The organizers of the recently launched – or, rather, revived – Greek Song Festival in Thessaloniki departed from this year’s event intending to develop it into an institution that cultivates Greek music. These thoughts were reiterated by the festival’s jury during the awards ceremony at the Thessaloniki event, held for the second successive year since its relaunch from an older version. «Emerging artists must commit their inspiration and talent with faith to a competition that aims to forge new ways and offer support,» noted the seasoned artist Dimitra Galani, a member of the competition’s panel. The results of this year’s festival were more or less what had been anticipated. Television viewers and the panel, which had an equal share of the voting rights, selected Stavros Siolas as the festival’s winner. His song, «Tis Arnis To Nero,» for which Siolas wrote both the music and lyrics, was awarded the the first prize. He also picked up an additional prize, awarded by the jury, for Best Interpretation. The festival’s winning song, a ballad carrying elements of Greek folk tradition which Siolas penned on the basis of a musical and theatrical past, won over the 6,000-strong audience. The second prize went to Thodoros Manolidis for a number titled «Ex-airesis.» Third prize was awarded to Myronas Stratis for «Ti Zitas.» The jury’s prize for Best Composition went to a song titled «To Tragoudi Ton Psychon.» The Best Lyrics award went to the number «Poso Melancholise Aftos O Topos,» performed by Freedom of Speech and Eftychia Raftopoulou and written by Constantinos Pisimisis. The festival, which took place over two days last Thursday and Saturday at Thessaloniki’s Pylaia Stadium, opened with 16 contestants who were narrowed down to 10 for the final. The entertainment included additional performances by the popular singers Dimitris Mitropanos and Michalis Hadziyiannis.