Flying Away. It’s what we all wish we were doing at this time of year, isn’t it: jumping on a plane for a marvellous month in the Maldives? We’d even be happy with a week in Woking, to be honest – anything to prolong that summer feeling. Alas, like Snow White’s dwarves, it’s back to work we go; our chance of soaring off on a hedonistic holiday pretty much nil.
There is, however, a more literal interpretation. Taking place right here on the island, it’s a celebration of arts and music that has just reached the decade mark. Billed as ‘the most beautiful and creative festival’, it’s an event that attracts upwards of 14,000 visitors each year: the Flying Away Arts and Music Festival.
Taking place at Nicosia’s Orfeas Stadium on September 6, 7 and 8, this three-day event is the capital’s annual celebration of creativity. Presented by Concepto TORO under the auspices of the Municipality of Nicosia (and sponsored by Coca Cola, Septem Beer and MAC Cosmetics, among others), the festival launched in 2009 with one idea in mind: “To create an art and music community that will be around for many decades to come, supporting and helping young people to have dreams and spread their wings.” And what we’ve seen over the years is just that: a unique meeting place for both local and foreign creatives that gives everyone their chance to shine.
“Flying Away unites hundreds of creative artists, talented musicians, bands and DJs with a loving audience who have embraced and supported the festival for its last 10 years,” we’re told. Organised by “a group of people passionate about promoting and supporting local artists”, it employs “participatory ideas to establish a one-of-a-kind event which keeps growing and expanding, both in the number of visitors and the duration of each festival.”
With more than 70 stalls hosting over 150 stallholders, the event is a meeting point for both professional and amateur artists (involved in everything from painting to sculpture, photography, jewellery, fashion and new media art) as well as various musical talents, Flying Away is a space for interaction and interrelation, acting as a home in which acts and artists can share their ideas, raise their public profile, present their products and network with their peers. All of which makes this a festival which relies more on local talent – people you may well know who are just doing what they do best and enjoying it – than foreign names.
On the artistic side, we get “favourite Cypriot artists in specially designed spaces, who will be exhibiting a wide range of creations. Unique handmade artworks, crafts, fine art pieces, illustrations, handcrafted jewellery, and fashion items have all been created with lots of love and endless hours of work!”
Then there’s the music, and here we’re promised a programme which delivers “the most beautiful Lives”, including “beloved music from great names from Cyprus and abroad, such as Endelexeia (Mitsotakis-Katsimanis full band), Magic De Spell, Stavento and Locomondo!”
We’ll also be seeing various parallel activities over the three days of the festival: “a number of creative activities for the kids, which combine learning and play”, along with “festival hair and make-up looks from sponsor MAC”, which come completely free of charge.
Any festival worth its salt also needs a little sustenance to keep the crowds moving, and organisers will be laying on a banquet of “quality street food, which pairs perfectly with the selection of ice-cold craft beers, cocktails, coffees and juices.”
Flying Away Art and Music Festival: “Escape with Cyprus’ annual art and music festival, in which you, your friends, families, kids and pets” – yes, well-behaved dogs are welcome – “will have a wonderful time creating great memories.” We’re not promising you’ll be able to reminisce in quite the same way as you would over that month in the Maldives but it’s probably the only opportunity you’ll get this season to fly the grind!
Flying Away Arts and Music Festival
Orfeas Stadium, Nicosia, from 6pm to midnight on September 6, 7 and 8. Tickets are €10 per day or €20 for a three-day pass, available from various locations and on the door. Under-15s go free, and under-17s must be accompanied by an adult. Tel: 70087171 or visit the Facebook page ‘Flying Away Art and Music Festival’