Rockwave Festival is canceled

Young Athenians prolonging their summer stay in the capital despite rising temperatures and end-of-school-year commitments, all with plans to attend the annual Rockwave Festival, older citizens still in tune with youth-oriented events who had also intended to go, and prospective visitors from other parts of the country, or even beyond, can all scrub their festival plans. This summer’s Rockwave Festival has been canceled over security concerns raised by local police. The event’s organizer, Di-Di Music, has issued a statement saying that the festival, which was scheduled for July 1-3 at the grounds of the former airport in Hellenikon, southern Athens, was canceled late last week after police authorities in Athens raised concerns over public safety during the event. The organizer’s statement also noted that the Hellenikon Municipality refused to give its permission for the festival to go ahead. Prior to these developments, the statement added, agreements, all documented, had been made with two state agencies, the Ministry of Transportation and the Civil Aviation Service, for permission to use the venue. The organizer also stated that advance tickets for Rockwave had sold «in the thousands, both in Greece and abroad.» This is the first time the festival has been canceled since its inception in the mid-1990s. Despite establishing itself as a summer rock music highlight with numerous leading international rock acts featured on its bills over the years, among them Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Portishead, PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Rockwave Festival has been unable to find a steady home. Its organizer has experimented with different venues with varying success, while each location has been used just a single time. This year’s defunct Rockwave event was originally intended to take place at the Athens Equestrian Center in the district of Goudi, where the WOMAD festival was recently held successfully for a second consecutive year, before Di-Di Music suddenly announced that it would be moved to the Hellenikon site. This year’s lineup, which lacked the overall appeal of previous Rockwave rosters simply because too many of the acts have frequently toured here in the past, included a mix of veteran and newer acts. Representing the older rock brigade were enduring acts such as the Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Motorhead, while relatively younger bands, such as the Dandy Warhols and Pulp, were also included. Going beyond its customary one-stage set, this year’s Rockwave would have taken place on three stages, one of these exclusively set aside for sets by leading DJs. Ticket refunds are available for a limited period of time between July 1 and 15 at the following Tickethouse agencies: 42 Panepistimiou, Athens, tel 010.360.8366; 20 Ethnikis Amynas & Tsimiski, Thessaloniki, tel 0310.253.630.

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