The Tusványos Summer University begins today in Transylvania with zero-day concerts by Metropol Group, Magashegyi Underground and Quimby.
The summer camp – which began in 1990 based on an idea by then BBC journalist David Campanale - has since come to the respectable age of 30 and has grown as big as the venue itself would allow.
In its first seven years it was held in the spa resort of Bálványosfürdő and moved thereafter to the nearby spa of Tusnádfürdő/Băile Tușnad, the smallest town by population (1,617) in Romania.
Rmx.news points out that while it now includes a plethora of concerts and other recreational activities, it conceived a discussion venue and testing ground of political ideas, and has essentially maintained that focus. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been a regular since the beginning and his speeches – traditionally held on Saturday – are the center of attention.
Over the years, the festival has also hosted such Romanian politicians as then foreign minister Adrian Severin and Presidents Traian Băsescu and Emil Constantinescu. Orbán’s speeches often set the tone for the next year in Hungarian politics and some controversial statements have also been made there.
Băsescu, for example, famously said in 2009 that the Romanian constitution does not allow for territorial autonomy of ethnic minorities – one of the pivotal goals of the Hungarians there.
Photo credit: vasarhely24