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Slovakian industry unites to condemn LGBTIQ+ hate crime

Slovakia’s live music industry is uniting to condemn two homophobic murders which took place last week, outside of LGBTIQ+ bar Tepláreň in Bratislava.

On 12 October, a far-right radicalised gunman murdered two young men, Matúš Horváth and Juraj Vankulič, in what has been dubbed “a cowardly act of terror”.

The hate crime attracted the attention of the European Parliament, which has called on governments to condemn hate and violence against “persons based on their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and sex characteristics in both Slovakia and the EU”.

The country’s biggest music festival Pohoda is spearheading a series of events to express solidarity with the bereaved, and show support for the LGBTIQ+ community.

More than 70 artists will perform across 40 venues across Slovakia between 12 to 20 November as part of the Slovenská Tepláreň event.

The festival will also host the Tepláreň Nahlas discussion series organised by the artist Ilona Németh, the Visual stage of the Pohoda festival, Nová Cvernovka center, the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, and the Matej Bel Institute.

Dozens of artists will perform in clubs across Slovakia between 12 to 20 November as part of the Slovenská Tepláreň event

“We want to express our solidarity with the families and loved ones of Matúš and Juraj, who were murdered in a hate crime in Bratislava’s Tepláreň bar,” reads a statement from Pohoda, which takes place at Trenčín Airport each year.

“We want to express our respect and esteem to those who made Tepláreň a welcoming place where free people can meet. We want to express our support for the LGBTI+ community.

“We want Slovakia to be a country where everyone can feel safe and where minorities are accepted with respect as a natural part of society. We want to see legislation changed to ensure a dignified and full-fledged life for all people in Slovakia, including the LGBTI+ community. We want to walk the path of non-violence, togetherness, and tolerance, and that is why we are organising the Slovenská Tepláreň festival.”

The festival’s partners include Tepláreň, Inakosť, Dúhový PRIDE Bratislava, Dúhový PRIDE Košice, Queer Slovakia, Saplinq and EHMK 2026 Trenčín.

Artists, venues or organisations wanting to take part in the festival are invited to apply before Friday 28 October. For more information, visit the Slovenská Tepláreň website here.


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