City Hall makes Lycabettus U-turn

Municipal authorities in Athens yesterday announced that the city’s Lycabettus Theater would be reopening soon, just a few days after declaring the open-air venue shut for «safety reasons.» City Hall blamed last Thursday’s closure on the organizers of the Greek Festival, which had planned a series of events at the theater for this month, claiming that they had created «false assumptions.» In an official statement, City Hall blamed Greek Festival director Giorgos Loukos for allegedly withholding a report to the Tourism Development Agency (ETA), the owner of the Lycabettus Theater, which allegedly shows that the venue is entirely stable and that any safety concerns were unfounded. Last Thursday, Loukos had condemned as «inexplicable» City Hall’s decision to close down the theater on safety concerns just a few hours before popular British singer James Blunt had been due to perform there. Ticket-holders who have yet to be reimbursed can still claim refunds at ticket outlets. Yesterday’s decision by City Hall followed expressions of outrage by artists and politicians, including Culture Minister Michalis Liapis, who said he heard about last week’s decision «last of all.» City Hall did not say yesterday when exactly the Lycabettus Theater would reopen. But concerts that had been slated to be staged there this month and in July have already been moved to other venues. Popular Greek singer Haris Alexiou is to play at the Panathenaic Stadium on June 28. Bands slated for the «Rock ’em All» festival are to play at the Technopolis complex on July 20. US rock star Lenny Kravitz is to play the Terra Vibe venue on August 1. US soul diva Gloria Gaynor, who had been due to play Lycabettus on July 9 and whose tour manager is said to be «furious» at the last-minute change, will probably appear at Neo Faliron’s tae kwon do arena, although this is subject to confirmation.