Music and nightlife
Bucharest is home to Romania’s largest recording labels, and is often the residence of Romanian musicians. Romanian rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s, such as Iris and Holograf, continue to be popular, particularly with the middle-aged, while since the beginning of the 1990s the hip hop/rap scene has developed. Hip-hop bands and artists from Bucharest such as B.U.G. Mafia, Paraziții, La Familia enjoy national and international recognition.
The pop-rock band Taxi have been gaining international respect, as has Spitalul de Urgență‘s raucous updating of traditional Romanian music. While many neighbourhood discos play manele, an Oriental- and Roma-influenced genre of music that is particularly popular in Bucharest’s working class districts, the city has a rich jazz and blues scene, and, to an even larger extent, house music/trance and heavy metal/punk scenes. Bucharest’s jazz profile has especially risen since 2002, with the presence of two venues, Green Hours and Art Jazz, as well as an American presence alongside established Romanians.
There is no central nightlife strip, with entertainment venues dispersed throughout the city, with clusters in Lipscani and Regie. The city hosts some of the best electronic music clubs in Europe such as Kristal Glam Club and Studio Martin. Some other notable venues are Gaia, Bamboo, Fratelli, Kulturhaus and Fabrica.
Cultural events and festivals
There are a number of cultural festivals in Bucharest throughout the year but most festivals take place in the summer months of June, July and August. The National Opera organises the International Opera Festival every year in May and June, which includes ensembles and orchestras from all over the world.
The Romanian Athaeneum Society hosts the George Enescu Festival at locations throughout the city in September every two years (odd years). The Museum of the Romanian Peasant and the Village Museum organise events throughout the year showcasing Romanian folk arts and crafts.
In the 2000s, due to the growing prominence of the Chinese community in Bucharest, Chinese cultural events took place. The first officially-organised Chinese festival was the Chinese New Year’s Eve Festival of February 2005 which took place in Nichita Stănescu Park and was organised by the Bucharest City Hall.
In 2005, Bucharest was the first city in Southeastern Europe to host the international CowParade, which resulted in dozens of decorated cow sculptures being placed across the city.