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Back to blues

Shakes and fries. Spots and stripes. Yurts and blues. Things that shouldn’t go together but, strangely, do! Take the last example, for instance. One is a mobile home designed in the Far East, the other a soul-stirring musical genre born of the Deep South. And yet, at the upcoming Back to Blues Festival at the Yurts in Cyprus, the two are a perfect fit!

A one-night only celebration, Reclaiming: Back to Blues Rock is an annual festival hosted by Pawel and Xenia of Yurts in Cyprus. Everyone is welcome (though be warned: tickets sell out fast!), especially those with a genuine taste for adventure, for authentic living and the beauty of escaping into a truly natural environment.

The festival takes place in the valley of Sarama just beyond Simou in the Paphos District, home to the three Mongolian yurts (and one wooden cabin!) which comprise one of the island’s most treasured escapes. For four years now, the festival has showcased iconic musicians both local and foreign, drawing crowds from all over Cyprus. And this year, on July 13, we’re set for another delicious iteration; the focus being Blues Rock.

“This small venue with its big heart, cool breezes and panoramic views welcomes music fans to celebrate a summer’s evening of Back to Blues Rock,” reveals Pawel. “Opening its doors to a curated line-up, the festival captures what we believe is the unique spirit and sound of Blues Rock Music, bringing together a mix of established and emerging artists as representatives of the iconic Blues Rock Scene. We dare you to leave your local and experience a unique night!”

Gates open at 6pm, and for those who haven’t managed to snag a cosy yurt for the night or grab a limited space in the free camping area, Pawel can recommend local boutique B&Bs. He’s even organised a car share programme for those who enjoy a Blues-infused drink or two, so do check out the dedicated Facebook page.

Billed as “a starlit night connecting a like-minded community in an intimate setting,” this is an event which has it all. Firstly, we have a venue that’s pure heaven: an escape from the heat of the city into cool foothills. Then we’ve got the audience: like you, they’re escapists, a friendly bunch who appreciate mindful moments and getting back to nature. And lastly, there’s the musicians themselves: a superb line up of the best in Blues that the island – and beyond – has to offer…

Let’s start with headliners The Zilla Project, who will be ending the evening. Veterans of the music scene, the group are Cyprus’ leading Blues Rock band. Having completed two international tours and performed with a number of renowned musicians from all over the world (including the iconic Kirk Fletcher), the band are known for their refreshing range of original material and beautifully bluesy sound.

The middle act is Bex Marshall, “a writer of distinction and notability who pushes the boundaries of Blues. With her timeless songs and a voice that’s a powerful melting pot of old black woman’s heartache and jazz diva soul” she’s purported to “play guitar like a goddess, sing like an angel, write like Dylan, and smile like the devil,” so listeners are in for one hell of a ride! Named the best female solo acoustic artist at the European Blues Awards four years in a row, she’s just finished a 60-gig tour of Australia and is stopping in Cyprus en route to headlining festivals in Brazil, the UK and the States.

Starting proceedings at 7pm is new-to-the-scene Blue Tears, another island band. The three musicians (guitarist and vocalist Naim Korudağ, drummer Koray Bali, and bass player Dean Bridges) will be kicking things off with a delightful mix of covers with classics from Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Albert King, BB King, Deep Purple, Bad Company, Santana, and Tracy Chapman… Singers whom you might not think would go together. But somehow they do. Just like yurts and the Blues.

Reclaiming: Back to Blues Rock
At the Yurts in Cyprus takes place on July 13. Snacks, meals and drinks are available on site, and friendly dogs on the leash are welcome. Tickets are €25 (places are limited). For bookings and information, call 97 629 148 or visit https://yurtsincyprus.ticket.com.cy/ or the Facebook page ‘Reclaiming: Back to Blues Rock’. For the Festival car share programme visit https://www.facebook.com/YurtsInCyprus/

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