Come celebrate Balkan music and dance with us at our weekend festival—in person! Our East Coast BalkanFest will be held in the lively West Village and Astoria neighborhoods of the New York City boroughs. Jump into the joy with a live-music dance party on Friday night and then come back for classes and more dance parties on Saturday with world-class instructors and performers. People of all ages and experience levels are welcome!
Village Community School SkyYard
The Village Community School is located in the heart of the West Village of Manhattan. Built on the roof of the school’s newest construction, the SkyYard is a large, open-air space for recreation and activity. The venue provides a bright, atmospheric place to gather with friends, eat, and, of course, dance. The building is accessible, and the SkyYard can be reached by elevator or stairs. In case of bad weather, we will move indoors to the gym.
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
Founded in 1892 in Astoria, Queens, the aim of the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden was to support Czech and Slovak immigrants to the area, as well as people of Czech and Slovak ancestry. At one time, there were over 800 beer gardens in New York City—three in Astoria alone. Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden is the oldest beer garden in New York and survives to carry the proud tradition into the new millennium! In the spacious courtyard there is a linden tree there that was planted by Václav Havel, which when in bloom fills the garden with its intoxicating scent. The old-world charm of this venue is enhanced with old signs and flags from the Czech Republic inside the bar. The large outdoor space features picnic tables, an outdoor bar, grills serving food, as well as a raised dance floor and stage. Inside boasts a spacious hall with a high ceiling, and a wooden floor for our dancing pleasure. In case of rain tents will be provided over tables. In case of particularly bad weather, outdoor events will move indoors.
Please note that fees do not cover food or drink, so bring some extra $$ to quench your thirst and feed your kef!
Anastasia Tsantes will provide a delectable assortment of Balkan-style meze (e.g. pitas, appetizer salads, sausages, cheese), which will be sold in various combinations to tease and please your palate. Note that our Friday party is on property where alcohol is not permitted—please plan accordingly. Bring your own non-alcoholic beverages or a water bottle that you can fill on site. In addition to the food available onsite, there are numerous establishments in the area available for your dining pleasure. Local restaurants include Italian, Southwestern American, Chinese, Mexican, and Japanese, as well as more casual delis, pizzerias, and sandwich shops.
Bohemian Hall has a full menu, featuring grilled fare as well as Czech and Slovak favorites. They serve a wide variety of beers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, including Golden Pheasant, BrouCzech, Pilsner Urquell, Krušovice, Czechvar, and Staropramen, as well as many craft beers. The surrounding Astoria neighborhood also has numerous restaurants and cafes for your dining and snacking pleasure.
A number of full scholarships are available for the BalkanFest weekend. Start here—deadline to apply is June 15, 2022.
A few tuition-waiver work exchanges may be available for participants. Inquiries for work exchanges will be entertained only after registration has begun (see below). Please contact the EEFC Office if you wish to be considered for a work exchange. We will follow up on individual work exchange requests as soon as possible.
Online registration is open (see the red “Register” tab above). Event updates will be announced through our E-newsletter (sign-up if you haven’t already), the EEFC Discussion list, and on our Facebook page.
Click on the red Schedule tab above for workshop and dance set times and locations
Staff and band listings are subject to update and change.
Please note the schedule and bands are subject to change, even at the very last minute.
We will add to this section as questions come up!
You’re asking that everyone be masked in indoor spaces. Will there be exceptions?