12 June 2018     Championships 

Bagpipers group  «Rodopchani» to "Gogo Mavrov-1930" Community Center from Plovdiv (Bulgaria) became Absolute Balkan Champion of Folklore for 2018. The performers, whose artistic director is Veselin Kozarev, won the Grand prix Golden «Orpheus», Golden medal and a check for 1000 Euro, provided by the Municipality of Hisarya. Last year the bagpipers were third in the final ranking, but this year their hard work gave its result. The impressive dignified presentation of the spring folklore from the Rhodope Mountains brought to the group the high evaluation of the jury. The awards were presented by Kaloyan Nikolov - President of EAFF and Eng. Penka Doykova – Mayor of the Municipality of Hisarya.

Vice-Champions at the 7-th edition of "Euro Folk - Jiva Voda" – Hisarya 2018 became CYFE "Graovche" to CSPD – MCC Pernik –Pernik (Bulgaria). The alumni of Vladislava Vladislavova and Mariana Yankulova won the Silver medal and the Silver "Orpheus" of the Championship. Eng. Penka Doykova – Mayor of the Municipality of Hisarya handed the award. Both directors were honored by the jury with the title "Maestro". The diplomas for the titles will be sent to the Municipality, in order to be officially handed to them in an appropriate manner.

The third winner, with Bronze "Orpheus" and the Bronze medal of the Championship became MEZZOFORTE Soul Music Children’s Orchestra of the city of Otopeni (Romania) with artistic director Marian Aleksandru. The award was granted by Assoc. Dr Dobromir Mitev, accordion lecturer at "Prof. Pancho Vladigerov" National Academy of Music, Bulgaria (Bulgaria).

During the official closure of the VII Balkan Championship of Folklore "Euro Folk - Jiva Voda" were handed some special awards:   

  • CYFE "Ogneni ritmi" – Svishtov (Bulgaria), with artistic director Stefan Kostadinov received Special diploma - the award of Eurofolk TV - main media partner;
  • Dance group Anna Raudkatsi Tantsuselts from Parnu (Estonia) with artistic director Roland Landing received Diploma and plaque from "Ivan Vazov - 1904" Community Center;
  • The Municipality of Hisarya has given two special awards - Diplomas and souvenirs with the coat-of-amrs of Hisarya. The first one was awarded to the Folklore Choir "Trakiyska mladost" to "Lyuben Karavelov" Secondary school – Plovdiv (Bulgaria) with artistic director Hristina Lesova. The second was received by the participants from the International Folklore Group "Krapiva" at Russian University for Friendship Among Peoples – Moscow (Russia) with artistic director Ekaterina Alybertovna Karelina.
  • The third Special Prize – Diploma and Plaque of Euro Folk Academy was received by Dance ensemble "Star merak" from Sandanski, (Bulgaria), with artistic director Vyara Doncheva. The participants appeared for the first time at the festival from Musical Feasts - Euro Folk. They presented authentic Southwestern folklore in an impressive way, that brought them recognition.

240 groups with about 4000 participants took part in VII Balkan Championship of Folklore, which was held from 7th to 11th June in the ancient Bulgarian town of Hisarya. Тhis year 17 formations received nominations for the Grand Prix:

  • Vocal group "Orfey" - Plovdiv, Bulgaria;
  • Female vocal group for processed folklore "Avligite" - Tetovo village, Bulgaria; 
  • Youth dance group (IIIrd age group) at Professional folklore ensemble "Rodolyubie" - Kyustendil, Bulgaria;
  • Folklore dance ensemble "Zagorovche" (up to 18 y.e.) - Septemvri, Bulgaria;
  • Children's orchestra for soul music MEZZOFORTE - Otopeni, Romania;
  • International folklore group "Krapiva" at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) - Moscow, Russia; 
  • Female folklore choir "Pletenitsa" - Plovdiv, Bulgaria;
  • Group for spring vocal folklore - Smilyan, Bulgaria;
  • Group for old urban songs "Beli ruzhi" - Lyaskovets, Bulgaria; 
  • Children's - youth dance ensemble "Ogneni ritmi" - Svishtov, Bulgaria;
  • Youth dance group "Iskra" - Hisarya, Bulgaria;
  • Dance group "Trakiytsi" - Radievo village, Bulgaria;
  • Bagpipers group "Rodopchani" - Plovdiv, Bulgaria;
  • Children's-youth folklore ensemble "Graovche" - Pernik, Bulgaria; 
  • Dance group "Star merak" - Sandanski, Bulgaria; 
  • Dance group "ARTS" - Parnu, Estonia;
  • Folklore choir "Trakiyska mladost" - Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

50 medals were awarded in the last day of the Championship - 25 gold, 16 silver and 9 bronze. During the four days of the folk competition, dozens of groups, individual performers and artistic directors were awarded with medals, diplomas for continuity between the generations and for significant contribution to the preservation of the Balkan traditional folk arts, as well as the titles "Laureate", "Discovery", "Maestro". The best performers received references for participation in the European and World Championships for Folklore in Nessebar and Sunny Beach resort, as well as for the latest initiative of the EAFF – the World Cup of Folklore, held in May in Veliko Tarnovo.

VII Balkan Championship of Folklore "Euro Folk - Jiva Voda" finished with a performance of the winners of the Championship.