Summer Festivals 2002

Review by Alex Candy & Seq-X

Author: Sequential-X
Date: Sep 18, 2002
Views: 2242


July 22, 2002 - Text: Alex Candy & Sequential-X

First of all, I have to say that it has been a very interesting summer this year in Greece. Following last year's Sola Luna festival in Samothraki, which was very successful and the first trance festival officially taking place in Greece, five (!!) festivals where planned for this summer to take place in various parts of Northern Greece. In chronological order :

Magical Forest Festival
Psava Faam Festival
Sola Luna Festival
Voama Festival
Samothraki Dance Festival


Magical Forest

The Magical Forest festival took place in Naousa (28-30 June). It was the first summer festival and was the less advertised of all the festivals taking place. As a result there weren't so many people attending with almost no people from abroad. This combined with the fact that there was only one stage with a rather small dancefloor shaped the event more into a big 2-day party rather than an international festival. Positive aspects : the location was very nice (mountain woods), quite organized, the most reasonable ticket price of all festivals, the opportunity to hear and experience sets from djs/artists from Australia that have never played before in Greece such as the legendary Nick Taylor, Rip van Hippy and Andrew Till. Negative aspects : very small dancefloor and not so powerful sound system, some police trouble outside the party, negative response by some people when exposed to a more experimental sound. In general, the positive aspects easily overcome the few negative ones….Overall, I had a very good time !!! …..Thumbs up !!!


Psava Faam

The Psava Faam festival (12-14 July) can be described in two words as a "nightmare festival". It is really very very hard to find some positive things to say….e.g. there was no drinking water, almost no toilet facilities, no shade (35C), names such as Ozric Tentacles (half of the people attending came to see them), Yumade, Paps, Antaro did not show up, the stages were set up in a really amateur way with no weather protection, police problems, expensive ticket, no organisation, people not getting paid….If you wonder where about the waterfalls were-displayed on the flyer..only about 25 km away…I honestly thought at some point "what wrong have I done and I have to be here?" It was a torture festival and I hope I will never experience something like this again. I feel sorry especially for some people who traveled all across Europe by car to come to the festival and paid 80 Euros to experience Psava Farm….. Thumbs down….

A Second Opinion...

As much as I would like to justify this event and blame some force outside the scene, I can not do it. This event suffered from bad organization. I know that this scene is supposed to be family-like, keeping the green devil away but... but it can not be done without devotion, commitment and a good amount of money and time. Please people respect your customers. I know that the organization may had good intentions but lots of people suffered that three days. I will not repeat again the problems Alex is mentioning on his piece of journalism but I will concentrate in one thing that reflects many Greek Djs complaints. We are Djs too, we entertain the crowd too, so we need to get paid or have a nice sleep in a nice hotel room too. As our foreign colleagues do, I can not understand why Greek Djs are treated like this by organizers. Myself has actually managed to stay in a hotel room after some long term negotiation and I have to thank Yiotis for sharing his apartment but that should be a facility available to all. I hope that people agree with this point... and another thing, I hope the organization team learned their lesson and will not put again our love for the scene above our humanistic rights.


Sola Luna

The Sola Luna festival took place this year (26-29 July) at Skotina Pierias at a very beautiful camping location, an ancient forest in front of the sea with ample of space and shade for everyone. There were three stages, the trance stage, techno stage and chill-out stage with some big names in all three line-ups. All stages were set quite professionally with adequate sound systems and also some decoration. However, the festival was doomed… had not rained for quite some time this summer and it rained cats and dogs during the festival weekend. The bad weather completely destroyed the festival since it rained for three days non-stop and there was also an electricity power failure. As if this was not enough, the promoter also face problems with the local police which closed down the techno and chill stage due to complaints for noise from neighbouring houses (!!). Overall, it could have been a good festival but the adverse weather conditions and all the other problems simply destroyed it…….The black cat festival…


Voama Festival

The Voama Festival was supposed to take place in 15-19 August somewhere near Arta. It was much advertised home and abroad but it simply got canceled one week (!!) before the opening because the organizer found out that he had not been granted permission from the local authorities. Isn't this the first thing a festival organizer has to take care of ???!!! With such irresponsible behavior numerous problems were caused to the djs/artists + many people who never got their money back from the ticket presale. ….The complete farce festival….Thumbs down….


Samothraki Dance Festival

I did not go to Samothraki Dance Festival (22-26 August) but in general, the impressions that I got from all my friends from home and abroad show that on the positive side : the festival was much better organized than last year, 3 stages with very strong line-ups (+ they all showed up), improved decoration and good sound system. On the negative side : there were too many people attending, police problems outside the festival, the progressive stage was neglected, many transportation problems in getting access to the island, very expensive. …..The commercial festival….


Final Words

Alex: Overall, as it was mentioned in the beginning of the review, it has been a very interesting festival summer in Greece. Many lessons can be learnt but the main one is that the organization of a festival is a very big project. It needs full commitment, good coordination and a strong organizing team. It needs 100% professionalism and the organizers have many responsibilities to fulfill towards the people, the artists/djs and also the environment. It is not something to be approached irresponsibly with main aim only to make money because it can harm many people in different ways. I hope that this festival fashion will not continue and that eventually quantity will give place to quality.

Sequential-X: Organizing a festival it is not an easy job, it needs money, devotion, professionalism, plenty of time and people that know their work well. Unfortunately we Greek people do not score high on these areas and that led us to this not at all happy position. Out of the five trance festivals only two really went well, the Magical Forest and the Samothraki one. The one being all too small and the other being all too big. The other three Voama, Psava and Solaluna made many people unhappy either by lack of organization, bad weather or both. What I am trying to say here is that we can not afford so many festivals. I believe that the number of two festivals is our upper limit, I hope next year we will see only two but well organized ones. We need this, because this year we lost some of our reputation that we earned last year with the ever successful Solaluna in Samothraki. My only advice is that people should think twice before they make a decision to organize such a big event as a two or three days festival. They should respect themselves their customers and their country above all. Till next year then ;-)


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