CULTURE

Heading for a musical summer

A new festival, to be held at a new venue and featuring big names of the international music scene, is coming to further brighten the summer. The Fly Beeyond Festival promises to make its presence felt with three days of performances by Avril Lavigne, James (which has reunited), Air, Tori Amos, the Rasmus and Pink. Organizers Hot Beez, a company that belongs to the Le Spot Productions advertising group and is also organizing a George Michael concert, hopes the festival will become something of an institution and even rank with major international events. That hope is also reflected in the fact that the organizers opted for the «wall of the nations,» the area surrounding the main Olympic Complex, as the venue for the event. It will be the first time since the 2004 Athens Olympics that this area will gain a cultural profile. Considering that it is one of the greatest Olympic works from an architectural viewpoint and that it has remained closed to the general public since the Games, it could be argued that the festival takes on even greater importance. The Fly Beeyond Festival, which will be held July 17 to 19, has quality and musical variety. British band James’s regrouping is very good news. Tim Booth and his friends have given us some of the best songs of the contemporary British music scene, such as «Say Something,» «Getting Away with It,» «Sit Down,» «She’s a Star» and «Laid.» In 2001, singer Booth announced his departure from the band he had been fronting for 19 years in order to embark on a solo career. Some time ago, the act got together once more and launched a tour which will also bring them to Athens. While James have played in the Greek capital before, it will be the first visit for 22-year-old Canadian star Avril Lavigne, the popular singer who has also made a couple of appearances on the big screen. The punk princess, as she likes to be called, wrote her first song when she was 12. She started recording her first album at 16. Her debut album, titled «Let Go,» was released in 2004 and met with enormous success, selling 4 million copies worldwide. Equally successful was «I’m Not Dead,» the latest album from Pink, the name that Alicia Moore chose to adopt because of the pink shades she likes to color her hair. Tori Amos’s presence will give a special glow to the festival. An outstanding personality in contemporary female songwriting, Amos’s work contains some truly striking songs. A spiritual child of the great Kate Bush, the talented composer and pianist leaves no room for criticism of her work as commercial success is the last thing on her mind. Her live performances are always an unforgettable experience. Popular France-based duet Air will come to Athens with a brand-new album titled «Pocket Symphony.» The band’s fifth studio album features, once more, experimentation along with traditional Japanese instruments among others, but also marks a turn toward a slower, more melodic and atmospheric sound. Finland’s the Rasmus, who have been described as «the new HIM,» as well as female pop band Sugababes make up the rest of the program. There will, of course, be more participations later on, as Greek acts will be playing alongside the foreign ones, with announcements expected soon. Tickets will be available in early May at Metropolis music stores, Village Cinemas and at www.ticketnet.gr.