CyWineFest is a very versatile event with countless things to do for visitors of all ages, as a meeting place for friends, a great family day out and in general a great reason to get out of the comfort of your home and mingle with Cypriot culture.
There are many ways to be part of CyWineFest as an exhibitor, a sponsor, a volunteer or whether part of the entertainment programme each has their own part to play in making an all-encompassing event. Under the auspices of the Cyprus High Commission in the UK, the event officially represents the Cypriot festival of London with the support of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and the Cyprus Trade Centre whom year in year out are always present and welcome public engagement with the Cypriot Government and the people.
There are always many Cypriot products available and last years’ event saw the very first time that Palouze and Soutzouko was freshly made by traditional folk group Karotseris Aradippou. It is not every day that one can see the entire process from start to finish, tasting and buying the freshest of produce. The entirety of Lee Valley Athletics Centre transforms into a giant Cypriot agora whereby you can buy anything from olives and louvi, (black eyed beans) to hiromeri (salted cured pork) and of course there are always plentiful supplies of the world-famous halloumi from various Cypriot producers.
The stage is the architectural focal point of the event, where everyone gathers, surrounded by countless exhibitors, visitors pop in and out of this central hub purchasing their goods and enquiring about services. The stage plays host to many different types of entertainment, ex-contestants from both X-Factor and The Voice as well as many other community singers, Greek schools and professional dance groups as well as Cypriot dance groups have performed various dances such as reacting the entire traditional Cypriot wedding live on stage. CyWineFest has been responsible for bringing many artists and collaborative shows to our shores, endeavouring to bring the best Cypriot and Greek acts for the community’s enjoyment, with a host of top names in the hall of fame always delivering amazing performances. Whether you choose to view the acts from a far or whether you get closer to the action by having a designated seat, one will get the opportunity to hear great performing artists for a fraction of the price!
Renowned for our plentiful almost free-flowing wine tasting tables and proudly representing the various wineries of Cyprus, unlike most festivals whom have a tiered token system with samples given to public based on what type of and quantity of tokens. CyWineFest delivers a token less system whereby visitors are free to sample many different wines, with the only line being drawn at drunkenness and not on the amount of money one has in their pocket, giving the visitor the ability to accurately select the wine that is right for them. There are still many more wine related projects in the pipeline as we truly believe that Cypriot wine will have its place in the UK market.
There are three main types of exhibitors Market stands, Business Stands and Catering stands. One can expect a huge variety of different products and services from fresh produce to catering equipment. However, there are also many family friendly activities such as donkey rides, not only a fun thing to do for children but are also representative of bygone times in Cypriot society when cars were hard to come by and very much as thing of luxury. Believe it or not donkeys were the replacement of Camels! Yes, Camels were in fact once the main method of hauling goods and transporting people, until donkey driven carts were the more efficient replacement.
There’s always plenty of dancing and most of the time it’s not from the entertainment. Visitors get up and go, getting lost in the rhythm and soak up the atmosphere provided by over 10,000 companions, last year was no different, recalling on a personal experience, whilst watching the main show, there was a sea of people all hopping up and down simultaneously, completely oblivious to anything else other than the enjoyment of music. It was truly a gratifying experience to witness that CyWineFest had transformed from a hustling and bustling market place to a gigantic arena with visitors captivated by our unique festival environment.
Credit: CyWineFest team
Photo credit: At CyWineFest 2018
(1) Sidebar – Karotseris Aradippou’s front man Marios Avraam hanging freshly produced soutzouko – Alexios Gennaris
(2) The crowd couldn’t contain it any longer, up and out of their seats creating their own dance floor- Alexios Gennaris
(3) Its perfectly acceptable to try before you buy! – Alexios Gennaris
(4) One of our many wine tasting tables – Petros Pentayiotis
(5) A child enjoying CyWineFest’s donkey trail – Petros Pentayiotis