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Country Profile: Slovakia

The world’s leading promoters & the 55 top markets they operate in.
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Situated conveniently between Vienna and Budapest, Slovakia’s main live music markets are Bratislava and Košice, where the nation’s two arenas are located.

Beyoncé, Rammstein, Imagine Dragons, Depeche Mode, and Red Hot Chili Peppers are among the acts that have played in recent years, and there’s a broad range of promoters working across all levels, including Live Nation, Vivien Agency, ProMusic, Czechoslovak Music Factory, Music Press Production, Dr. Horák, and Amadeus. And while the global economic and political issues (the country borders Ukraine) have slowed the post- pandemic recovery slightly, demand is still feverish.

“The audience in Slovakia is fantastic,” says Michal Kaščák, CEO of the 30,000-capacity Pohoda Festival in Trenčín, a key event in bringing major international acts such as Björk, Pulp, PJ Harvey, and The Prodigy to the area over its 16 years, as well as breaking grassroots artists to a wider audience. “People are hungry for music. So, despite not having an easy situation, I am optimistic, and I think that in 2024 people will be back in full.”

“People are hungry for music. So, despite not having an easy situation, I am optimistic, and I think that in 2024 people will be back in full.”

“Despite our initial fears about the return after two years, we were very pleasantly surprised by the demand from the audience and fans,” says Vivien’s CEO Jana Mudrikova, who relaunched in 2022 with shows by OneRepublic, Slipknot, Sting, Andre Rieu, Simply Red, and Eros Ramazzotti. Though increased production and marketing costs have forced up ticket prices, Mudrikova has seen some phenomenal sales for the biggest shows. “We sold out concerts and shows much faster than before the pandemic. We also managed to sell out the outdoor concerts of Depeche Mode and Rammstein in record time.”

Besides a thriving local club scene where hip-hop, hardcore, dance, intelligent pop, and queer scene acts are in the ascendance (only classic rock is declining here), the festival calendar has exploded. Well-curated events such as Pohoda, Bratislava Jazz Days, and Lovestream have been joined by an inrush of new local festivals, and Vivien is helping launch a new international event, STARMUS in May. All this activity has squeezed ticket sales but expanded opportunities for acts to perform and grow audiences.

“Opportunities are nearly endless,” says Kaščák. “Brave agents should have Slovakia in mind.”

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