Lila Downs opens Hymettus Festival

The revamped Greek Festival is what generates the most news, but its smaller sibling, the 23-year-old Hymettus Festival, has also been branching out in new directions over the last few years, in order to include more diversity in its offerings. At a recent press conference, the organizers unveiled this summer’s program, which includes music, theater, dance and street happenings. Each year, the festival chooses an overarching theme in order to select the artists who are to take part. This year’s theme is «Neighborhoods of the World,» a multicultural fiesta inspired by a poem by Yiannis Ritsos, whose centennial year is being celebrated all over Greece. Mexican sensation Lila Downs will inaugurate the festival tomorrow, with a concert at the Vrachon Theater. Other important shows will include industrial rockers Nine Inch Nails on their first visit to Greece, Loreena McKennitt, Ska Cubano, Paul Weller and the Tiger Lillies. Mini festivals within the festival include a two-day concert of world music, Schoolwave and the ECM fiesta. Local acts Monika, Maraveyas Ilegal, Gerasimos Andreatos, Savina Yannatou and Dimitris Mitropanos will also take the stage. More than music While music prevails, there are also visual arts exhibitions on the schedule, a cinematic tribute to the works of Michael Cacoyannis plus the Helix troupe, which will give the festival a distinctly circus-like feel. Furthermore, choreographer Sophia Spyratou will restage her successful performance «Electra Perpetrator,» while theater will be represented by Anna Vagena’s «Aggela Papazoglou.» Details at tel 213.203.7819 or on