The International Choir Festival of Karpenisi is a non-competitive event established in 1988. In the festival event, participating choirs perform in no less than two and up to five different concerts in four days. Choirs participating in the Festival event are not obliged by any means to participate in the Competition event as well (i.e. the Competition event is OPTIONAL).

The organizing committee of the International AV Choral Events offers the participating choirs the unique opportunity to give some additional yet OPTIONAL festival concerts in the broader area of the organizing cities. The primary aim of these events is to promote the virtues of choral art in the local community, strengthen the relations developed among the friends of music attending the Festival (locals, choristers, choirmasters, visitors) as well as to enable them to develop a comprehensive experience by participating in the festival outdoor activities (wine&food tasting, art by the river, art promoting actions, outdoor activities) and getting to know better the local beauties of each town (nature, products, people).

Types of Festival Events & Concerts

Main Concerts

The main concerts are being held at the main concert hall of each city (i.e. Conference Center of Karpenisi in Greece, Municipal Theatre at Gabrovo Bulgaria and Casa de Cultura a Sindicatelor Pitesti in Romania (main hall). Each choir is required to perform in the presence of audience a free choice program of up to 30 minutes and no more than 10 songs. Each concert includes no less than four and up to six choirs, whereas attendance to the main concerts is open to the audience.

The main concerts are typically organized from 19.00 to 22.00 daily in Karpenissi and 18.00 to 21.00 in Gabrovo and Pitesti.

Sacred Concert

Participation to this event is OPTIONAL. This event is being held within a Christian Orthodox Church and with the highest possible respect to the beliefs/formalities of the local community. During this event, each choir can perform a free choice a Capella program (musical instruments are not allowed) including only Christian songs. Attendance is open to the audience without requiring entrance tickets/fees.

The Sacred Concert is typically held during the last day of the AV Choral Events (evening time in Karpenisi and early in the morning in Gabrovo/Pitesti). Choirs interested in performing in the Sacred Concert should express their interest no latter than May 1.

Open Concerts

Participation to this type of events is OPTIONAL. Open concerts are performed outdoors by two to four choirs. Each choir can perform a free choice program of up to 20 minutes from its repertoire. Open concerts are being held in unique venues (meeting points/local villages) located in the near proximity of the towns, where each venue offers completely different experiences to the participating choirs and visitors. The list of venues for Karpenisi can be found under the venues tab of this website whereas the venues for Gabrovo and Pitesti are being scheduled each year on different places on demand.

Open concerts will be held during morning or noon time. Choirs interested in joining these events should express their interest by May 1 and list the venues in which they wish to perform in.

Social Events

The International AV Choral Events typically hold two different types of social events: the Festival parade and the Festival Gala(s). Photos from previous social events can be found in the website galllery.

The Festival parade is the highlight of the Festival as it enables participating choirs to wear their costumes and march to the city center followed by the municipal band.  All choirs are singing together during the parade and the parade convoy stops at the Central Square of Karpenisi where local authorities and numerous friends of choral art embrace the festival visitors. At the central square of the city, each choir performs one of the most impressive songs of its repertoire and the festival visitors have the opportunity to taste local products (e.g. local sweets, sausages, aperitifs, raki (tsipouro), feta cheese, etc), dance and have fun. This event is typically held on the first days of the festival (close to 12.00-14.00).

The Festival Gala(s) are joyful celebrations where participating choirs get the chance to eat, drink, sing and dance together while listening Greek rhymes/music by a live Greek orchestra (bouzouki, voices, guitar, keyboards, etc). During these events, choristers and choirmasters of different choirs and nationalities get to know each other better and meet with the members of the organizing committee. This type of events is organized right after the end of the Festival events (close to 21.00 – 22.00). Participation to this type of events requires a-priori registration (number of participants per choir) no later than June 1.

Local tours are offered to interested choirs that may have the opportunity to visit nearby points of interest. For the AV Choral Events GREECE, these places include the Proussos Greek orthodox monastery, the Lichadonesia sea tour, the Panta Vrechei Waterfall tour, the Kremaston artificial lake tour, and many more, depending on the availability of positions and the interest expressed by the participating choirs. For the AV Choral Events BULGARIA, the tours will be announced on demand. Participation to this type of events requires a-priori registration (number of participants per choir) no later than May 1.

Number of Performances/Participation to Social Events

The Festival events are non-competitive events, allowing participating choirs to choose both the number and the type of their performances. Nonetheless, some general rules apply:
a) Participation to one Main Concert is obligatory for all choirs.
b) Participation to the Sacred and Open Concerts is OPTIONAL. However, choirs interested in joining these events should promptly express their interest and send their program by May 1. No registration fees are required for the Sacred Concert. However, a small registration fee may be required for joining the Open Concerts depending on the type of the venue and the type of activities they wish to participate in.
d) Participation to the Festival Parade is optional.
e) Participation to the Festival Gala(s) is OPTIONAL and requires a-priori registration by May 1. A small registration fee per participant is required depending on the participant’s choice to enter the buffet or have a free drink.

Available Instruments

Main Concerts: The main concert hall of the AV Choral Events is already equipped with a piano. The use of condenser or dynamic microphones is possible on stage on-demand. The use of microphones to empower the sound of specific musical instruments is not allowed. The main hall is fully equipped with state-of-the-art sound systems and recording equipment.
Sacred concert: All types of musical instruments are forbidden and only a Capella songs can be performed.
Outdoor performances: Each choir should bring at the spot all the musical instruments required to accompany their songs. In certain venues, the organizing committee may deploy its own sound systems. However, choirs participating in Open Concerts should assume the absence of recording/sound systems and/or sound amplification.