The summer season is upon us and every year I try to stay up to date with all of the festivals going on. I always miss a couple though simply because I haven’t looked them up and there’s quite a few to remember. So, this year I decided to compile some of the island’s major festivals in a blog post, for all of us, with their dates and some details of what’s happening this year. Enjoy!
Ancient Greek Drama Festival: June 28 – July 27
Theatre lovers this one’s for you. Drama performances from local and international productions from Spain, Italy, Greece and Slovenia will be playing at outdoor theatres; Limassol’s Ancient Kourion Theatre, Ancient Odeon Theatre in Paphos and Skali Aglantzia in Nicosia. This year, the plays presented will be by Euripides and Aristophanes.
‘Trojan Women’ on June 28 (Odeon, Paphos) and June 30 (Skali, Nicosia).
‘Hippolytus’ on July 8 (Odeon, Paphos) and July 10 (Skali, Nicosia).
‘Lysistrata’ on July 12 (Kourion, Limassol) and July 13 (Kourion, Limassol).
‘Bacchae’ on July 18 (Skali, Nicosia), July 20 (Kourion, Limassol) and July 22 (Odeon, Paphos).
’Iphigenia in Aulis’ on July 26 (Kourion, Limassol) and July 27 (Kourion, Limassol).
For more information visit the website.
AglanJazz: July 2 - 3
A favourite jazz festival that brings life back to the old square in Aglantzia. The setting for me is one of the things I enjoy the most at this festival; the fairy lights, the cushions on the steps and the beer stands. Seven music ensembles will perform jazz and jazz-inspired sets. Here’s who they are:
20.30 Odysseas Toumazou Trio (Cyprus)
21.45 Edi Nulz (Austria)
22.45 Sendecki – Spiegel (Germany)
20.30 Nicolas Tryphonos Quintet (Cyprus)
21.25 Luca Ciarla solOrchestra (Italy)
22.20 Mihalis Kalkanis Group (Greece)
23.15 Macumba (Cyprus)
Organised by Aglantzia Municipality. Tel: 22462233
Into the Limbo: July 13
This is the 8th season for this psychedelic stoner rock festival happening at the spooky, abandonned Agios Sozomenos. Now, I’ve never been but from what I hear from fans of this type of music, it’s a thrilling party. The setting definitely adds to the vibe. Check out this year’s line-up
The AfroBanana + Friends Festival 2019: July 17-21
Long-term followers of this festival will have noticed various changes over the last few years. Last year, the festival left its usual location of Kornos to set up camp at Pervolia, Larnaca. This year, it’s relocating again to one of my favourite parts of the island; Paphos. Val’s Place in Gialia, Paphos will be hosting Afrobanana 2019 for more days than usual.
You’ll notice that the name has slightly changed as well adding ‘+ Friends’. From what I know, this is to create a more community feel and include their dozens of collaborators further into the festival. Other details haven’t been released yet but you can expect international music acts, funky architectural designs and a camp site.
Follow the Facebook event here.
Fengaros Festival 2019: August 1-3
This music festival has also been going through some changes in the last two years. In 2018 they left the cute, stone-built village of Kato Drys for the Journalist’s Village in Larnaca. That’s where things went a bit sour in my opinion as the new location didn’t come close to recreating the cosy, adventurous vibe of Kato Drys, interacting with the villagers, sleeping at the school’s yard and having breakfast at the kafeneio.
This year, in its 9th edition, Fengaros is returning to Kato Drys (yay!) and has a very exciting music line-up. More than forty acts will be on across three stages playing pop and rock, folk music, dance music, hip hop, and more.
There are far too many acts to list here (you can find all of them on the website) but here’s a couple that I’m really excited about:
Marina Satti & Fonέs on day 2, who found fame through her remake of ‘Koupes’ and her new song ‘Mantissa’. METAXAS x GHSTWRLD featuring Cypriot writer and singer Nikolas Metaxas and electronic duo GHSTWRLD. My all-time favourite choir group in Cyprus, Vasiliki and The Amalgamation, if you haven’t heard them live yet you are in for a treat and if you can ever attend one of Vasiliki’s workshops, do so! Tropical psych punk freakout trio Fumaça Preta also sound exciting as well as Balothizer who describe their music as “Cretan Music from Hell”. They fuse Cretan music and poetry traditions, along with heavy bass lines and thunderous drumming.
