Since 1997 is the International Folklore Festival CIOFF® Pilsen the meeting place for lovers of folklore and traditional folk art. Each year about 20 groups of adults or children from the Czech Republic and foreign countries – including some exotic places like Egypt, Mexico, Ecuador or Zimbabwe – take part in this festival.
Each festival event takes place in the historical centre of Pilsen in the pleasant surroundings of the Smetana Garden (the main festival scene "U Branky"). Hundreds of participants in fancy traditional costumes create an unforgettable atmosphere through their dances and music for which the festival events are regularly visited by large number of excited fans. Since 2006 the part of the festival is also the live recording of the Czech Radio Pilsen.
The Dýšina Folklore Festivities took place in the years 2001–2003 in small village Dýšina and in the years 2001 and 2002 also the International Folklore Afternoon in Horní Bříza. Currently there are also the Small Folklore Festivities Under the Vrčeň Lime Tree in the pleasant surroundings of village Vrčeň Vrčeň (from 2004) and also the Folklore Evening in the village Čižice (from 2007). Some selected groups are also participating in the program of the Historical Weekend held by the Foundation of 700 Years of the City of Pilsen.
Moreover, a part of the festival is also the parade through Pilsen and a traditional Czech fair, exhibits of traditional craft production and gastronomy, an art competition for children Folklore Traditions in the Eyes of Children and a number of accompanying programmes (educational performances of foreign folklore for school children, concerts for the elderly, a folklore programme at the ZOO, presentation of regional winners of the Young Singer competition ("Zpěváček"), brass bands performances etc.)
Currently the main organizer of the festival is the Pilsen Folklore Scene (Plzeňská folklorní scéna, z.s.) working in cooperation with the City of Pilsen, the Pilsen Region, the Foundation of 700 Years of The City of Pilsen, the Ministry of Culture, The Folklore Association of the Czech Republic, the Jiskra Folklore Ensemble, the Czech Radio Pilsen and a number of other partners.
Since 2008 the festival is a regular member of the prestigious worldwide organization CIOFF® which works within the scope of UNESCO organization.