HOW a year flies past and it’s that moment again to publicise a Transylvanian festival without descending into all those ‘fangs for making it, count’ cliches. So welcome to Góbéfest, returning to Albert Square for its third year (Friday, May 24-Sunday, May 26).
You may just swoop in (oops, sorry) to catch the eclectic main stage acts, ranging from Balkan speed-folk-freak-punk to a young people's zither orchestra. ToM fancies Stockport’s Lazlo Baby and their brand of Balkan folksy ska – “they’ll clobber you with their enthusiastic brouhaha”.
This year's free event also includes a family tent, running activities throughout the weekend, including arts and music workshops and traditional puppet shows. Gift stalls offer traditional peasant costumes, too,
Food is obviously a key ingredient in the Transylvanian – something to get your teeth in to (oops, forgot ourselves again). Full list of the food traders and the free tastings in the activity tent on Friday is via this link. Here are ToM's foodie tips…
• Check out the traditional Chimney Cakes. Kürtőskalács Szeklerland are bringing theirs – sweet pastries cooked on a spit – all the way from Transylvania, while Chimney Cake Paradise will also be shaking cinnamon sugar over curly pastries, as you can never have too many barbecued cakes.
• Something savoury? Szekely Csarda are Transylvanian bbq and street food kings, offering pork and potato goulash plus mititiei, Romanian skinless, beef, pork and lamb sausages. Vegetarian and vegan options including Magyar lecsó, a Hungarian take on ratatouille. The Langos Factory will be serving up langos (deep fried flatbread served with toppings including creme freche, cheese and garlic), stuffed cabbage and goulash.
• And booze? Hungarian Wine House sells from family run, artisan producers, including the 100 hectare Thummerer vineyard. Try their Trefli Cuvee, a sweet red. Also available to buy by the glass or bottle will be whites, roses and dessert wines, including the famous Tokajis, which sell fo up to £200 a bottle. Szicsek Palinka handcrafts this spirit drink from 100% fruit, using traditional methods. Up to 46% ABV, flavours include pear, plum, blackberry, wild sour cherry and mountain ash berries.
Góbéfest was established in 2017 to celebrate the little-known culture and traditions of the Székler people – a group of ethnic Hungarians living in Transylvania, which is part of Romania. A Góbé is a friendly word for a ‘crafty Székely’.
Góbéfest, Albert Square, Manchester M2 5DB. May 24-26. Fri 12pm-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm and Sun 11am-10pm. Free.