Thursday, 26 May 2016 19:09

Organising a successful event

Street Life Festival 2016 Street Life Festival 2016

I spend a lot of time in Limassol’s old town – in fact I ride through it on my bike two or even four times a day and conduct most of my interviews there. And with the topics I’ve been writing about lately – graffiti, noise from the bars, shop opening hours – I also think a lot about it. And about the ‘young people’ who one is often inclined to toss into one bag as ‘irresponsible vandals’ – which is of course a sweeping generalisation and not true.

With the annual Street Life Festival taking place for the 9th time, one was allowed to hope again. There were lots and lots of young people, in fact people of all ages, including those who paint on walls and ride noisy skateboards on sidewalks. But here of course it was all allowed and organised – well organised. This year there were over 30,000 visitors and it all went smoothly.

For an event that was basically started by one person with the help of some friends to beautify downtown during a period when there was construction work everywhere, I find this amazing.

True, 30,000 people in the centre of Limassol may even be a bit too much of a good thing and the festival might eventually have to be rethought and possibly not all see the attractiveness of graffiti, no matter how ‘artistic’, but the success of the event as such is simply impressive.

Not a fan of big crowds, I actually left before it got too busy, but even early on in the day one could feel the excitement of it all. A stage, lots of stalls, skateboarding ramps for competitions, of course walls with scaffolding and spray cans ready to ‘go’ and a laid back atmosphere of different age groups and nationalities all mixing to have a fun time.

The event just keeps growing and growing – everyone wants to be part of it. And somehow it all still feels authentic.

In fact, the founder, Yiotis Ttofis Kyriacou, embodies authenticity himself. He was seen working at his Copy Shop every day right up to the big day as if ‘nothing was happening’. He had the support of everyone around and has been delegating parts of the graffiti element to some of the young local graffiti artists who’ve been part of the event for years.

The proceeds go to a good cause – Theotokos Foundation – and publicity was mostly done via Facebook. All the participants were so proud to be part of it; they all kept sharing the news. It seems to me this is how things should be organised, no flashy stuff, no ‘me, me, me’, just the whole community working together to see things turn out well.

Surely this is how change is made?

Article as pubished in The Cyprus Weekly of May 13th 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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