The longest running festival in Santorini started by accident! In 1991, during a music concert, the organizers planned a firework show, which caused such a wave of enthusiasm to the audience that they decided to repeat it the following year. 26 years later, Ifestia remains one of Santorini’s most famous and sought after events during the touristic season, with thousands of visitors from around the world planning their visit in August to coincide with the show.
The Municipality of Santorini recently – and rather cleverly – decided to move Ifestia up to September in order to extend the touristic period further to a time when the island needed a boost. So, come autumn 2016, Ifestia will be taking place every 3 rd Saturday of September.
With something different and exciting happening every year, the Ifestia firework show amuses its audience with a magical volcano reminiscent spectacle, accompanied with great music. The explosions reach 90 miles in height, taking the place of magma and lava and creating a unique combination of light and color, turning the night into day.
In a time when the social and financial situation in Greece is rather bleak, Athena Capodistria, the person responsible for the creation and running of Santorini’s International Music Festival, insists on investing in art as a source of eternal strength.
Music, optimism, light and faith remain the key words for this festival, held annually at Petros M. Nomikos conference centre in Fira, inviting locals and visitors to join in the making of long lasting summer memories.
Free runners and parkour athletes from all over the world have been meeting in Santorini for the past five years to compete in one of the most impressive and exciting international free-running scenes.
The grueling selection process starts in May, with thousands of aspiring champions sending their best 90’’ free-running video in the hopes of being shortlisted for the next stage: the onsite qualifier, taking place in Santorini just before the main event in October.
Sever finalists, four men and three women, are chosen to compete for the coveted title of the winner and are judged during the final round on the basis of four criteria: creativity (using their body creatively and in accordance to their surroundings), hardship (the technical difficulty of their moves, jumps and stands), execution (body control and precision) and flow (constant flow of their choreography).
There used to be two more interesting festivals taking place in Santorini, which have unfortunately been disrupted due to lack of funds, but are definitely worth being mentioned:
The Megaro Gyzi Festival combined a carefully thought out programme of plastic art exhibitions and music concerts from 2007 until 2014. Last year, the festival was actually awarded the EFFE Label for festivals that stand for artistic quality and significant impact on local, national and international level.
Santorini Jazz Festival was created by two jazz enthusiasts, Antonis Kutrublis, the owner of the open-air cinema in Kamari beach, and the professional musician Vassilis Tzatzias. The two managed to attract many important names from the contemporary jazz, be-bop, fusion, ethnic and funk music scenes, turning their ‘home made’ festival into one of the biggest cultural events in Greece, with jazz fans flocking each year to Kamari. The festival has unfortunately been disrupted, but you may still have a chance to listen to some live music at Cine Kamari so keep an eye on www.cinekamari.gr .