For Immediate Release

Golden Festival 2018

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2 Nights, 4 Stages, & More Than 3 Decades Strong

Zlatne Uste Golden Festival: NYC’s Festival of Music and Dance from the Balkans and Beyond

On January 12 and 13, 2018,  Brooklyn’s Grand Prospect Hall will again come alive with the music, song, and dance of the Balkans (and well beyond) as some 60 bands and 3000 revelers gather for the 33rd annual Zlatne Uste Golden Festival.

Golden Festival has been called a once-in-a-lifetime experience that happens every year. Crowds join hands and dance, shop for folk arts, nibble feta, sausage, and desserts, and share midwinter cheer. It’s a pop-up community where young and old, the folklorist, music professional and party animal come together in two nights of joy.

Part showcase, part benefit, part Balkan Mardi Gras, the Golden Festival features an enormous range of artists freely sharing their music. In what the Village Voice called a “grassroots folk rave,” seasoned veterans and rising stars in their own communities (think Macedonian, Bulgarian, Albanian), join top musicians from across the country, devoted amateurs, and Balkan-inflected jazz masters. Anchored in Balkan traditions (roughly Romania to Greece, Croatia to Turkey), and venturing generously beyond, the programming spans the ancient and the experimental, the oud and the synthesizer.

High spirits are fueled by anticipated notables, such as Merita Halili & Raif Hyseni, while burgeoning talents shine in teen band Cocek Nation and Young Bulgarian Voices New York. In the Atrium listeners are immersed in harmonic wonderment by an impressive roster of vocal ensembles. Visiting band highlights include Trendafilka out of New Orleans, self described as “ten women exploring our voices in polyphony”. Brooklyn’s own beloved Balkan brass acts (Slavic Soul Party, Raya Brass Band) are well represented, and of course Zlatne Uste, New York’s pioneering Balkan brass band and festival sponsors, performs both nights. A complete schedule will be posted on the website

Friday night includes a dance workshop and dancing to 12:30 in the Grand Ballroom. The festival lifts off again at 6 p.m. Saturday, whirls on four concurrent stages and only lands at 2 a.m., with an after-party scene at nearby nightspots. Grand Prospect Hall is located at 263 Prospect Avenue, between 5th and 6th Aves (R train to Prospect Ave., limited valet parking, ample street parking).

Entrance to the festival is $35 for Friday and $55 for Saturday, or $80 for both (food included), with discounts for students (with ID) and online purchase. Profits are donated to charitable or educational organizations serving Balkan communities.


Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band ( began the Golden Festival in 1986. Zlatne Uste is comprised of American-born musicians steeped in the brass and dance traditions of Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Northern Greece.  They have traveled from Brazil to Canada and coast to coast, playing for American and Balkan audiences. IN 1987 Zlatne Uste was the first foreign band ever invited to play Serbian music at the Dragačevo Brass Festival in Guča, Serbia, and the band’s fifth trip to the now legendary Guča festival is featured in Brasslands, a new documentary by Meerkat Media Collective. Zlatne Uste has released four CDs.


Golden Festival 2018,
NYC’s Festival of Music and Dance from the Balkans and Beyond
Venue: Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Avenue, between 5th and 6th Aves, Brooklyn, NY
Telephone contact: (646) 844-4653, Email:

Friday, Jan 12th, 7:30 pm to 12:30 am; Admission: $35, students with ID: $30
Saturday, Jan 13th, 6 pm to 2 am; Admission: $55, students with ID: $45
Two Night Festival Admission: $80, students $65
Children 12 and under: free
Advance online purchase:
Complimentary Balkan & Middle Eastern Snacks/Cash Bar
Subway: R to Prospect Ave. Limited on site valet parking
Facebook: Zlatne Uste Golden Festival

Press Contact: Joanna Zannoni,, tel (646)844-4653
Press photos available here.

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