But besides the concerts, the festival has also set up the Fengaros Music Village which takes place every year with a bunch of workshops. This year it will be during July 25-30 in Kato Drys.
Here are the 2019 workshops:
Evgenios Voulgaris - Pre-War Rebetiko: Theory and practice workshop
Yiannis Dionysiou - Urban Folk Singing - From Dalgas to Kazantzidis
Andys Skordis - Takendim...Rhythms and polyrhythms
Odysseas Toumazou - Beyond the six strings
Michalis Kapilidis - Rhythm section: Ways to function, ways to support music
Eleni Irakleous - MILA RE SOL! The development of musicality and musical pedagogy through singing
Sophie Fetokaki - Approaches to musical embodiment
Marios Takoushis - Music for the moving picture
Stelios Ktoras - Dimitris Fyrios - The radio and music producer (is ...)
Lefteris Moumtzis - The musician’s mindset
Athina Kassiou - Theatrical workshop - Through the text
Kostas Makrygiannakis - Going moδular [Artist residency]
SuCarMuS - Sustainable Careers in the Music Sector [Parallel Action]
Lemesos International Documentary Festival: August 1-8
Happening every August, creative and independent documentaries are screened at the Evagoras Lanitis Centre. The 2019 programme isn’t out yet though I remember two or three years ago I watched an incredible documentary about the drug cartels in Mexico and absolutely loved the direction, as well as a cool summer evening out in Limassol.
Head to the website for updates.
Windcraft Music Festival: August 10-11
When I first attended this festival, I was thrilled to be able to discover more of my country’s traditions through interacting with the villagers and attending workshops in their homes about Cypriot cuisine and music. I baked bread with a grandmother, her daughter and her grand-daughter, I attempted to learn smili with another expert villager and was part of a singing circle with the amazing Angeliki Toumbanaki at a lady’s house which used to be an ex-EOKA hiding place. Sounds cool right? I was so excited by it that I wrote a blog post about it. Click here to read about that experience.
Just like every year, Windcraft will be a two-day music fiesta with various concerts where wind instruments have a leading role. In its 6th edition, there will be a great focus on street arts with music, dance and visual arts in every corner of the village.
The 2019 line-up will include: ‘NDIAZ (France), Agios Lavrentios Brass Band (with musicians from Greece, Germany, Italy, Canada, New Zealand), Bunta Blanedo (Greece), The Khat (Israel), Nicolas Tryfonos Quintet (Cyprus), Windcraft Band (Cyprus) and 3 new collaborations of local bands with international musicians - Macumba feat. percussionist Nils Fischer (Germany), Odysseas Toumazou Trio feat. saxophonist and EWI player Itai Weissman (Israel) and LARVA feat. saxophonist Federico Pascucci (Italy). The percussion band Batukinio will open the festival.
Besides the performances there will be a Latin percussion workshop, a mandala workshop and children’s theatre performances.
Find out more here: www.windcraftmusicfest.com
There are definitely more festivals happening but then this post would be ridiculously long. There’s the International Ballet Festival (June 15 – July 10), the Limassol Wine Festival (August 30 – September 8), the 4th Phaneromeni Arts Festival between June 27 and September, a kleftiko festival, a watermelon festival and so on. Villages have loads of traditional festivals on. Here’s an article I wrote about them last year for Culture Trip and though the dates are for 2018, it’ll give you a taste of what’s to come.
For the rest, you’re on your own but these are the major events happening every summer in Cyprus, so nobody say that there’s nothing going on in our little island. Some of my most cherished summer memories are at some of these festivals having fun with dear friends and connecting with like-minded people.
Summer 2019 I’m ready for ya!
P.S. I couldn’t find all of the photographers so if you see a photo that’s yours please contact me so I can add credit.