Following the acclaimed international performance Letters From the Front directed by Marjan Bevk in 2001, the Kluže Fortress inspired the idea of a creative fusion of history and cultural heritage of the Isonzo Front through a modern perspective that could complement the range of cultural and tourist events in the Soča region. The Festival, which has ever since been organised by the B-51 Cultural Society, should become a platform for all types of cultural and artistic events in the Upper Soča Valley.
The opening performance Letters From the Front was based on the authentic correspondence of soldiers at the Isonzo Front. It was extremely strong emotional charge of the show, together with the ambience of the Kluže Fortress that allowed to »move« these never-forgotten hardship times in the history of Soča region to present in a most convincing, beautiful, efficient and artistically noble way.
The international Kluže Festival resulted from the initiative of Bovec Municipality and B-51 Cultural Society. The Fortress which was over 90 years ago inhabited by soldiers from various countries finally became the venue of organised cultural events. It is a project which succeeded in drawing the attention of Bovec Municipality to the wealth of its own cultural heritage, the attention of the state and the Ministry of Culture to a new project which combines history, culture and tourism in the Soča region, as well as the attention of the local and foreign audience and artists to a new cultural meeting point.
Through its programme, the Kluže Festival constantly strives to attract the audience of various generations interested in theatre, and simultaneously satisfy the fans of different music, fine art and literary events. The main programme composed of domestic and international theatre performances is an attempt to provide guests selected artistic experience in the authentic venue of an impressive military fortress. The complexity and simultaneously the challenge of the project's concept are based on the selection of a quality programme, the satisfaction of both local audience and tourists, as well as the search of an ideal programme profile. From the original one-week festival in July and through weekend programmes, the festival has over recent years settled as a two-part event taking place in July and August. This term has proved to be most appropriate and is best testified by many visitors and the attendance of fans of summer cultural events from other regional centres (Tolmin, Idrija, Nova Gorica etc.).
The Kluže Festival future prospect is in particular further fusion of history, culture and tourism and a more distinctive acknowledgement of a festival as an important international project in Slovenia and abroad. The ambitious plans of the organiser (B-51 Cultural Society from Ljubljana), Bovec Municipality and - especially in the last two years – the intensive engagement of LTO Bovec provide better possibilities for the acquisition of the European funds and international partners, and thereby the chance to promote regional collaboration at the border between Slovenia, Italy and Austria. In addition, this would also allow to upgrade the festival's concept with educational activities, art workshops and the production of site-specific theatre performances at the Kluže Fortress.