What’s on in the 2018 festival

We are currently booking dates with the great bands and musicians that will make up the the 2018 festival. Actual dates will be confirmed by February 2018. Though some details may change between now and then we would like to share with you what is being planned:


These will be in London and other cities around the UK. In London the main events will be at a wonderful new venue in Seven Sisters called BALAM, THE GREEN NOTE in Camden Town and KING’S PLACE, near King’s Cross, THE HELLENIC CENTRE, Paddington Street. The UK based musicians involved are Plastikes Karekles, Kourelou, The Near East Collective, Cigdem Aslan, Marina Deligianni, The Rebetiko Carnival resident musicians. The musicians coming from Greece to perform and give seminars are, Marios Papadeas (santur), Solon Lekkas (voice), Kyriakos Gouventas (violin), Vaggelis Pashalidis (santur) and we are in discussions with the legendary Nikos Tatassopoulos (bouzouki) and Athina Lampiri (voice/guitar).

The music will range from rebetika of the 1920s through to the 50s, Asia minor music, jazzed up concerts inspired by rebetiko, history of rebetiko with narration and live music. We will also have a parallel series of world music showing what was happening in other countries at the same time as rebetiko!


This will be a series of four concerts putting rebetiko in the context of the rest of the world. We will explore music in different countries that was being performed in the 1930s/40s. Cuba (with Tumbao Tivoli), Portugal (Fado, with Claudia Aurora), America (Blues…band tbc) and France (tribute to Edith Piaf with Ensemble Reza and singer tbc).


This will be a FREE event held on Sunday afternoons at a venue tbc. It will be a walk in acoustic session, harking back to the simplicity of the good old days. You can just walk in, have some food, drink a coffee with a group of musicians playing rebetiko music for you…with singing and dancing from the public encouraged!


We will host regular jam sessions for anyone of any level to take part. Guided by the wonderful Spiros Bolovinis (bouzouki) you will decide the songs that are jammed to and after 3 or four sessions you will have the opportunity to invite friends family and the general public to a performance at the end of the festival (venue tbc). These are really sessions for anyone, and although professionals may come and support it will not be taken over by them. The point is to encourage people that love this music or want to just try it to come and create their own event.


This will be an event aimed at young families. In the past we have had Shadow puppet Theatre. This year it is yet to be decided but we will have more info as soon as possible.


Once again we will be exhibiting the instruments, before and after certain gigs, of one of the greatest luthiers in Greece at the moment, Christos Spourdalakis.