Brasov, a popular touristic city in Romania, held one of the biggest and important music events in Europe. During the months of August through September, The Golden Stag became a tradition in the international pop world, promoting local and foreign talents. Nonetheless, it was a contest-show with musicians from Romania and abroad, and special guests from across the world.
In 1968 took place the first edition, in the Council Square. Nicolae Ceausescu chose Brasov as the location because of its historical importance. Government of Romania desired to show the rest of Europe that the country was open-minded and free. Moreover, conceived initially as a copy of San Remo festival, the spectacle was soon known for its own name. Until the present, along many interruptions over the years, 17 editions took place. The main organizers, Romanian Television, stopped them in 2009 because of insufficient funds necessary to continue the show.
So, even though many years passed, Golden Stag received incredible appreciations, viewed as a big success. It had two main components, international contest and guest performances by foreign or Romanian artists, entertaining the numerous crowd and viewers across the globe.
Over time, many well-known stars have performed on stage, including Ray Charles, Kenny Rogers, UB 40, Ricky Martin, Scorpions, Sheryl Crow, Patricia Kaas, Toto Cutugno, James Brown, Pink and the list goes on. Interesting fact, a young artist named Julio Iglesias had his first international debut at the festival and eventually became famous. And let’s not forget Christina Aguilera, who participated over more than a decade ago.
Some of Romania’s own artists got the chance to let their voice be heard like Margareta Paslaru, Doina Spataru, Vama Veche. O-zone, Compact and Dan Spataru, Iris, Nicu Alifantis, or Gabriel Cotabita.
Creating such a big international show with performers from Romania or other different countries was not an easy task for Romanian Television. They had to have a sincere passion for music, wanting to invest interest and effort into their work. Also, every performance was like a test, a competition that involved the spirit. That is one of the reasons why other festivals were not that popular.
Golden Stag Festival had the goal to show the public that a no-name artist can become a star with a good opportunity. Well conduct and scenic arrangement stood out from the very first edition. People enjoyed lovely nights filled with good music, dances, and spectacular moments.
Big names from Romanian and international showbiz presented the concert during its existence like Iurie Darie and Stela Popescu in the first edition. Ricky Dandel, Beatrice Vornicu, Tania Budi and Toni Grecu too. In the latter editions Horia Brenciu, Andreea Marin, Alina Sorescu.
Also, the participants of the contest cannot be omitted. Such countries as Finland, Italy, Russia, China, Mexic, Israel and Turkey performed on stage. Some of the Romanian winners were Paula Seling, Monica Anghel, Luminita Dobrescu and Proconsul.
As the title suggests, the spectacle was a launching track for young artists all over the world. Their talent got recognized and inspired thousands of people to believe in themselves.
A source of entertainment beginning in the Communist era, Romania succeeded to bring on stage important names in music industry. An event that became so popular, the Golden Stag Festival remains in the hearts of many.