Former Shaft Transforming into a New Cultural Centre in Idrija

From Friday, September 24, to Sunday, October 3, the “Festival of Industrial Culture – Betrib” will take place in Idrija for the first time, transforming industrial heritage into a place for creativity and culture.

Industry or mining culture is often associated with stereotypical thoughts, associated with hard work, dirt, pollution and ruggedness. But this doesn’t represent all colours of this unique area of culture. We will focus on the characteristics of the people from Idrija, who is so unique, special, but at the same time innovative and creative. This is also the reason why we chose a word from the Idria dialect “betrib” as the name of the festival. Although originally German word (meaning "operating, working"), it’s associated with the work and relentless creativity, so common for Idrija.

From the past into the Future

The festival programme consists of many smaller events and exhibitions that will enrich the venue of the Frančiške shaft and some other locations in Idrija. The unique experience, composed of small, specific exhibitions and installations, will be open from Friday, September 24, until the end of the festival, on Sunday, October 3. It will lead visitors on the journey through the past and future. A series of interviews called Preserved Memories will bring back the past experiences of older people. An exhibition Ariadne's Thread, which we are preparing in cooperation with the Town Museum of Idrija and the Idrija Lace School, will explore the coexistence of machines and Idrija lace in an experimental way. In cooperation with the Kumšt Association, an old UV device for observing the miners will be temporarily "revived".

In any case, when we present industrial culture, we cannot leave out humour, which has played an important role in Idrija for centuries. A special exhibition will put focus on the "Idrija memes”, a popular page active on Facebook.

The Festival will take place on the premises of the former Francis's Shaft.

Rich Evening Program

The main events of the festival will take place on Friday, September 24 and Saturday, September 25. On Friday, a special session will be dedicated to the work of late mine doctor Alfred B. Kobal. In addition to his regular medical work, he was also the conductor of the Big Band Idrija. For this special occasion, the orchestra is preparing a memorial concert under the direction of Nace Kogej.

Doctor Alfred B. Kobal led the Big Band Idrija in the 1960s. A few years ago he conducted the orchestra for the last time. Photo: Jakob Skrt

On Saturday evening, another highlight of the festival will take place - in the industrial environment of the Francis's Shaft venue, DJ Elijaz from Idrija, one of the most prominent characters in the Slovenian underground scene, will perform a special electronic session. perform, who is certainly becoming one of the most prominent characters in the Slovenian underground scene. The concert will also be broadcast live on the Internet!

Renowned DJ Eliaz will perform on Saturday, in the Francis's Shaft. Photo: Marko Čuk

The Betrib Festival is organized in cooperation with the Municipality of Idrija within the YOUIND project - Strengthening institutional capacities to cope with the outmigration of young people from industrial cities (Interreg V-A Slovenia-Austria), with the desire to bring industrial culture closer to young people. This year's program of the Festival of the Industrial Culture Betrib is being prepared in cooperation with local partners - CUDHg Idrija, the Town Museum of Idrija, the Town Library Idrija, the VAO Association and the Kumšt Association.

For more information about the program, visit the website