Sofia can get incredibly hot and stifling in summer and the only way to “cope” with the heat is to escape to the seaside or to the mountains, even only for a couple of days. Sofia Disha (‘Sofia breathes’) urban culture festival is especially designed for the people who do not have that chance and are instead stuck in the city. Every year it closes off a different street or small area in the center and turns it into a pedestrian fiesta of fresh air and good vibes.
I particularly enjoy Sofia Disha because of the opportunity it presents to explore my city from a different perspective – free of cars and filled with happy people. Usually the festival happens every Sunday of August, but this year the organizers have chosen two weekends – 24 – 25 June and 26 – 27 August. It is arranged in zones with different happenings – music concerts, literature readings, film screenings, sports trainings, children’s area, etc. A special place is designated for stalls of hand-crafted goods such as jewelry, crockery, cosmetics, clothes and many more. Small portable bars with craft beers and cocktails compliment the good mood.
This year there will be a special emphasis on Bulgarian culture and music (check out Kottarashky & The Rain Dogs & Ostava), so considering that the festival will be happening in front of the biggest cathedral in Bulgaria – St. Alexandar Nevski, you might not want to miss it. After all, when will you get the chance to drink and dance in front of a temple again!