In the summertime, when the weather is fine, there’s no better place to party the night away than in the great outdoors. From the foothills of the Troodos mountains, to quaint traditional villages and magical forest lands, just about every part of the country will be a wearing a party hat this August. And if you’re wondering which outdoor event is most up your street, the My Cyprus Insider team has compiled a guide to three of the best that we believe deserve special attention.
1. Fengaros Festival, Kato Drys
The great pioneer of Cyprus music festivals, the mighty Fengaros Festival returns to the village of Kato Drys this year for three days of sensational music (August 1 – 3), with bands from the Mediterranean and beyond bringing the old stone village to life. The 9th edition of the festival will see more than forty acts on three stages, featuring both western and non-western music, including contemporary pop and rock, folk music, dance music, hip hop, and much more.
This year’s line-up spotlights ground-breakers of the commonly-named “Greek Rock Revolution”, Planet of Zeus, along with Thrax Punks and Balothizer, who mix tradition with a contemporary sound, as well as pioneering Cypriot rapper JUΛIO, on the first day of the festival. A line-up that blends and experiments with contemporary pop music will be presented on day two, with Marina Satti & Fonέs highlighting the night, showcasing their fusion of traditional Mediterranean, Balkan and Middle Eastern folk arrangements with pop and hip hop.
Photos: Emma Louise Charalambous
Other features include synth-pop and psychedelic folk artist Nalyssa Green, as well as a new indie electronic project between Nikolas Metaxas and GHSTWRLD called METAXAS x GHSTWRLD. The final day of the festival will be headlined by pop-rock chanson singer, Foivos Delivorias. Other highlights include the dynamic Vasiliki and The Amalgamation, tropical psych-punk freakout trio, Fumaça Preta, and dream pop songstress Eleni Era. Get ready to let your hair down to party in real alternative style.
When and where? August 1 – 3 Kato Drys village, Larnaca district. www.fengaros.com
2. Windcraft Music Fest, Katydata
Innovative and downright cool, the Windcraft Music Festival does a fantastic job of presenting a fresh and alternative approach to tradition, bringing music lovers together in the idyllic and normally sleepy Katydata village in the Solea valley. With a focus on wind instruments, they take a starring role in contemporary music creation, drawing inspiration from world music traditions over the weekend of August 10- 11. with a variety of local and foreign bands coming together to play in three picturesque locations in the village, the ultimate goal of the event is that of reviving the wider rural region of Solea, by blowing a wind of artistic creation and high energy from the urban centers to the island’s countryside, while promoting the work of local and foreign artists.
Photos: Marios Papafotiou
Expect French band, Ndiaz, to get your toes tapping with Brazilian, Middle Eastern and Indian music elements, while The Khat will be reviving Yemen’s musical traditions with Arab and Jewish lyrics, dressed with sounds coming out of modern, partially handmade, music instruments. All this will be topped with performances by Bunta Planedo, Agios Lavrentios Brass Band, the Nicolas Tryfonos Quintet, Odysseas Toumazou’s trio – joining forces with the innovative EWI and sax player, Itai Weissman – the LARVA duet, the Windcraft Band and Batukinio.
By pursuing the conviction that art is not simply found onstage but also in every corner of our lives, this year’s event is also turning its focus on street arts. Prepare to experience music, dance and visual arts in every corner of the village: the festival’s programme includes workshops, screenings, theatrical plays for children and other activities which will invite each and every visitor to act, explore and exchange experiences while enjoying the wonderful process of artistic creation. What more could you possibly ask for?
When and where? August 10- 11. Katydata village, Troodos district. www.windcraftmusicfest.com
3. Xarkis Festival, Polystipos
A buzzing hub of artistic expression, Xarkis Festival moves to the cool Polystipos this year; a mountainous village in the Nicosia district. For the seventh year running, the festival (on August 16, 17 and 18) will be bringing artsy crowds a taste of all things creative in the context of an artist’s residency programme with an entertaining initiatives and activities that are open to the public. Since the onset of the festival, the central idea is that all the activities that take place in the village, can then be a model of rejuvenation and creative, cultural development. The aim is to rejuvenate local business, promote local culture and generate awareness about the island’s cultural heritage.
Once you step foot in the village, you can expect talks, workshops, film screenings, performances around the village, neo-traditional games, audio walks and more. No matter what your age or background, they’ll be an activity to partake in, while you’re guaranteed an immersive experience of local life. When you want to kick back, head to the pop-up coffee shop and picnic area, while a range of food and delicacies will be on offer at the event to temp you.
When and where? August 16, 17 and 18. Polystipos village, Nicosia district. xarkisfestival.org
Cover photo: Windcraft Music Fest