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The Sky over Matera with the upcoming Balloon Festival

MBF_07Matera and Basilicata, where people lives since eight thousand years, and time seems going by more slowly. This is a land of exchange and transformation. From the ancient paths and rites of transhumance, to cyclical influences of Ancient Greece, Rome, Byzantine, Lombard, Arab, Norman and Swabian. From immigration to emigration. Not only “roots and routes” but also new models of living the water, the popular religion and tourism. These are the themes that have rewarded Matera as “European Capital of Culture 2019“, presenting itself as a city-symbol of all the forgotten cultures, of all the global South, the bearer of utopia, able to overcome the crisis and to imagine new patterns of life, culture and economy.

Matera Balloon Festival (MBF) is scheduled from October 8 to 11 and this is the first International Festival of Ballooning the city of stones. You can admire the city from above, in the silence of the wind, touching the Stones, then slowly landing on the Natural Park of the Murgia Matera, cut by deep canyons and towering cliffs. Finally get into that suggestive crib of caves, tuff houses and rock churches, which is today  Unesco World Heritage.

MBF_06During the festival twenty crews of balloons from all over Europe will do their show, up in the skies over the Sassi, twice a day; while on the ground numerous sporting and cultural events will involve schools and families in the colorful Iglú de Vent (installations created with recycled sails of balloons, coming directly from the Catalan city of Igualada, home to the European Balloon Festival, Event partner of MBF). Sassi and the Park of the Murgia Matera are scheduling many sporting attractions for children (tests archery, cycling and horse riding, mini-tournaments, trekking and climbing); the festival of children’s literature in the Sassi; educational workshops for schools and families about the art of paper and glass recycling and on healthy eating. Also there will be a show cooking and “Taste Workshops” organized by Slow Food, as well as jugglers and local writers engaged in the show “Urban Street Art“, by MomArt Gallery and House Natural.

Among the international guests of the festival there will be also Jim Avignon, a German artist, known worldwide for his street art, authoritative representative of the new-pop movement, and extremely well-known and respected figure in the Berlin techno sub-cultures. The festival will end up with “Night Glow”, a hot air balloons show that, after sunset, will light up with music, like giant light bulbs, and will inaugurate “Naturarte”, dedicated to excursions in the Basilicata.

by Adele Magnelli



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