Festivals We’re Looking Forward to in May 2016

We love May. The spring is well on its way and things start to happen in abundance around Zagreb. After the year’s crescendo with Advent in Zagreb, the first few months are more relaxed, with people gathering their energy for the new season of events. And then comes May, bringing a lot of events we look forward to throughout the year with it. Here are the top events (in calendar order) you shouldn’t miss this month.

DESIGN WEEK ZAGREB (Tjedan Dizajna Zagreb)
(May 3rd – May 8th)


Primarely held in Lauba gallery and Hauba, industrial warehouse turned club next to it, Design Week Zagreb has become a central place for all things design in Croatia in a relatively short time. The third installment of the festival brings a holistic view of design produced in Croatia throughout the year, holding showrooms, lectures, fairs, shows and whatnots focusing on almost every aspect of design, be it graphic, industrial, fashion….or food design, which is this year’s special focus.

The festival partners itself with other international scenes every year, showcasing designers from other countries. This year’s focus is on Nordic industrial design, featured in both Labua and Hauba, with designers from Nordic countries holding lectures, panel discussions and presentations of their work. Another special feature of this year’s Zagreb Design Week is Auto(r), a program focusing on car design, especially green cars.

The program is equally divided in Croatian and English speaking events, so if you’re not just interested in looking at pretty things, there’s a lot of content you can participate in.


(May 4th – May 8th)


This might not be for everyone, but for those who love music and want to see what the avantgarde of the art is doing today, CSW is definitely worth checking out. With more than 120 musicians from twelve countries playing on the festival, you’re bound to find something you like, be it the results of residencies of international composers, the works of international sound collectives, experiments from up and coming local composers, reinterpretations of classical approaches to compositions or evolving genres of electronic music.

(May 8th – May 15th)


One half film festival, one half conference, Subversive festival brings great thinkers and artists who question and expose the fallacies of status quo. Films shown on the festival (Kino Europa, Tuskanac cinema) are varied, but they all try to rethink the way our society functions. Some are conservative, some very leftis, but the all ask hard questions and seek, for some, unpleasant answers. The conference is similar, with international speakers of high regard coming to the festival each year. This year’s focus on the conference will be different economic models of European Union, critique of EU monetary policies and gentry leftists, worker’s rights as means to battle fascism and the nature of Islamic state, among other things.

COMIC STRIP SHOW (Crtani romani šou)
(May 13th – May 15th)



Zagreb’s international comic con is not the biggest of the bunch, but it takes full advantage of that. The authors and the public mix together in non formal conversations and drinks. There’s no strict separation between the stars and up and coming artists and you can feel that energy from the moment you set foot in Croatian Association of  Artist’s gallery (HDLU). There are going to be twelve international guests this years, with legends Hermann (Jeremiah) and Alfredo Castelli ( Martin Mystere) being guests of honor. Of course, there’s going to be exhibitions, lectures, panel discussions, drawings for public, a comic book fair and many other comic related content on the festival. The festival is entirely free.

SF CON (SFerakon)
(May 13th – May 15th)

SFerakon by Mario Topic

SFerakon has a tradition of 40 years behind it and is one of the longest running festivals in Zagreb. With international fantasy and SF authors as guests, cosplay competitions, medieval sword fights, science fiction and fact lectures, movies, tabletop game rooms and workshops, all held on the Faculty of Electronics and Computing (FER), it’s a piece of geek heaven in the middle of Zagreb.

(May 16th – May 22nd)

Zagreb Book Festival

After last year’s successful premiere with Sweden as a partner country, Zagreb book festival is coming back for a second run. This time the focus is on Irish contemporary literature, with Irish authors as guests. The full program is yet to be announced by the end of this week, but judging by last year’s content, it bound to be full of great readings, discussions, films and music connected to literature, and a whole lot of great books. The festival will take place at Museum of Contemporary Arts.