About the festival
The festival of youth culture is a nine-day lasting, international festival of culture with a 20-year tradition that takes place in the second half of August on a multitude of locations throughout Velenje. It’s name has it’s origins in local folklore, which tells a story about a beautiful young girl who supposedly lived in Velenje Castle. She was a castle maiden, accused of witchcraft and thrown into the castle well to die as punishment. She is rumored to have been haunting the castle hallways ever since. But the festival we have been organizing every year since 1998 is not scary at all. We aim to honor the innocent girl with a celebration of young people’s culture, since they are also often mistakenly accused of not being cultured enough. Like Kunigunda, alternative culture is searching for it’s place under the sun. We don’t judge – instead, we give it an opportunity to blossom in all of it’s charm and youthful enthusiasm. We let Kunigunda evolve and improve while giving its visitors a chance to get to know it, make friends with and enjoy it.
The heart has been the official logo of Kunigunda since it’s earliest days. The heart is a rhythmically pulsating organ which drives our body/machine, it is the motor of life and a symbol of love. It beats about 100.000 times a day, 36.500.000 times a year. It communicates the fact that everything at Kunigunda Festival is done with love and comes from the heart.
The Festival of young cultures began in 1998 when the three founders had great aspirations but almost no funding. Their efforts eventually started to bear fruit – with a great emphasis on alternative culture, Kunigunda became one of the driving forces of youth scene in Velenje. The Red Hall was decorated with graffiti art, while more and more local bands got a chance to perform on the big stage. The team organised an international camp as early as the second year, slowly began buying their own equipment and started involving youths who were eager to leave their mark on the local cultural scene.
Now in its twenties, Kunigunda is a symbol of young alternative cultures in Velenje. The mosaic of local subcultures that gets shaped during the year on the local cultural scene, is reflected in the festival’s programme. It wouldn’t be wrong to describe its creators as a group of people who represent the passing of knowledge between generations of young, eager, socially critical and informed individuals who care about the happening in Šalek Valley and the surrounding area. It was the passing of knowledge, combined with spending quality time and ensuring employment opportunities for those who want to work, that became a value that the Festival of Young Cultures Kunigunda began to emphasize as soon as the concept of the festival spread its wings. Interested and promising individuals are getting irreplaceable work opportunities in all areas that organisation of such a festival entails.
Kunigunda’s stage was a host to many well-known artists from all directions (in an abstract as well as artistic sense). In the spirit of emphasizing all cultures and musical genres, we headbanged with metal heads, banged with rappers and MC’s, raved with DJ’s, danced to reggae and ska and enjoyed everything that fits anywhere in between. Bands like S.A.R.S, Dubioza Kolektiv and Kultur Shock visited the castle maiden before they put their names up with those most well-known. The festival hosted many other famous artists – Edo Maajka, Kiril Džajkovski, Torul, Elemental, Dječaci, Matter, Let 3, Sassja, Kandžija i gole Žene, Within Destruction, General WOO, Velebor, The Stroj, Ana Pupedan, Kiša Metaka, Anja Bukovec and Terrafolk, Raggalution and many others – all of which shaped the musical image of Kunigunda. We hosted big names in other areas, too – from Dragan Živadinov, Gašper Tič and Sebastian Cavazza, to Borut Veselko and others. Along with top artists, the YCFK’s organisational team is getting increasingly involved in the programme. Projects like the national beatboxing championship and City on Water found their place at Kunigunda, while our own team produced projects critical to society, like Experiment: Tito’s Velenje, The Wedding: a celebration of love, Kunigudra and founding of the Autonomous Republic of Kunigunda (ARK). Kunigunda is constantly evolving, reconstructing and reconfiguring itself, injecting culture in veins, slapping the faces of the prepared and unprepared alike. And will continue to do so in the years to come. Just like this year.