Okay, so it’s been a festival summer. Starting with the Afro Banana Republic in July, we’ve run through Aglangia’s infamous AglanJazz, Limassol’s Rialto Music Festival, the rural idyll of Fengaros, Ayia Napa’s Living Colour Fest, along with the musical stylings of Windcraft, the laid back jams of Paradise Jazz and the operatic marvels of the Aphrodite Festival. But festival season is far from over… The weather may be on the cool (ha!) but the outdoor excitements remain; what with beer fairs, wine celebrations and musical get-togethers, there are still plenty of opportunities to get your fest on before autumn appears. And this weekend, it’s the annual Flying Away Art & Music Festival which is pick of the bunch…
Taking place at the Orfeas Stadium in Nicosia on September 8, 9 and 10, this is the annual festival’s eleventh iteration called, aptly, Level Eleven. Building on a decade of success, the three-day event is a celebration which bills itself as “the only festival in Cyprus that combines art and music”.
Under the tagline It’s all about Simplicity and Quality of Life, Flying Away is designed to provide a “a space for interaction and interrelation, and acts as a home where festival accreditation holders can share their ideas, raise the profile of their projects, present their products and contact professionals working in similar areas at a leading festival on the local scene,” organisers suggest. Basically a meeting point for both professional and amateur artists involved in painting, sculpture, photography, jewellery, fashion, new media art and so forth, the event aims to support, promote and help local artistic talents “form social bonds between themselves and people who would come and see this vision and theirs in one place, at one time.”
While the event info may seem a bit of a hodgepodge of ideas, soundbites and earnest musings (“Society has changed, and life moves constantly at a rapid pace,” states the festival Facebook page. “People buy things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, and they have the false belief they need to consume everything available to make their lives easier. The outcome results in having less time to enjoy the simple entities in life that make them happy: Art and Music”!), there’s definitely an audience out there… “Today,” organisers reveal, “we have a minimum of 10,000 visitors each festival. We are the first of our kind that managed to bring together a diverse culture and a wide range of people from various demographics, bringing our local artists and industry together using participatory ideas.”
What it all seems to boil down to is this: a platform for artists and musicians to showcase their talents, with an added retail option (for those who need stuff, have the money, and ascribe to the consumer ethic, one assumes) thrown in for good measure. “Each year dozens of artists and designers exhibit their creations and arts in specially designed stalls, where visitors have the opportunity to take a stroll through the artists [sic], meet them and purchase unique forms of art to add to their own personal collections,” we’re told. Fine art, illustrations, travel photography, hand-crafted furniture, graphic design pieces, various handmade crafts, unique jewellery and even fashion items make the cut, exhibited at stalls around the stadium.
Meanwhile, on the musical front, we’ve got all sorts of DJs, bands and groups taking to the stage throughout the three days of the event: “MPLE will once again perform at the festival for their 20 year tour, with all 10 members of the band performing on September 8; on September 9, one of the most talked about and loved bands in the music scene today, Melisses will make their appearance for the first time at the festival and promise a night where all of us become one and finally, on September 10, Locomondo will once again join us on stage, bringing their party mood with them to close this year’s festival.”
Should this all appeal (take note animal lovers: “Yourself, friends, families and of course pets, can see a lot and have a wonderful time creating great memories and an experience you wouldn’t forget”), feel free to head over to the Orfeas Stadium this coming weekend. There’ll obviously be plenty to see, hear and munch on – food stalls offering Italian, German and local cuisine, along with vegan and health options are on offer – and audiences are promised an event that, despite the plethora of summer festivals, “begins a new season which won’t be forgotten.”
The Flying Away Art & Music Festival
September 8, 9 and 10 (6pm to midnight) at the Orfeas Stadium in Nicosia. Tickets cost €5 (under 15s go free, under 17s must be accompanied by an adult) and are available on the door. For more information visit the Facebook page Flying Away Art and Music Festival