dayer, not only performing folk tunes, but an array of other musical genres, too – providing a little something for everyone to enjoy. For three days in June, stages across Cathedral Gardens will play host to an array of bands, choirs, ensembles, orchestras, solo performers and dance groups in the Transylvanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Romanian and Polish traditions.
Expect to see folk dancers kitted out in traditional dress getting the party started, while teaching guests their moves so we Mancs can get involved, too. Folk dance will mark just one of a number of fun workshops that will be taking place at the festival, including folklore storytelling, dance classes, arts and crafts and zither instrument workshops.
The festival takes its name from the Hungarian word góbé, which is a friendly word for a ‘crafty Székely’. Góbéfest is free to attend, and will sprawl across Cathedral Gardens in Manchester – just next door to the National Football Museum – from June 23 to June 25. Find out more here.