The Athens and Epidaurus Festival is Greece’s leading cultural organisation and one of the oldest continuously running festivals in Europe. Spanning 66 years, the Festival has welcomed some of the greatest music, dance, and theatre artists of the international and local scene, in collaboration with the most prestigious Greek and international organisations, attracting large audiences from around the world.
Up until 2005, the Festival had been held exclusively at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. In the summer of 2006, five brand-new theatre stages were launched at the Peiraios 260 industrial venue which has since emerged as an important springboard for contemporary art. Artistic productions and site-specific performances are also presented at other venues in Attica and various locations as part of the Festival.
Theatre director Katerina Evangelatos was appointed Artistic Director in September 2019. Expanding the Festival’s international character and supporting research in the field of performing arts towards audience development have been the two main goals of the current Artistic Director. Novel research initiatives are designed with an international outreach in mind, targeted both at specialists and the public at large in both Greece and abroad. At the same time, artistic creation in theatre, performance, music, dance, visual arts, playwriting, and publishing is actively encouraged, the goal being not only to present works by talented local artists in Greece but also to promote them abroad.
Seeking unconventional, alternative ways of showcasing the Festival venues is a key aspect of the Festival’s new philosophy. Along those lines, the Festival artistic events will from now on also be held during the winter, expanding the summer programme.