The party seems to have come to an end in once-vibrant Thessaloniki

Exactly 20 years ago the city of Thessaloniki hosted a biennale of young artists. An event which passed below the radar when it happened in Athens much later got half the city afoot in Thessaloniki. Artists, students and kids who always wanted to be in the loop turned to graffiti art to see if they could find there what they could no longer find in politics. The year 1986 was an intoxicating one for Thessaloniki, heralding great things to come. The popular band Trypes rocked the nights away at Selini, with Mora Stin Fotia and Xylina Spathia climbing the charts hot on their heels. Local Radio-Utopia was the first alternative station in Greece, while the earliest techno beats came from Splendide on Nikis Avenue. The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art opened its doors at the Thessaloniki Expo Center, and basketball derbies between Aris and PAOK had all Greeks chairbound in front of the TV. Fanzines and free magazines popped up like mushrooms all over the city. The Mylos complex opened in one of the city’s most run-down neighborhoods, turning post-industrial spaces trendy. Greece acquired its first design museum, a private venture, on Mitropoleos Street. The central Ladadika district became a tourist hot spot and the Thessaloniki Film Festival became an international event. This was the era when Klik magazine, new and at the vanguard of all things cool, printed extensive tributes to the city. The party was up north, and everyone was invited.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.