The first Pecs International Folkest took place in 1986 and was funded by the various state agencies existing in the years of socialism. Today the festival still exists, although like all festivals it has gone through some tricky patches over the years. This article examines, through newspaper cuttings, archive materials and the inaccurate memories of the many organizers, how it has survived the transfer from one state-dominated regime to another based on a new capitalism that has pushed cultural events, always an important part of the socialist political voice, into the background. In October of 1985 my folk-singing cousin Chris Foster came across from Britain to Hungary for a holiday. One afternoon three of us, Chris, myself and the English-speaking Lajos Bergics, then working in the town museum of folk art but now self-employed as leader and owner of the Hungarian folk ensemble Zengo, sat down to a beer in a newly-constructed pub at the high-rise end of town. Somewhere in the middle of the otherwise ethnographic conversation Chris said, "You know, this town would be the perfect backdrop for a folk festival."