Immerse yourself in ancient and modern Greek culture at the Athens Epidaurus Festival
Established in 1955 and held annually from late May to mid-August, the Athens Epidaurus Festival is Greece's most prominent continuously running festival and one of the oldest performing arts festivals in Europe. Discover what makes it so special and what you can expect from this year's programme.
The Athens and Epidaurus Festival is the foremost cultural institution in Greece and has been going strong since 1955, making it the country's most prominent continuously running festival. Spread across four unique venues that link the nation's past, present, and future—including the extraordinary Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the former Athens industrial complex of Peiraios 260, the mesmerising Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, and the Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus—this year's edition is sure to go down in history as one of the all-time best.
As a celebration of theatre, music, dance, and visual arts with a mix of classical performances, like ancient Greek dramas and symphony orchestra concerts, along with avant-garde productions, like bold theatrical premieres and energising EDM concerts, the festival brings together both Greek and internationally acclaimed artists and performers while drawing massive crowds from across the world. This year's productions cater to all tastes, and guests of all ages can find something special to see or do.
It all kicks off with two days of electronic music on 27-28 May at the ADD Festival, featuring Ancient Methods, DJ Shadow, Mind Against, Tiga, and many more. Then, in June, guests can enjoy a range of premieres, including The Other Side of the Tempest by Yannis Houvardas, a theatre production in which Orson Welles' and William Shakespeare's worlds collide; Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi, the first large-scale Greek National Opera production of the year; and THIRST, a dance production by choreographer Ermira Goro that features six dancers and original music composition by Stavros Gasparatos. Punk rock legend, author, and visual artist Patti Smith will also make a concert appearance late in the month, as will French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf, playing his signature improvisations and globally inspired diversity of sound.
Come July, there will be multiple creative workshops for children in Epidaurus, the theatre premiere of Youla Boudali's Spring, which highlights gender roles in 1960 Missolonghi, and jazz sessions throughout the month at Peiraios 260 with no cover charge. In addition, there will be more dance, opera, theatre, and educational events, including Cezaris Graužinis' timely and contemporary adaptation of Antigone and more Greek and worldwide premieres in music and theatre.
Mastercard supports for the fourth consecutive year the Athens Epidaurus Festival, as a major sponsor, offering experiences and exclusive privileges to its cardholders. As part of its sponsorship, Mastercard offers double invitations for one of the upcoming performances of the Festival at the Herodes Theatre, Epidaurus Ancient Theatre and the Little Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus to 120 lucky Mastercard® cardholders, who will purchase their ticket online or at the festival's box office in Stoa Pesmazoglou. In addition, cardholders will be able to enjoy a series of exclusive priceless experiences including a tour of the historic venues, front-row tickets to popular performances, a backstage tour, and more.
The Athens and Epidaurus Festival offers unparalleled opportunities to immerse oneself in a wide variety of artistic events and performances within the spectacular surroundings of ancient Greek theatres and contemporary concert venues. Check out the festival this spring and summer for a fascinating perspective of this culture and art.