We’ve rounded up a definitive guide to summer music concerts under the stars. With superb international music line-ups on their way, start jotting down these dates in anticipation.
Twenty years have passed since the summer of 1996, when the iconic Rockwave Festival kicked off. This year, it seeks to confirm that its quality reputation as a top-notch rock festival is well deserved. The extravaganza on June 5 features English rock super group The Last Shadow Puppets as the centerpiece in a music bag of treats. Also performing on the same night are American Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys – an apt choice bearing in mind the fact that they as long on the road as the rockfest itself. Sharing the starry night are British band Suede, the Subways, Turbonegro, the Callas, Despite Everything and Whereswilder.
Fans have more than a month to recover before suave Lana Del Rey spills onto the TerraVibe stage for the second time with her larger-than-life sophistication, dubbed “Hollywood sadcore.” On July 19, American rockers Allah-Las – of “Worship the Sun” fame – will demonstrate their crystal clarity and jangling guitars to Greek audiences. Last but not least, up-and-coming English-born Aussie Lisa Mitchell takes the stage with her dynamic, energetic presence.
WHERE: Terra Vibe Park, 37th km of the Athens-Lamia highway, Malakasa. More info at (+30) 210.882.0426.
WHEN: 5 June, 19 July
TICKET PRICES: Selling prices kick off at 36 euros (first stage), 39 euros (second stage), 42 euros (third stage) and 45 euros at the door. VIP 60 euros
It kicked off a year following the Olympic games in Athens and made use of a number of sports venues before finding its permanent home since 2011 at Plateia Nerou, in the southern Athens suburb of Faliro. Heading the line-up on July 8 are award-winning English rock band Editors (of chart-topping “An End Has a Start” fame) – known for their sold-out tours and comparisons to Joy Division and U2. Also from England, successful 1990s Manchester rock band James treat their Greek fans to the music that has solidified their acclaim, such as their smash-hit single “Sit Down.” As a special treat, the night kicks off with Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, billed as the best DJs in the world.
That aside, the festival’s biggest drawcard is English alternative rock band Muse on July 23, fresh from their triumph at this year’s Grammy awards in the rock album category. The headline act, that band’s third visit to Greece, will be joined by more bands to be announced soon.
WHERE: Plateia Nerou (Olympic water polo complex), Faliro. This outdoor venue is located between the Tae Kwon Do and Beach Volley stadiums, in the south of Athens. For more info: Tel (+30) 210.963.6489.
WHEN: 8 July, 23 July
TICKETS: 8 July: Arena: 35 euros (early sales), 38 euros (later sales), 40 euros (final price) with VIP tickets at 60 euros (for early birds), 75 euros (final price). Tickets on the door tickets will be 45 euros for the arena and 85 euros for VIP seats. Day 2: 50 euros until June 23, 53 euros after that, 60 euros on the door. VIP tickets are already sold out.
A novice on the Greek festival scene, Release Festival makes its debut this year with a carefully compiled program that should help it carve out its own niche on the Greek music festival circuit. The flavor is definitely focused on the alternative, with the scent of a post-punk revival in the air.
It kicks off with Zach Condon’s Beirut, a collusion of indie-rock and world music, on June 1. The headliner on June 3 is French trip-hop and funk Chinese Man and Austrian Parov Stelar, whose musical combination of jazz, house, electro and breakbeat have earned him a reputation as one of the pioneers of electro swing.
Thanks to multiple concerts that have earned her something of a cult status on the local scene, many Greek fans will be hankering for English avant-rock queen PJ Harvey on June 7. And as if the English singer isn’t enough to mesmerize an audience all on her own, she’ll be joined by the psychedelic rock band Brian Jonestown Massacre and, for added ambience, Slowdive.
Last but not least, headlining on June 13 are Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Ros, with their ethereal sound and falsetto minimalist aesthetic. They’ll be joined on stage by American rock band DIIV, fresh from the release of their second studio album Is the Is Are.
WHERE: Plateia Nerou (Olympic water polo complex), Faliro. The outdoor venue is located between the Tae Kwon Do and Beach Volley stadiums, in the south of Athens.
WHEN: June 1, June 3, June 7, June 13
TICKET PRICES From 36 euros
Also coming to Greece
Legendary German hard-rock band Scorpions couldn’t disappoint their bustling fan base in Greece and have included Athens as a pit-stop on their 50th anniversary world tour at Plateia Nerou on July 20. Who could forget their butt-kicking, sold-out concert with Joe Cocker at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in 2010? The boys are back in town with more hard rock. Early bird tickets are at 30 euros (pre-sold at the box office at 35 euros), 40 euros at the door. Golden arena VIP tickets are 60 euros.
British indie rock band Tindersticks perform at the Onassis Cultural Center on May 25 and 26. And as if that were not enough, solo guitarist Steven John Wilson (of Porcupine Tree fame) brings his brand of progressive rock to the Badminton Theater on May 5. Or how about Californian thrash metal band Megadeth, which have that have included Athens as a pit-stop on their Dystopia tour with a performance at Piraeus 117 Academy in Athens on July 5. Also at the same venue, Marky Ramone, one-time drummer of the Ramones, brings Blitzkrieg to Greece for a one-night performance on September 10, sealing the end of the summer season.
So start saving for those tickets, marking down dates and hoarding your mosquito repellant in anticipation of music sets under the stars.