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Summer festivals

Greece is brimming with festivals every summer. These fascinating celebrations, some of which date WAY back in time, never fail to fire up the imaginations of art-loving audiences…Distinguished artists from Greece and all over the world dazzle us with their creativity and inspiration! You will be amazed by the sheer number and variety of the events, artists and different kinds of music and other art forms on offer under the blue Greek skies this summer.

Parties in idyllic locations by the river in Kastoria and Evros, classical music on Syros, psychedelic-trance on Samothráki, jazz in Halkidiki, ancient Greek plays in Epidaurus and a unique diving festival in Kálymnos prove that the summertime Greek stage has it all! Take a careful look at the events on offer and pick your favourite way to make summer in Greece even more unforgettable.

Herodion Athens

River Party at Nestorio, Kastoria in Western Greece is a major Greek music festival with a deep-rooted tradition that brings together more than 50,000 fans during its five days of events alongside the Aliakmonas River. What makes the Festival unique is that the visitors have the chance to camp by the river in a magnificent outdoor area around the stages (where the Festival itself takes place).  It offers us the chance to enjoy favourite Greek artists. In an idyllic setting by the river, the audience be able to enjoy colourful performances on the main stage and on the “green” stage and to take part in in fun activities like paintball, bungee jumping and bungee trampoline organised for the Festival! Famous DJs will be playing the hottest tracks for you every night! Be there!
More information at www.riverparty.org

Once again this year, the 17th youth festival at Kastaniés, Evros, (Thrace, Eastern Greece) will be the summer’s most electrifying event, unleashing another storm of first-class names! From 27th until 31st July you’ll be able to enjoy the best of Greek music! If you don’t want to miss a single event, take the opportunity to camp on the festival site in the beautiful natural surroundings of the river bank! The concerts take place on two outdoor stages; the central stage is situated next to the river while there is a second, smaller one is situated on the sand-dunes scattered around the river! The sand dunes have also been specially kitted out so that you can enjoy a game of beach volleyball or soccer.
More information at: www.ardas.gr

For the seventh consecutive year the one and only Festival of the Aegean will be taking place from 12th to 25th July on Syros Island. The performances will take place in Miaouli Square at the Apollo Theatre (constructed in 1864), which is reminiscent of “La Scala”, and at the Church of St Nikolaos, in the aristocratic neighbourhood of Vaporia. Internationally known artists, like Oscar winning actress Olympia Doukakis, the opera star Natalia Ushakova and the Italian choreographer Renato Canela are just some of the 500 artists that will honour the event with their presence. On 12th July enjoy the choral gala “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi performed by Natalia Ushakova; on 13th and 15th July enjoy a tribute to choral music taking place at the Apollo Theatre (accompanied by the PanEuropean Philharmonia Orchestra) and the “sunset concert” at St Nikolaos’ Church, during which four visiting choirs will perform a cappella sacred choral music. On 15th July there is a tribute to Gustav Mahler commemorating the 100th Anniversary of his death; his works will be performed by the PanEuropean Philharmonia Orchestra. On 17th July at Miaouli square there will be a performance of “Carmina Burana” as well as Zorbas Suite by Mikis Theodoridis. On 19th and 20th July a lucky audience will have the opportunity to enjoy a virtuoso performance by the famous Greek-American artist Olympia Doukakis in a stage reading of “Rose”, a monologue by Martin Sherman. The closing event of the Festival is “Medea’s Choice”, a world premiere Ballet presentation based on the opera composed by Mikis Theodorakis.
More information at: www.festivaloftheaegean.com

Once again this year, Kálymnos, the “sponge divers island” and scuba-diving paradise will bring together lovers of diving at an event that brings back to life traditional sponge diving techniques – the “Diving Festival and Skandalopetra Games of Kalymnos” on July 18th-24th, 2011. The festival is the most spectacular summer event on the island. The organisers want to inspire everyone from beginners to experienced divers to visit Kalymnos, a little known paradise for diving (and climbing as well) thanks to its well-preserved pristine natural character. The festival offers a fascinating range of activities, for which no participation fees are required.
• Skandalopetra Games
• CMAS Apnoea International Judge Course
• Introduction to CMAS apnoea disciplines
• Demonstration of traditional sponge diving techniques
• Visit to Diving Museums
• Underwater Photography Seminar
• Underwater Photography Contest
The event will be held on Kálymnos from July 18 to July 24 2011 with the participation and support of:
• CMAS - the World Underwater Federation,
• EOYDAA - the Greek Federation of Underwater Activities
• FIPSAS - the Italian Federation of Underwater Activities and
• RUF - the Russian Federation of Underwater Activities
More information at: www.kalymnosdivingfestival.com

Sani Festival, the Festival organised by the Sani holiday resort in Halkidiki, is celebrating 20 years of jazz on Sani Hill by inviting a host of superbly talented jazz musicians to take us on a magical journey to the passionate world of jazz! Enjoy the David Murray Cuban Ensemble playing Nat King Cole en espanol on 15th July, Ludovico Einaudi on 16th July and finally the music of Parisian Renaud Garcia-Fons, an extraordinary blend of classical, jazz and ethnic music, on 17th July. This year’s programme will be enriched with avant-garde theatrical performances as well as events showcasing the work of young Greek musicians. There is also a new twist this year to the classical music events, known as “Classical Waves”; concerts performed by distinguished Greek musicians will be enriched with master classes presented by the musicians themselves. “Sounds of the World” is another important event which this year will feature well-established artists from all over the world: the Moroccan singer Hindi Zahra on 22th July; the music group “!Dela Dap”, one of the most important exponents of the Urban Gypsy Sound or Nu-Gypsy on 23rd July and “De Temps Antan”, a remarkable traditional music ensemble from Quebec, on 23rd July. This year’s musical programmes will have a distinctly Gallic flavour, with a number of French artists featuring Jazz on the Hill, Sounds of the World and Classical Waves.
More information at www.sanifestival.gr

Let us not forget the highlight of cultural life in Athens, the famous Athens Festival, which will be offering us some fascinating events throughout July and August. The ancient theatre of Herodus Atticus (Herodio), the Athens Concert Hall, the Apo Michanis Theatre, the National Museum of Modern Art, the port of Piraeus and of course the ancient Theatre of Epidaurus are among the venues that will host the performances. Some of the most eagerly awaited events are the tragedy “Media” by Euripides, the comedy “Peace” by Aristophanes and the Bridge Project’s “Richard the Third” by Sam Mendes at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, as well as concerts by famous Greek artists at the Small Theatre of Epidaurus.
More information at www.greekfestival.gr

Herodion Athens

This years’ Aurora Festival will be taking place at the most mystical centre of antiquity, the “Sanctuary of the Great Gods”! Let us introduce you from the 23rd to 29th August into the cosmic secrets of the sacred island of Samothraki in the Northern Aegean, where imposing mountains, crystal clear seas, dense forests and ancient temples form a fascinating backdrop to celebrations of the miracles of music and art. The audience can camp in the beautiful unspoilt area around the stages and enjoy more than 120 prominent artists from Greece and all over the world. The concerts are inspired by the elements of nature: the SUN concert, with powerful psychedelic & progressive heartbeats from all over the world and the MOON concert set to the rhythms of meditative and uplifting spiritual trance music. This year you can also pay a visit to “The Temple of Gnosis” in an event which examines the sacred relationship between humans and nature. The event aims to harmonise the Body, Mind and Soul. Visit the webpage of the festival to book your tickets and/or your accommodation in the camping area (www.aurorafestival.gr)!

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