OFF-Fest was established in 2002 as a second festival, which arose from an event of a longer tradition: Skopje Jazz Festival (31 years). The main idea was to fill the gap outside the jazz festival and to create another important music event in a different period of the year, and in terms of music genres, wide-oriented. It was a natural decision to start this festival in a decade of full globalization and fast growing creativity, as well as raising awareness of the so-called "world music". OFFest presents a variety of music from all continents, focusing on different categories of world music: traditional, ethno, folk, roots, to urban, as well as contemporary and experimental music styles. A lot of renowned artist from all over the world performed throughout OFF-Fest's history.
The 12th edition of OFF-Fest will take place between June 1-6 with a line-up including one of the leading figures in the world music today - Indian sitar player Anoushka Shankar, magical Turkish virtuosos Taksim Trio, Macedonian ethno project Bioscopia, internationally acclaimed Slovenian singer Brina, Moroccan/Senegalese sextet University of Gnawa led by Aziz Sahmaoui, remarkable Colombian modernists Ondatrópica, revolutionary Finnish accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen and South Korean improvisers Tori Ensemble.
OFF-Fest is a member of European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals.