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Lonsdale Street Greek Music Festival Eagerly Awaited This Weekend

Lonsdale Street
The Lonsdale Street Greek Music Festival will be held this weekend. Credit: Facebook/Greek Centre of Melbourne

The Greek Community of Melbourne, not to be defeated by the pandemic, will stage its annual Lonsdale Street Greek Music Festival once again this weekend, on March 20 and 21, 2021.

A total of nine bands will perform during the Festival, which will look a bit different this year due to some pandemic-related changes.

However, there will be no shortage of local musical offerings at the eagerly-awaited Festival, and a main stage will be set up at the open-air Golden Square Carpark hosting nine local bands over the next two days.

Lonsdale Street will come alive with Greek culture

Lonsdale Street, as always during the Festival, will again become a hub of Greek culture, although there will be no road closures this year.

The musical choices will be many, with different genres and areas of Greece well represented.

Saturday will kick off with “halkina” from Totally Kicking Brass  at 5 pm, featuring folk music from northern Greece and the Balkans.

Next will come the Philhellenes, at 6:30 pm and Byron and Friends at 8 pm. Byron Triandafyllidis, joined by Cüneyt Çakmak on Kanun and Jacob Papadopoulos on bouzouki, are known for their expertise in rebetiko and multicultural fusion respectively.

Rebetiko, Greek blues, Cretan songs and nostalgic classics

The closing act of the night comes from Cats & the Canary, at 9:30 pm, Melbourne’s Greek swing band welcoming for the first time on stage its newest member, vocalist Artemis Ioannides.

Sunday sessions start at 1:30 pm with Pascal Latra’s Paskalia Ensemble, bringing audiences a taste of the “Greek blues”, while the Epirotiko Ensemble, at 3 pm, offers a selection of traditional songs from the region.

If you’re fan of nostalgic classics including those from Marinella and Glykeria, then Agapi and Friends’ gig at 4:30 pm is not to be missed.

Sifis Tsourdalakis’ band, scheduled for 6:30 pm, follows with authentic Cretan tunes, just before Anagennisi, performing at 8:30 pm, wrapping up the two-day event with a dedicated laiko program.

Food trucks with Greek delicacies and desserts — as well as a bar — are part of the Festival this year, as always, ensuring spirits will remain high.

The Lonsdale Street Greek Music is a free event but capacity will be restricted due to Covid limitations, so it’s recommended to book your place in advance by visiting its ticketing website, here.

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