By Katrina Filippidis.
Melbourne’s Antipodes festival has been postponed for a second time due to pandemic woes.
The long-running Lonsdale Street celebration was unable to take place last year, with organisers citing coronavirus concerns. However, the event was replaced by a Greek music festival which featured food trucks and live music performances that kept the Greek spirit alive despite the setback.
This year’s Antipodes festival (Lonsdale Street Greek Festival) was originally planned for March 5 and 6, but has been postponed until late October.
“After much deliberation, the Greek Community of Melbourne believes that it is in the best interest of the community to postpone the 2022 Antipodes Festival,” says the announcement.
“The safety of our staff, performers, contractors and audience are our primary concern and responsibility so we have decided to move the dates of the festival to later in the year.”
It has been rescheduled for October 22 and 23, however, it is still unclear whether COVID-19 will create additional disturbances.
The Antipodes festival holds the enviable title of Melbourne’s longest running Greek festival. Launched in 1987, Antipodes, or the Londsdale Street Greek Festival, has been a rich showcase of Hellenic arts and culture for delighted audiences as well as a multicultural boon to Victoria.
Throughout the years, Antipodes has attracted top talents from Greece including the likes of Glykeria, Michalis Hatzigiannis and Pandelis Thalassinos. Festivalgoers have been treated to a variety of Greek cuisine, local entertainment, children’s rides, and artisanal wares and boutiques. Attendees have also the chance to compete in the infamous Zorba ‘Til You Drop contest and a pastitsio cook-off that will settle arguments over who’s the best in the kitchen.
The 2020 Antipodes festival was a huge success, drawing a crowd that neared 150,000 to Melbourne’s Greek precinct. In 2018, the popularity of the event allowed it to expand beyond its Lonsdale Street confines, with additional festivities spilling into neighbouring Swanston and Russell Streets.
This year marks the 34th official anniversary of the festival.