Interviews, Music

【FESTIVAL GURU’S TALK】Petros Papaeleftheriou @ Odyssia

[Text by Nadine Ng & Priscilla Ng]


© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)
© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

Petros Papaeleftheriou

Founder,
Creative Director
@ Odyssia

As the new kid on the block, Greece’s brand new seven-day music festival, Odyssia, will be launching in September 2016. Amidst the idyllic, breathtaking setting of the Greek fisherman’s village Schinos, Odyssia intends to bring smiles, dances, memories and a festive journey to all attendees, crafting a haven of culture and influence. Petros Papaeleftheriou, Founder and Creative Director of Odyssia, talks to us about the creative process behind the production.

For the past twenty-five years, Papaeleftheriou had dedicated himself towards bringing a “clean and healthy, professional entertainment service to the people”. He reveals that the overall journey and his love of music had kept him traversing down his current route, as his family had also been involved in the industry and worked to create unforgettable memories to all that have witnessed their efforts. He describes large-scale music festivals as untrodden territory in Greece, and with a project as daring as Odyssia, there will be obstacles to overcome: “our mission is to successfully accomplish an event to the highest possible standard, with everything from the line-up to the non-music activities, [placing] it on the global festival map in the best possible way”.

Papaeleftheriou takes pride in being able to place his own country on the festival travellers’ map. “I live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I want our guests to taste and feel this country’s vibe!” In Papaeleftheriou’s opinion, the most important elements of Odyssia that festival-goers from all around the world take away would be the memories and experience: “I want to leave them with memories that would make them smile every time they think of the sunny days at Odyssia”.

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He informs us about an array of items on his checklist for producing a successful, large-scale music festival, including the multidiversity of the audience, the vibes of the dance floor and the stage, the perfect combination and synergy of the DJs and performance line-up, the duration of the entire festival, and the community created by the audience, the artists, the staff and the locals as one. He emphasizes that “it is very important for a festival starting at 11am and finishing at 6am the next day – for seven days – to have the right flow to keep the people interested and energized to last for an entire week. It is all about the journey!”

As far as inspiration goes, Papaeleftheriou praises South Africa-based fiesta AfrikaBurn, and names it one of his personal favorite global experiences of all time. “It blew me away to such a degree that I had no choice other than to start something up in my own country,” he affirmed. His plans for Odyssia’s future lie in the expansion and proliferation of a paradise-like getaway, where people can forget about the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle, and yearn to stay there for as long as possible. In light of bringing Odyssia to other parts of the world, he aims to have the Odyssian community closely following in his path: “I would like to give a platform to artists from all over the world expressing themselves through a canvas, an installation, a statue, everyone’s own personal Odyssey. It would also definitely have Greek tastes, traditions and products of excellent quality that are part of us, part of Greece.”

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Odyssia
30th August – 5th September, 2016
Cariocas Beach, Greece

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