The first half of 2015 will bring to Bulgaria performers ranging – somewhat diversely – from the Imperial Russian Ballet through to Blind Guardian, OneRepublic, Roxette and Toto.
The Todes Ballet is in town at the beginning of February, combining ice skating, ballet and breakdance at a performance at the National Palace of Culture (NDK) in Sofia on February 1. Tickets cost from 30 to 60 leva, available via eventim.bg. The following day, the troupe will be in Veliko Turnovo, at the Vassil Levski Palace of Culture and Sport.
The Imperial Russian Ballet is at NDK on February 10 and 11. The February 10 date is a performance of Swan Lake, with Bolero and Carmina Burana the following day. Tickets cost from 25 to 75 leva, available at the NDK box office and via eventimbg.
Formed in 1994, the ballet company’s name is a bow to Russia’s Tsarist imperial era. The company’s touring career has taken it everywhere from Japan to the US to South America and Australia.
On February 19, Iceland’s post-metal great Solstafir comes to Bulgaria for the first time, for a performance at Club Mixtape 5. Solstafir have been around since the 1990s, over the years gradually shaking off early Viking and black metal influences to focus on an experimental and melodic sound. Tickets are 35 to 35 leva.
The fourth annual winter edition of the festival dedicated to brass music, Brazzobrazzie is at Sofia Live Club from February 19 to 21 2015. Acts appearing include Radio Zastava and Ottoni Animati.
Radio Zastava features a wealth of nationalities – Italians, Austrians, Slovenians and Bosnians, in turn reflected in the band’s tangle of styles, from rock to punk, from swing to reggae, from Balkan rhythms to electronic music.
Ottoni Animati, 11 musicians from Sicily, boast a musical alchemy that skillfully mixes traditional and modern music.
Holding their first concert in Bulgaria will be the Zuralia Orchestra, bringing to the Brazzobrazzie festival their blend of Romanian folklore music with traditional Roma music, jazz, reggae and Latin rhythms.
Tickets for the festival are available via ticketportal.bg, ticketplus.bg and at the NDK box office.
February 27 sees the Top DJs World Tour, at Arena Armeec in Sofia. Featuring Hardwell, Fedde le Grand, Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano. The tour follows a vote by readers of DJ Mag. Tickets cost 40 or 50 leva and 100 leva for a “VIP” ticket, via eventim.bg
Blind Guardian is at Universiada Hall in Sofia on May 16. As their website describes them, “with a steady evolution from their early days as a speed metal band to their current, renowned musical alchemy of glory, drama, and grandiosity, Germany’s Blind Guardian have long since made their mark as the world’s definitive melodic/progressive rock band.” Tickets, costing 42 leva, are available via ticketpro.bg.
June 2 brings US pop-rock band OneRepublic to Sofia, to the Bulgarian capital city’s Arena Armeec.
Formed in 2002, OneRepublic achieved commercial success on MySpace as an unsigned act. In 2007, OneRepublic released their debut album, Dreaming Out Loud, which went platinum. OneRepublic’s third album, Native (2013), became the band’s first top 10 album on the Billboard 200, and highest charting album to date, charting at number four. The lead single, “If I Lose Myself” charted within the top 10 in several countries, while the album’s third single, “Counting Stars”, became the band’s most successful single in recent years, obtaining top five placements in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, the US and the UK.
Tickets for the OneRepublic concert cost, variously, 65, 75, 85, 95 and 110 leva, available via eventim.bg.
Outside Sofia, down at the Black Sea coast in the city of Bourgas, Godsmack and Papa Roach are appearing on June 16, at the Summer Chaos Festival at Lazur Stadium. Tickets cost 65 or 85 leva depending on the place on the pitch, and 110 leva for front-of-stage; available via ticketpro.bg.
Formed in the 1990s, Godsmack have been part of the 1999/2000 Ozzfest tour and have toured Europe with Black Sabbath. Papa Roach is an American rock band from Vacaville, California. Their first major-label release was the triple-platinum album Infest (2000). There have been six albums since then, with Getting Away With Murder (2004) going platinum. Papa Roach has sold more than 20 million album copies worldwide.
June 17 sees Swedish pop-rock duo Roxette at Arena Armeec in Sofia. Tickets range from 50 to 120 leva. Achieving chart success around the world in the late 1980s, Roxette has sold an estimated 60 million records worldwide. Their hits have included Dressed for Success, Listen to your Heart, It Must Have Been Love, and Joyride.
American rock band Toto will be in Sofia, at Arena Armeec, on June 28. Formed in 1977, the band is known for its musical style that combines elements of pop, rock, soul, funk,progressive rock, hard rock, R&B and jazz. With album sales topping 35 million, Toto is arguably best known for hits such as Hold the Line, Rosanna, and Africa. Tickets, ranging from 60 to 110 leva, are available via eventim.bg.
Given that life is not all pop-rock and heavy metal, concertgoers with classical tastes are well advised to visit the website of the Sofia Opera and Ballet to see their programme (in English) into 2015.
As to the second half of 2015, a sneak preview of performances announced so far includes Black Label Society on July 26 at Universiada Hall in Sofia, Eros Ramazzotti on September 26 at Arena Armeec, and Lord of the Dance – Dangerous Games on October 3 at NDK’s Hall 1 in Sofia.