Why (music) festivals are important, specifically in a small island like Cyprus_ from my point of view.
Yesterday I attended a rock and blues festival in Nicosia, called The Forest Fest Vol.1. The festival featured local rock and blues bands and it was the first time it was held. As an attendant I got the opportunity to finally watch live The Zilla Project which I discovered recently and a bunch of other bands who I had no idea existed.
Having in mind that other local festivals are approaching (e.g Farma Projekt, Afro Banana Republic Festival, Fengaros, Xarkis and more) I decided to write an article on what the benefits of those festivals are in a small island like Cyprus.
Mostly what those festivals got to offer is the opportunity to have a nice time in a different manner than usual, a more alternative way. The majority of the festivals comes with the chance to camp nearby, especially if they are a two-days or more festival. So you take your friends, organize, book the tickets and just go. At night you are listening to music and at day, you are just having fun with your pals, maybe visiting a close beach, or just fooling around (e.g. warning people for a cat disease you “learnt” about and of which I will say no more because it is not necessary).
What is really interesting about those festival is the chance to listen to some bands and musicians you have never heard before. A a music junkie myself, I get excited when this happens. Last year at Afro Banana Republic Festival I listened to a new band which I immediately loved; Family Atlantica. Not only I enjoyed them at the festival, but when I was informed that they were playing a couple of days ago in Limassol I took my friends and my little sister to listen to them one more time before they go back to the UK. Most important memory of that band: 5 o clock in the morning with a good friend of mine siting in the pavilion we designed, and the musicians from the band came and asked us if it is ok to start playing some relaxing music. Of course it was OK and it created a wonderful memory for life, which brings me to the next point;
Something to remember
The most important part of those festivals is the memories they will offer you. Not only on what you’ve heard musically speaking, but also on what you’ve experienced there with your friends or the new friends you have made along the way. The people you got to know and the people that came there with you. Think of all the inside jokes you will make or the memories of the small talks at night with a bottle of beer at hand, or the amazing memory of that delicious burger you tried and you can no longer remember the name of the food truck that provided it, making you desperate to try it once more. Small stuff, I know, but quite important. For me I guess.
Let’s face it though, are the small things in life that matter in the end. And what you learn along the way.
4. Something to learn.
You may say, ” what is she talking about? what does learning have to do with festivals?”. Well for starters festivals not only deal with music. Take, Xarkis for example, which not only brings musicians but also organize a series of workshops for the eager to learn. Those workshops are about theater, creative writing, music, photography, art and ALL THOSE are taking place in the roads and houses of a small traditional Cypriot village. What is more educational and fun than that?! This year I am even more excited about Xarkis, because it will take place at my grandfather’s village; Koilani.
Another example of a more educational- or is it better to call it cultural?- is the annual International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, which it will be held for the 20th time and it will feature local and international theater companies.
The most important reason, is that the trend of the most alternative music festivals is something new to Cyprus, and the new generation starts to love it. Not only because it offers an alternative mean of activity and vacation, but of what it offers in general. It is not only about the music, or theater or education. You have to see the bigger picture. Think of all the people behind those festivals and the effort the put to create something in that scale. The designers, the planners, the organizers, they all work not only to offer something nice an a matter of experience, but also to offer something pleasant for the eye and something comfortable for the visitor. It is nice Cypriots tend to search for those kinds of entertainment and that some of those take the initiative to offer them.
So, make a research on the upcoming festivals and decide which one you might visit this year and simply just have fun. You won’t regret it!
Till next time,