18 May 2021     Awards 

The first place in the IX Bulgarian National Championship of Folklore "Euro Folk" 2021 went to Folklore ensemble "Gorna banya" at "Probuda 1926" Community center, Sofia. Art director of the group is Desislav Maihaylov. The group won the Golden medal, Golden "Orpheus" and the title Absolute national champion of folklore in 2021. Winners also received a money prize in the amount of 1000 Euro, provided by the European Association of Folklore Festivals- EAFF.

The title Absolute vice champion of folklore in 2021 and the Silver medal, Silver "Orpheus" of the Championship went to Dance ensemble "Slantse" at "Slantse 1879" Community center in Ihtiman. Art directors of the group are Anelia Popova, Vladislav Vasilev and Yordanka Katsarova.

Ensemble "Georgi Chilingirov" from Polkovnik Serafimovo village, Smolian region won the third place in the Bulgarian XI National Championship of Folklore "Euro Folk". Artistic leader of the ensemble is Sabi Kaydzhiev who received the Bronze medal, Bronze "Orpheus" of the forum.

The winner in the accompanying event - the sixth edition of the World Cup of Folklore - Veliko Tarnovo 2021 is Children's folklore ensemble "Shareno gerdanche" from Targovishte. Directors of the group are Svetla Stamenova and Andzhela Georgieva. Winners received the Cup of the forum, Diploma, and voucher in the amount of 500 Euro for participation in the World Championship of Folklore "World Folk".

More than 1800 participants from 100 groups presented music and dance performances on the stage in Veliko Tarnovo in the period 13-17 May 2021 within the frames of the three events - XXIV Stara Planina Fest "Balkan folk", XI Bulgarian National Championship of Folklore "Euro Folk" and the World Cup of Folklore - Veliko Tarnovo 2021.

The XXIV Stara Planina Fest "Balkan folk" is held under the patronage of the National Commission of UNESCO in Bulgaria and it is included in the celebrations on the 65th anniversary of the acceptance of Bulgaria in UNESCO. Forum is conducted with the financial and logistical support of Veliko Tarnovo Municipality within the frames of Musical feasts "Euro Folk" under the auspices of the European Association of Folklore Festivals-EAFF.

The jury members were: Maestro Georgi Yankov - musical expert; Mr Valentin Halvadzhiev - choreographer; Dr Iliya Valev- ethnologist; Mrs Mariana Nutsova - ethnologist.

Special prize of the National Commission of UNESCO in Bulgaria went to Children's youth folklore ensemble "Bulgarche" from Veliko Tarnovo, to Ensemble "Georgi Chilingirov" from Polkovnik Serafimovo village and to Folklore group "Tronki" from Momina tsarkva village.

Special award in the "Complexity and technique of performances" category went to the participants from Children's folklore ensemble "Shareno gerdanche" - Targovishte.

Ensemble for authentic folklore "Kapantsi" from Getsovo village won the prize in the "Presentation - costumes, props, repertoire" category.

The representative dance ensemble "Balkan" from Dryanovo received the special prize in the "Stage manners" category.

Maestro title was given to the leader of  Men's choir of the sailors - Dimitar Dimitrov. Titles "Maestro academician" were awarded to Desislav Maihaylov - leader of Folklore ensemble "Gorna banya" and to Svetla Stamenova and Andzhela Georgieva - leaders of ensemble "Shareno gerdanche".

The Mayor of Veliko Tarnovo awarded a special prize for participation, preservation, promotion and dignified presentation of vocal art in the XXIV Stara Planina Fest "Balkan folk" 2021, the Men's Choir of Sailors "Hristo Manolov" toat the Union of Officers and Sergeants from the Reserve - Varna.

The president of the European Association of Folklore Festivals-EAFF, Mr Kaloyan Nikolov officially closed the forums and thanked all the participants with the words: "Folklore is a thousand-year-old wisdom accumulated by our ancestors, a major part of shaping our national identity. Preservation of living cultural heritage is a process that goes through training, practice and transmission. If one part is lost, the consequences are irreversible, but the participants in the XXIV Stara Planina Festival "Balkan Folk", XI Bulgarian National Championship of Folklore "Euro Folk" and VI World Cup of Folklore - Veliko Tarnovo 2021 show and prove that the "thread" is strong. That is why I want to thank the participants, the artistic directors, the teachers, community centers and cultural figures who support them in this important work."