The Best Festivals to Attend in Athens
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The best festivals to attend in Athens, Greece! Athens’ festival scene is constantly growing with more and more events taking place both in the winter and in the summertime. Music festivals and live concerts, art exhibitions, and sports events run throughout the year welcoming people of all ages and styles.
Here is a rundown of the best annual festivals that should definitely be on your radar.
Athens – Epidaurus Festival
Held since 1955, Athens Epidaurus Festival is the city’s most prestigious festival.
During the annual three-month Athens Epidaurus Festivals ancient Greek playwrights come to life in the city’s legendary theatres and modern venues.
From early June to mid-August, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the ancient theatre of Epidaurus host theatrical plays and music concerts from renowned Greek and international artists.
Summer Nostos Festival
Every year at the beginning of June, the Summer Nostos Festival invites people of all ages to Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre for a week full of music, arts, and sports.
The free-entrance festival takes place in SNFCC’s indoor and outdoor spaces and every year boasts a multifaceted program filled with diverse activities and events.
Featuring renowned artists from the international -rock- music scene and emerging local bands, Ejekt Festival has gained a reputation as Athens’ largest music festival.
Taking place at Platia Nerou (click to see the map) every year around June, Ejekt has become one of the most anticipated summer events.
Ejekt Festival has been part of Athens’ festival scene since 2005 and until nowadays its stages have hosted names such as The Cure, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and The Killers.
Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival
Taking place since 2001, Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival celebrates this year its 20th birthday.
For 7 days in early summer, the old gas factory in the area of Gazi brims with the sound of jazz tunes. Exhibitions, book presentations, and educational activities take place all day long while at night international bands and musicians hit the stage.
Since its foundation, Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival has welcomed over 2,850 musicians and more than 250 international and Greek bands.
Bringing the most modern and fresh names of the international music scene in the heart of Athens, Plisskën Festival is known as the city’s most innovative and exciting multi-genre music festival.
Over the past 10 years that Plisskën Festival has been taking place it has held winter and summer versions. Using various modern spaces and buildings as its venues the popular festival hosts artists from the electronic, indie, and rock scenes.
Giorgio Moroder, Jungle, Tinariwen, Mogwai, and Mulatu Astatke are some of the names that have comprised Plisskën’s line-ups over the years.
Release Athens Festival
Boasting an incredible line-up in 2019 with Iggy Pop, Cypress Hill, and Damien Marley being only some of the artists that appeared on stage, Release Athens Festival has managed to make its fans anticipate its next line-up announcement.
Release Festival made its debut in 2016 with Pj Harvey, Beirut and Sigur Ros being some of the year’s headliners.
Ever since at the beginning of summer, Platia Nerou gets packed with music enthusiasts flocking to see their favorite acts.
The Athens International Film Festival Opening Nights
Presenting remarkable independent productions and screening the premieres of notable movies from all over the world since 1995, Athens International Film Festival Opening Nights is a part of Athens’ cultural scene.
The two-week festival takes place in numerous cinema halls around the city center every year in September.
Athens Open Air Film Festival
Every year from June until late August, Athens Open Air Film Festival holds movie screenings in the city’s most beautiful outdoor spaces.
Parks, archaeological sites, beaches, and museums’ backyards transform into open-air cinemas presenting film masterpieces of all times as well as blockbusters and Greek productions.
Athens Digital Arts Festival
Athens Digital Arts Festival hosts a wide range of exhibitions, screenings, live performances, and workshops showcasing the best of digital art of the international and the local scene.
Since its foundation in 2005, Athens Digital Arts Festival has significantly evolved adding every year more types of activities and art forms.
Athens Street Food Festival
The former tram depot in the area of Gazi has now become a cultural venue hosting different types of events and festivals.
Every year in spring, Athens Street Food Festival sets dozens of stalls serving delicacies from international and local cuisine.
The city’s foodies have three different weekends to choose from for tasting the best of Athens’ street food scene with the menu being often renewed always hiding a different surprise.
Burger Fest is the first Greek food festival showcasing the best burger restaurants and takeaways. It takes place over two weekends in the former tram depot attracting burger aficionados of all ages.
Aside from a great variety of food stalls, Burger Fest hosts also events, concerts, and activities for the whole family. In 2019, Burger Fest attracted 63.000 visitors of all ages.
AthensCon is a two-day event showcasing different aspects of modern pop culture.
From comics, books, and graphic novels to video games and role-playing games, AthensCon offers a wide range of exhibits and items every comic fan would like to add to their collection.
Workshops, seminars, and talks by Greek and International writers and designers take place during the event inviting guests to learn more about the art of comics.
Whether you’re an art lover, a music enthusiast, or a foodie, Athens’ festival scene has you covered.
Keep an eye out on the city’s cultural agenda because no matter which time of the year you’re visiting the Greek capital, there will certainly be an event going on.
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