“Sounds of the North” Festival is a unique project run by the Baltic Sea Culture Centre in Gdańsk – unique because of its history (longer than the Centre’s itself) and theme, expressing the mission and strategy of that institution. At the same time, “Sounds of the North” is one of the most important and longest-running folk music festivals in Poland and the only one so closely focusing on the tradition and culture of the Baltic Sea region. Fascination with the “North” – above all, culture and tradition of the Scandinavian countries and other states of the Baltic region – is an endless source of inspiration for the programme curator, while also ensuring a unique status of the Festival.
“Sounds of the North” Festival aims to promote contemporary music inspired by traditional music and dance cultures of Poland and countries of the Baltic region. The broad formula of the Festival provides room both for experiment and for faithful following of the tradition. High quality is always the main priority for Festival organisers, and the common feature of all events is the excellent technique and individual character of the performers.
We are studying music tracks, monitor the trends in the Polish and Scandinavian folk music, listen to and invite the most interesting artists, who combine traditional melodies and instruments with contemporary music experience, giving tradition a new dimension and a new artistic life.
While the programme of “Sounds of the North” is based on exceptional concerts, beginning from 2008 the formula of the event has been consistently expanded and supplemented with various dance, singing, instrumental and handicraft workshops, screenings of films, meetings, film showings, meetings, theatrical and culinary presentations and dances with live music.
For years, the faithful audience of the Festival has consisted of folk music fans and enthusiasts of the Scandinavian and Baltic culture, flocking to St. John’s Centre and the Old Town Hall. Each edition also attracts new fans who often stay with the “Sounds” for good. These include not only listeners and viewers, but also artists who are always happy to return to Gdańsk, remembering the fantastic atmosphere of St. John’s Centre and the enthusiastic reception from the Tri-City audience.