For over three decades, the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival
has been a vibrant fixture of New York City, bringing together
music lovers, culture enthusiasts, & curious souls alike.

What started as a modest gathering in a Manhattan loft has blossomed into a spectacular event featuring over 50 bands and acts across multiple stages, captivating audiences over two unforgettable nights. But the Golden Festival is more than just a showcase of musical talent. It’s an immersive experience that invites attendees to explore the rich tapestry of Balkan, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cultures. Delight in authentic refreshments, peruse crafts and vendors, and admire exquisite textiles, all weaving together an unforgettable experience.

So, whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a newcomer eager to experience something truly special, we invite you to join us at the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival. Come and witness the magic as music and dance weave their spell, creating moments of joy, connection, and celebration that will stay with you long after the final notes fade away.

Our 2024 Poster Design:
“The Astoria Queens”

This year’s poster celebrates the return of the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival as a two-night indoor event at our new home in Astoria, Queens. Astoria, a vibrant city-within-a-city, is home to the second-largest Greek population outside of Athens and boasts a rich tapestry of Balkan cultures, each leaving its mark on the area’s cultural and culinary landscape.

The theme of “Astoria Queens” is a joyful bit of wordplay, inspired in part by the traditional card games still enjoyed in Astoria’s storied social clubs, which serve as cultural community hubs. Instead of representing the four seasons, as in traditional decks, our Astoria Queens represent themes dear to our hearts. They celebrate rural, village, and urban music, and in particular, the growing presence of women musicians within those traditions. As you will surely experience at our festival, women are composing tunes, driving the beat, and fronting bands both here in the United States and across Europe.

While some of our queens are busy on stage, our fourth queen has devoted herself to another noble pursuit. She is a baker and is depicted presenting a saragli, a spiral burek pie ubiquitous throughout the Balkans. She represents the rich culinary heritage of Astoria, where Balkan and Mediterranean flavors converge and connect the past with the present one bite at a time.

And finally, with love and respect, we celebrate the members of these communities who have graciously shared their music, dance, culinary, and craft traditions with us over the decades. They have not only taught us but also opened doors to their own celebrations, enriching our lives, our festival, and our city.

The band that started it all...

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.