Druga Godba has, over its 30-year history, built a reputation as one of the most important music festivals in Central Europe. Its overall concept, variety of new approaches and enthusiasm for ‘discovering’ less well-known music from across the globe is unique to this part of the world.
As proof of the success of its mission, Druga Godba won a Župančič Award in 2006 for an original festival concept that had, at that point, been developing and maturing for over two decades. The award was recognition of its ability to present artistic performance in an exciting way, particularly in the fields of world and folk music, new urban sounds, and the fusion of older and contemporary musical approaches from across the globe.
In May 2008 Druga Godba worked with the Slovenian Tourist Board on a campaign to promote Slovenia in the US. Two special musical events were organised in New York in collaboration with National Geographic Traveler – the first in Joe’s Pub, the legendary jazz venue, which played host to the group Godalika and guests, as well as Fake Orchestra, and the second at the Town Hall, with a concert which featured Laibach, Bratko Bibič and Guy Klucevsek, Vasko Atanasovski, Marc Ribot and Greg Cohen, Brina, Zlatko Kaučič, Silence and Katalena.
The festival programme has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 1984, always seeking new approaches and looking for less well-known music from parts of the world that are often overlooked. Druga Godba gives its audiences a unique insight into the musical traditions and cultures of a wide range of different peoples and countries, which makes it a vital part of Ljubljana’s festival scene. Every year since 2011, Druga Godba has been selected as one of the 25 best international festivals in the world by the British world music magazine Songlines.
In 1990 the Druga Godba organisation became a member of the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals (EFWMF). This is a network of 43 festivals and 13 associate council members from 20 European countries, and incorporates a wide range of European world music festivals of the very highest quality. EFWMF members are also well connected with countries outside Europe, chiefly through intensive formal and informal networking. Members share a vision of a global mosaic of local traditions and music, varied in expression and content, but bound together by a commitment to quality. The EFWMF and its members are tireless in their efforts to facilitate and strengthen links with other European and non-European festivals too, and the organisation also plays a crucial role in maintaining lines of communication between cultural organisations engaged in general issues of importance to festival organisers, as opposed to music professionals.