On Sunday, 29.09, the third and final competition evening of the international Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest was held. In the crowded Studio 5 Club, National Palace of Culture, in an incredibly friendly and positive atmosphere, eight artists performed two original songs each. They were Ivan Pechev, Laszlo Varay (Hungery), Dan Zelisko (Poland), Dimitar Ivanov, Anita Sunjic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Bilyana Todorova, Radoslav Vladimirov and Ditka Cepin (Slovenia).

A three-member jury comprising of Viktor Makarov (poet, composer), Vasil Gromkov (Bulgarian National Television) and Dana Cristescu (Romania) evaluated each performance in terms of the following criteria: music, lyrics, vocal skills, instrumental skills and stage presence. SKAT TV filmed the event over all three days and interviewed the participants. Guests from the embassies of Ireland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Nikolay Haytov Library were present in the hall, as well as famous Bulgarian bards such as Asen Maslarski and Ivan Nenkov. The Irishman Shane O’Fearghail gave a recital, having won last year’s edition. He blew everyone away and proved he is one of the biggest European stars in the genre currently. At the end of the evening, Vasil Gromkov, host of the program, along with Lilly Drumeva-O’Reilly, director of the festival, announced the prize winners. In third place with an award by Тoxity Records (10 studio recording hours) was Dimitar Ivanov, front man of the bands Mufta and Trudno Detstvo [Difficult Childhood]. Bilyana Todorova took second place, receiving gifts from Factor Music House. She was the only participant in this edition of SSSF who used the exotic ukulele as accompaniment. First prize – a high class Kremona guitar – was definitively given to the perfect Ditka Cepin of Slovenia.

Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest is an international acoustic music and poetry festival which is part of the capital’s cultural calendar of events. The festival consists of three competition evenings, a preliminary program, after-parties and performances on the radio and TV. The festival is part of the network of European poets with guitars festivals and is held to celebrate 1 October – music and poetry day. It attracts talented artists from all over the world who perform their original songs. Here you can read more about the festival and how to participate: https://sssf.eu

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