This year, the international festival of contemporary puppet theatre for children and adults is taking the art of puppetry outside the host town of Banská Bystrica.
We decided to make the 20th edition of the Bábkarská Bystrica festival available also in more sequestered localities of the Banská Bystrica region. Throughout nearly 40 years of its existence, the festival has thrived within city limits of Banská Bystrica. With experience that came from several decades of organising the festival, we have become aware of how important it is to make puppetry and other unique cultural events together with the festival atmosphere accessible to the region's inhabitants who have lived at the margins of social life and interest.In places where parents hardly ever take the time to go to the theatre, let alone taking their children to a puppet theatre. The front of the Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads used to carry a banner saying: Children, take your parents to the theatre! This year, we decided to turn the slogan around and to act upon it. And so we say: Festival, bring the artists to the children in our villages!
The principal idea is that every day throughout the festival, we will stage one theatrical performance in one backwater village whose residents cannot afford to leave their homesteads to visit a theatre and rarely get to participate in cultural activities outside folklore at local fairs. The world does not end at the end of one’s backyard. That is why we intend to show the fellow citizens who live on the periphery of our region a piece of a different world, the colourful world of puppet theatre! At the same time, our festival guests have a unique opportunity to get another taste of our region that is quite different from the urban atmosphere of Banská Bystrica.
So, welcome to our TOURistic festival 2016! Welcome to the region of Banská Bystrica!
TOWNS AND VILLAGES THE FESTIVAL WILL VISIT THIS YEAR
Ostrý Grúň is a small village with population of 500, nestled in the Vtáčnik [Birdwatcher] mountain range in the district of Žarnovica. During World War II, there was an important pocket of resistance in the area. After the Nazis had learned about the locals supporting the guerrillas, they raided Ostrý Grúň and Kľak on January 21, 1945, in what became known as Bloody Sunday. That day, the Nazis murdered 184 innocent civilians and burnt both villages down.
Divín is a township with the population of approximately 3,000 located in the Lučenec district of the Banská Bystrica region.
Ladomerská Vieska, a village with the population of about 900 in the Žiar nad Hronom district, is popular among hikers because of its advantageous location on the northern periphery of the Štiavnické Vrchy mountain range.
Braväcovo is a small village with the population of 700, located east of the district capital of Brezno. The village organises an annual folklore festival called “Na Bielych Handľoch”.
Hriňová is a town with the population of approximately 7,200, located in the Detva district. The town hosts many different festivals and competitions, for instance the Winter Waggoner’s Contest of Draught Horses.
Modrý Kameň is the second smallest municipality in Slovakia that holds the official status of town. It is located in the Veľký Krtíš district and is home to about 1,600 inhabitants. The town’s greatest pride is a castle of the same name, which was first mentioned in the 13th century. In 1991, the castle became the seat of the Museum of Puppet Culture and Toys, which boasts a great number of interesting exhibits and expositions.