Cantades, also known as serenade songs, are historic in Limassol. Typically heard around carnival season from men’s vocal groups, cantades are a big part of Limassol’s culture. This June the first Cantada Festival – Kostas Gregoriou arrives to celebrate this tradition in honour of Gregoriou who loved Cypriot serenade songs.

To be held on June 25, World Maritime Day, in the courtyard of Epiloigi Cultural Movement, the festival aims to showcase and protect the tradition of song, which is distinctive of Limassol’s sound and heartbeat, as it was preserved by old generation Limassolians.

The venue of the festival is intentional as well not only because of its acoustics but also because it is traditional for cantades to be performed in natural, outdoor settings without any microphone support, just as the old vocal groups of the city used to sing them. From 8pm onwards, five vocal ensembles that systematically engage with the genre will participate in the event, with each group performing five songs.

The festival hopes to become an annual institution and fixture in Limassol’s cultural events. Next year, the organisers aim to make the festival a three-day event with the participation of well-known musical ensembles from the Ionian Islands.

1st Cantada Festival – Kostas Gregoriou

Five vocal ensembles perform live. June 25. Epiloigi Cultural Movement, Limassol. 8pm. Free