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Beach street festival on Lesvos

- by Dabs Banner

Top graffiti artists get ready to paint the town.

Holiday visitors to the island of Lesvos in the north-east Aegean can enjoy a weekend beach street festival in August that features urban graffiti and music. It follows hot on the heels of last year's hugely successful event on the Lesvos holiday beach of Vatera when graffiti artists and musicians from all over Europe staged a festival at an abandoned beach hotel.

This year the Beach Street Festival will be staged in the island's capital town, Mytilene and features more than 80 graffiti artists from across Greece and Europe joined by more than 50 musicians.

The focus of this year's music events will be the historic Castle of Mytilene and the surrounding area, including the woods and beach at Tsamakia.

Graffiti at this year's festival will be inspired by the murals of the Greek folk painter Theofilos Chatzimichael, who died 80 year ago, while music will feature HipHop, Trap, House, Techno, DNB, DubStep, BUB and Reggae.

Known as the Greek Vincent Van Gogh, the folk artist was born in the Mytelini suburb of Varia and painted on wood as well as creating wall frescoes. Known for his eccentric ways he often wore national dress and lived in poverty.

Graffiti artists are usually secretive and clandestine but between August 1-3, holiday visitors to Lesvos will be able to see then in action as they create a series of colourful walls in honour of the local folklore painter.

Dozens of graffiti artists will paint walls along a route through Mytilene, from the ancient port to the museum of Theofilos Chatzimichael using a variety of styles and techniques.

The Theophilos museum was built in 1964 in the suburb of Varia, about six kilometres from the centre of Mytilini, and displays more than 80 works by the Lesvos folk artist.

During the Beach Street Festival on Lesvos there will be graffiti workshops for anyone wishing to learn the history of graffiti and who wish try their own skills.

Among the graffiti artist at the Lesvos event are the UK's Mr Cenz, along with Alex Martinez and Yaboy from the US, Oval Tdk from Germany, Mosa and Omick from France, Dm from Norway and Czechoslovak artist Pauser.

Details on the Beach Street Festival on Lesvos, including details of special ferry tickets, flights, camping sites and how to get there can be found on the festival website here.