Festivalul Plai

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Plai Festival
Genre World music, jazz
Dates second weekend of September
Location(s) RomaniaTimişoara, Romania
Years active 2006 - present

Plai Festival (Romanian: Festivalul Plai) is a three-day music festival made entirely by volunteers taking place annually, in the second weekend of September in Timişoara, Romania. The festival is hosted at Muzeul Satului Bănăţean, an outdoors ethnographic museum. Aside from music, the festival promotes art and multiculturalism through various activities taking place on site.


Plai Music Festival was born out of people’s necessity to participate in musical, artistic and cultural activities that nourish the heart. Since 2006, the festival has combined the cultural and ethnical diversity in society to create an event that brings together world music fans from around the globe. Participating artists bring music, instruments and influences from all over the globe to impress the audience. The stage has been filled by renowned world music artists such as Al Di Meola, Paco de Lucia, Yungchen Lhamo, Mariza, Esma Redzepova, Sainkho Namtchylak, Dobet Gnahore, Fanfare Ciocârlia and Jean-Luc Ponty.



Besides music, there are a number of activities taking place during the three-day period. Cultural partners hold daily workshops on themes such as painting, photography, film, pottery, embroidery and ceramic painting. Participants are able to attend contemporary theater plays, view world music documentaries, displays of folk costumes. Other activities include bicycle rentals, amateur circus performances, t-shirt and other textile painting and designing.


Promoting multiculturalism is one of the key themes at Plai Festival. The festival sets out to bring together cultures across the world, with artists from Tuva, Peru, Portugal, Azerbaijan, Israel, Poland, China, India, Macedonia, Ivory Coast, Georgia, Mozambique, Kenya, Sierra Leone, United States as well as other countries. Food is another detail through which the festival celebrated multiculturalism, having restaurants based on cuisines from different countries. Moreover, Consulates, Embassies and Cultural Institutes participate yearly, bringing what they consider that should be known about their people and culture.



80 volunteers, 3 weeks for set-up, 5 days for clearing the area. PLAI was, once again, sold-out on the first night, during the Zaz concert. 10,000 people visited Muzeul Satului Banatean during the three-day festival.


In 2012 PLAI Festival was sold-out for the first time since it started. Muzeul Satului Banatean was filled with over 5.000 people attending the concerts and daily activities.


2011 saw that PLAI Festival hosted Timisoara's first ever silent disco as well as the festival's first after party. The festival continued bringin.


PLAI 2010 brought music from India, Austria, Portugal and Armenia. Participants took part in hundreds of workshops, held by artists who also performed on the main stage, teaching native music instruments.


PLAI 2009 continued ideas from which PLAI Festival started. The stage was filled with sounds from Timisoara (Horea Crisovan), Macedonia (Esma Redzepova), Germany (Farfarello), Georgia (The Shin) and Tuva (Sainkho Namtchylak) as well as the Ivory Coast (Dobet Gnahore). Embassies or Consulates from Peru, Israel or Portugal as well as French, German, Polish or Austrian Cultural Centres have completed the musical, artistic and multicultural mix that is PLAI Festival.


The year 2008 meant fado and Mariza for PLAI. Considered the greatest fado performer of the moment (some say history), Mariza blessed the stage and the viewers with her voice. The festival also ment workshops in ikebana and mural painting, learning to play various instruments, juggle. NN (Lublin Dance Theater) performed on stage, and Al Jawala visited the festival for the second time.


PLAI Festival 2007 brought, in its second edition, world-renowned names in jazz and world music scenes, workshops, theater plays, dance demonstrations, book launches, photography exhibitions and many other artistic activities. Culture without barriers, uncompromising sound, movement without constraints, freedom of expression and exaltation without noise and maximum delight are all traits that belong to PLAI Festival.


2006 Represented the first edition of “Plai”, a concept began with ambition and few volunteers. The successful response from the public made the organizers turn the festival into a yearly event. It was the first time Al Di Meola performed in Timisoara.










Awards & Recognitions[edit]

PLAI Festival shortlisted for Best Small European Festival 2012

PLAi Festival was the only music festival from Romania to be shortlisted at the European Festivals Awards in 2012.

PLAI Festival brings yet another award for Timişoara

The Civil Society Gala Awards is an annual event meant to honor, promote and award the activities of the non-profit sector of Romania. Through this annual competition the best projects developed by nongovernmental organizations, initiative groups, unions or natural persons are awarded, bringing forth extra visibility for the best civic initiatives.

At this year’s edition of The Civil Society Gala, which was the seventh, a record number of organizations and projects have been registered.

The grand prize for the “Art and culture” section of the Civil Society Gala has been awarded to PLAI Festival. This is the second award that PLAI brings to Timisoara, after last year’s, when the Festival has been voted “The best project form Romania” and received The European Charlemagne Youth Prize.

PLAI FESTIVAL 2008 – The Best Romanian Project

The European Parliament and the Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen sets up a competition for youth from all the E.U. member states. This competition is concerned with E.U. integration and development, with regard to aspects of European identity. „The European Charlemagne Youth Prize” is awarded to projects that promote European and international understanding, favor the development of a common feeling of European identity and integration, representing models for young people that live in Europe, giving actual examples for life to Europeans that live inside the same community.

The award for the national phase of the European competition of Charlemagne Prize has been given to Asociatia Culturala Sunet Ambianta Timisoara – A.C.S.A.T., for PLAI Festival Project. PLAI Festival has, therefore, participated in the final phase of the competition, where it has represented Romania.

PLAI Festival intends to promote intercultural dialogue in a multicultural and artistic environment. PLAI Festival means culture without boundaries, sound without compromise, movement without restraint, exaltation without noise, and 2008 has represented the third round of this adventure.

Eurodeputy Nicolae Vlad Popa, who has been in the jury of the national phase of the competition: “I for one have complete faith that the romanian project will be among the winners, given its importance, through its numerous partnerships and because of the interest that it has shown to european unity through diversity by sharing and promoting cultural value.”

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