The long established Afrobanana festival has issued an urgent call for support as they have been repeatedly denied a license from the authorities to host their event this summer.
“With less than two months to go, and four months of waiting so far, we have been denied a licence from every relevant authority we have reached out to, for five different locations, for unsubstantiated reasons. Without it, the festival cannot go ahead, despite falling under the auspices of Kypria International Festival, the longest-running and most accredited cultural festival in Cyprus,” the group said on Friday.
It went on to say that with less than two months to go until their planned festival they still require “a home, a place to welcome you, a stage to host our annual celebration of culture, which so many of you have grown to love”.
Konstantinos Kyprianou, one of the organisers, spoke to Politis and explained that they received a permit for the Kornos venue about four months ago – as has happened four times previously – but this time they were denied a loudspeaker permit from the local authorities. Kyprianou claimed that a nearby church intervened as it did not want the event to go ahead in that area.
Other potential areas were considered but the forestry department blocked those on various grounds, which the organisers claim are unsubstantiated.
It is understood that the deputy culture ministry is supporting Afrobanana in their efforts.
The group added that support is needed to overcome indifference and resistance, battling negativity and knee-jerk reactions.
“Other festivals and cultural producers are struggling too. But we cannot do it alone. This is why we are reaching out for your support,” it added.
The festival has previously attracted a diverse range of performers, including Cyprus’ Monsieur Doumani and international bands such as the UK’s Henge.
Afrobanana celebrated its tenth anniversary last year as it held a five-day festival at Val’s Place in Gialia, Paphos. The organisers had hoped to hold this summer’s festival at Kornos forest, a site at which it had previously held its event.