Every year, from the middle of July until the middle of August, the Ohrid Summer Festival is held.
There are concerts and plays in old locations, such as the Roman Amphitheater and the Church of St Sofia.
At the square close to the new port, there is a small booth where you can get information and tickets.
"The Balkan Festival of folk songs and dances" is an international folklore event established in 1962. Its original title was "The Ohrid Festival of Amateur Folk Songs and Folk Bands". The ceremonial opening took place 20th July 1962 in the town's square. In 1967 the Festival was restructured and ever since it has been hosting vocal and instrumental bands and solo singers presenting their authentic folk creations and traditional culture through horas, songs, rites, traditional clothes, local costumes, traditional musical instruments, and handicrafts.
For more than twenty years "The Balkan Festival of Folk Songs and Dances" has been a member of the UNESCO Associations of CIOFF (The International Council of the Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folklore Art), and IOFA (The International Organization for Folklore Art.
Traditionally, the Festival takes place in the beginning of July. Countries from the Balkans and neighbouring countries take part in the Festival. In the 36 years of its existence, it has hosted about 40,000 folk singers, dancers and instrumentalists from Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, FR Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Turkey, Cyprus, as well as from France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Russia, Moldavia, Poland, Bohemia, Slovakia, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Australia, USA, Canada, Malesia, and others.
Part of the Festival focuses on displaying exhibitions. In recent years the Folklore Institute "Marko Cepenkov" from Skopje organizes seminars on Balkan folklore.
Chroniclers have written: "The musical and theatre festival called "Ohrid Summer" was born on 4th August 1961 under the vaults of the cathedral temple of St. Sofia. The Primadonna of the Opera within the Macedonian National Theatre from Skopje, Ana Lipsa-Tofovic, followed by Ladislav Predlik on piano, performed the arias of Stradella, Rossi, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and Gluck. The following year Vladimir Ruzgak (Croatia), the Slovenian Octet (Slovenia), Martina Arojo (USA), and once again Ana Lipsa-Tofovic confirmed the fact that the temple of the ancient Ohrid Archiepiscopate can also be the temple of arts.
In its thriving years "Ohrid Summer" started to act as a Musical Academy. The presence of the great instrumental virtuosos was used for organizing special seminars aiming at passing the experience to the new generation. Through the hands of the esteemed maestro such as Elephterio Papastavro (cello), Jeanne Blanchard (piano), Leonid Kogan (violin), Aldo Chiccolini (piano), Andre Navara (cello), Octav Enigharesco and Johnny Becky (soloists), Eugenia Chugaieva (violin), Ikhukko Endo (piano), and Arbo Valdma (piano), generations of musicians took part in these seminars. They, later on in their lives, gained affirmation on the musical stages throughout the world.
Since 1995 "Ohrid Summer" is a member of the European Festival Association (Association Européenne Des Festivals)
It should be mentioned that after 37 years of "Ohrid Summer", Ohrid has become a place where highly artistic qualities are respected and from where universal artistic messages have been disseminated. In the last three and the half decades this has been confirmed by artists from more than 50 countries world-wide, who have brought more than 1, 200 musical and theatrical performances to an audience of more than one million people.