Zlatne Uste Golden Festival, the Country’s Biggest Balkan Music Celebration, Returns

NYC’s favorite Balkan bash returns in person for the first time since the pandemic on May 10-11, 2024, at Astoria World Manor.



Media Contact:

Katie Papadopoulos, SiPP Communications, katie@letssipp.com

Jerry Kisslinger, Golden Festival Organizing Committee, jerrykisslinger@gmail.com

Astoria, Queens, NY – April 8, 2024 – Experience the vibrant musical traditions of the Balkans and beyond at Zlatne Uste Golden Festival 2024. Now in its 38th year, the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival is the country’s biggest, most inclusive festival celebrating Balkan music, dance, and the joy of community. From international stars to local favorites to debut acts, over 50 bands representing traditions around the world will perform, including Bulgarian, Romani (Gypsy), Macedonian, Serbian, Greek, Turkish, Hungarian, Scandinavian, Klezmer, Ukrainian, and Georgian music during the two-night festival on May 10-11, 2024.  

The organization’s first full-scale in-person event since the pandemic, this year’s Golden Festival* will be held at Astoria World Manor (25-22 Astoria Blvd., Astoria, NY 11102) in Queens. As the most diverse borough in New York City, just shy of half the residents (47%) of Queens are born outside of the U.S., and Astoria has long been a center of Greek and other Balkan communities. 

The celebration begins Friday, May 10, with a dance workshop to live music from 7:30 pm to 8:45 pm and four bands playing live music until 12:30 am. Friday is a great way to ease into the festival and an excellent opportunity to dance! The celebration resumes at 6 pm Saturday, May 11 with four simultaneous music stages, not winding down until early Sunday morning. Additional event details and ticketing information can be found at www.goldenfest.org 

“Golden Festival sits at the center of an incredible community. It’s a real mix—of performers in different styles, from recent immigrants to people whose families have been here for generations, and of people ranging in age from babies to nonagenarians,” said Michael Ginsburg, Director of the festival’s sponsor, Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band. “The word ‘festival’ doesn’t really describe what happens at this one-of-a-kind party with a level of experience you can only find in New York City—great traditional and new-style music from Eastern Europe, incredible food for sampling, dazzling décor and people moving together to the music. I leave every festival thinking that we just had the best one we’ve ever done. It’s something we’re really proud of.”

The Balkans are famously a crossroads of cultures, and Golden Festival’s programming is inclusive of the many currents you may find there. Festival attendees can enjoy hours of beautiful and energetic music, the chance to dance to unusual rhythms, and complementary mouth-watering Balkan and Middle Eastern refreshments. Move to a brass band, chill to a quiet set of songs, or shop for handcrafts and get a henna tattoo at the Charshiya marketplace. 

Golden Festival is an all-volunteer effort that benefits relief efforts through organizations such as the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and human rights organizations like the European Roma Rights Center as well as related educational organizations, including the East European Folklife Center. Leading musicians donate their time for the joy of sharing in the fun, and the knowledge that they are helping to support organizations that serve communities in the Balkans and promote awareness of Balkan cultures.

For additional information and tickets, please visit www.goldenfest.org

*Golden Festival event details & ticket pricing:

Location: Astoria World Manor 

25-22 Astoria Blvd 

Astoria, Queens, NY 11102 

Friday, May 10, 7:30pm – 12:30am

  • $50; $35 for students with ID; Children 12 & under are free

Saturday, May 11, 6:00pm – 2:00am

  • $95: $65 for students with ID; Children 12 & under are free

Ticket prices include all entertainment and snacks; a cash bar will be available. 


Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band, now in its 41st year, is the foremost presenter of traditional Balkan brass music in the US. They have performed for concerts, weddings, and festivals across the US and in the Balkans, from the esteemed halls of the Kennedy Center in Washington to the illustrious Guča Brass Festival in Serbia, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors. They were the first musicians from abroad to perform Serbian music at Guča, and they have been invited guests five times. Their 2010 visit was featured in the documentary Brasslands. They have released four albums of music for listening and dancing. In 1986, they created the Golden Festival and have joyously sponsored it ever since. For more information about Zlatne Uste Brass Band visit https://www.facebook.com/ZlatneUste