Art-Gene Folk Festival

Exploring Georgia's Premier Folklore Celebration: Music, Dance, And Artisan Crafts
Cover image © Wikimedia

The Art-Gene Folk Festival, a beacon of Georgian culture, unfolds annually in the enchanting setting of the Open Air Museum of Ethnography in Tbilisi. This festival, rooted in the promotion of Georgian folklore, has flourished over 19 years, attracting a diverse audience with its rich blend of music, dance, crafts, and cuisine. Typically held in the summer months, the festival offers a unique opportunity to experience the vibrancy of Georgian traditions in a picturesque natural environment.

Historical Context And Evolution

Tracing its origins back nearly two decades, Art-Gene Festival has consistently provided a platform for the display and preservation of Georgian folklore. Each year, the festival adopts a unique theme, reflecting various aspects of Georgian culture. For instance, themes have ranged from “Family folklore and polyphonic songs” in 2004 to “Georgian ecology and bio products” in 2009, illustrating the festival's commitment to showcasing the diverse elements of Georgian heritage.

A Melting Pot Of Artistic Expression

The festival is renowned for its eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary performances. It features a wide array of activities, from musical and choreographic performances to arts and crafts. Notably, it's not just limited to Georgian participants; it has seen participation from various countries, underscoring its international appeal.

Impact On Local Artists And Communities

Art-Gene has played a pivotal role in promoting local artists and communities. For instance, artists like Elene Chantladze and Fridon Nizharadze, have found fame and recognition through the festival. Instrument makers and artisans also get a platform to showcase their work, contributing to the preservation and revitalization of Georgian crafts.

Festival Venues And Activities

The Open Air Museum of Ethnography in Tbilisi serves as the primary venue for the festival, providing a picturesque backdrop for the events. The festival features a plethora of activities including traditional dance troupes, contemporary Georgian artists, and a variety of crafts and culinary delights. This combination of nature, culture, and art creates an immersive experience for attendees.

Ethnography Museum Ethnography Museum Tbilisi Tbilisi

Culinary And Craft Exhibitions

A significant aspect of the festival is the exhibition of Georgian cuisine and crafts. Visitors can indulge in local culinary delights and explore a range of handicrafts, offering a tangible connection to Georgian traditions.


The Art-Gene Folk Festival is more than just an event; it's a celebration of Georgia's rich cultural heritage. It not only entertains but also educates and preserves the unique traditions of Georgia, making it an unmissable experience for those interested in cultural festivals and the vibrant tapestry of Georgian life.

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