Mėnuo Juodaragis (English: Black Horned Moon, also known as MJR) is an annual independent and non-profit Lithuanian music festival for various post-folklore, folklore, neo-folk, alternative, experimental music and contemporaty Baltic culture.
It is a festival of contemporary Baltic culture focusing on the heritage of pagan tradition, Baltic culture revival, post-folk trends and avant-garde of contemporary music. Mėnuo Juodaragis also offers other activities around these topics. The festival's programme includes lectures, tribal workshops, traditional rites, art exhibitions, various creative and ecologic actions, a selection of art house films, hikes, sports, folk dances and DJ parties. Traditionally, Mėnuo Juodaragis stretches through three days and nights and has several scenes at a time.
Mėnuo Juodaragis is an independent event based on people's engagement and ideology. All festival's activities are based on personal initiatives and free will exclusive of any formal undertakings.
MJR is among the few events in Lithuania attracting foreign visitors. During the last few years, the festival was visited by guests from over twenty-five countries.
The program includes different styles of music ranging from ethno, neo-folk, post-folk, tribal, gothic to ambient, industrial, IDM, rock/metal, avant-garde and others. Yet, the bands usually share similarities in stylistic or lyrical content.
Mėnuo Juodaragis was initiated in 1997 as a spontaneous gathering of several creative youths and their friends in Verbiškės village near Molėtai town, Lithuania. Today, the MJR has become a major Lithuanian event of the alternative scene. An increasing number of visitors and artists take part in the festival each year.
The festival is organised in picturesque locations of nature. A tradition emerged to organise the growing event in a new location every three years. Following the start in Verbiškės, Mėnuo Juodaragis took place in Sudeikiai settlement near Utena town in 2000-2002. The timing of the event also became fixed and falls on the last weekend of Summer. In 2003-2005, MJR was held in Kernavė, the ancient capital of Lithuania. After a break in 2006, the festival took place on the island of Zarasas Lake in Zarasai town. The 13th edition of the festival was unique for a limited number of tickets and took place in Aukštadvaris Regional Park.
MJR is organised by the oldest Lithuanian independent record label "Dangus", a non-profit public institution "Baltijos Griaustinis". Starting from 2002, the festival is partially supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, other culture institutions, various enterprises, media channels and private persons.