A festival, the way it’s supposed to be.

This past week I got to attend a festival in Karditsa, in Northern Greece. We were invited to perform with our improv duo, Bus Kai, and since we had never been to that city before, we accepted.

Expectations were low. It’s a small city, where improv is as known as ice on the sun, something that makes our job a whole lot harder. As for the festival itself, it was called PostModern Thessaly Fest, and it seemed to have it all.

Post Modern Thessaly Fest

Bartendering, tattooing, close up magic, live bands, djs, street food, graffiti artists… Oh, and improv by us. It all sounded fun and exciting, but most festivals in Greece tend to be a bit bland, leaving you with a feeling of everyone being there to get a job done, but not to truly connect and celebrate the manifestation of it all. Hence the low expectations.

We arrived in Karditsa early the day of our first show, and got to Charlot, the cafeteria that was putting this whole event together, situated right on the city’s central square.

Charlot cafe bar.

We went through the structure of our show for a while, we expected a small, not-so-engaged audience and, albeit somewhat stressed, we were ready to do our thing.

And that’s when the magic started.

Melhisedek

Against everyone’s expectations, the crowd was very big. Lots of people in front of the stage, loving the show and sharing a very friendly vibe. It was a great show, in front of a great audience.

Karditsa show 1

Karditsa show 2

Karditsa show 3

Karditsa show 4

Karditsa show 5

We got off the stage pleased and ready to relax. But that’s not all of it. This is the point where we usually realize we’ve done our job and we can get paid and leave. This was different though. This felt like fun. We stuck around, had drinks, food, chats, met lots of people and stayed out till the morning hours. More than anything though, the organizers treated us like family. I felt like I was hanging out with old friends, rather than new business associates. We actually got to the point where we did not want to leave.

The following 2 days it was the same all over. A great show, lots of fun and a comfortable, friendly atmosphere that made us feel welcome. Familiar faces all around by now, hanging out, chatting and shooting the shit, not for a minute giving thought to the fact that we had met only the day before.

PMTF2017-1

PMTF2017-2

PMTF2017-3

PMTF2017-4

PMTF2017-5

PMTF2017-6

That is where the point of all this lies. This is how a festival is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a celebration of everything and everyone it encompasses. It’s supposed to feel like an extended family. It’s supposed to make people feel like they matter and that you don’t want them there only for what they do, but also for who they are. Because at the end of the day, lots of people can do what you do. But no one else can be you, and your coexistence alongside a bunch of other unique individuals is what truly brings a festival’s soul to life and makes it special, different and worthwhile attending.

Karditsa PMTF2017 group

In that respect, Post Modern Thessaly Fest was one of the best festivals I have ever attended. It was a great honor to be part of something so beautiful. I will definitely be going back next year, and so should you.

 

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