All the events of the festival take place in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a theatre erected in AD 161 at the foot of Akropolis as a present of Herodes Atticus for his wife Regina. Since its establishment, the Athens Festival collaborates with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, the Hellenic Ministry of Development, and the Greek National Tourism Organization.
In order to meet contemporary needs, the festival has changed from a state-run organization to S.A. It has improved in terms of the increased number of events staged annually, ranging from classical and contemporary dance and opera to orchestra, classical, and modern theatre.
The festival has been hosting celebrated representatives of the national and international cultural scene such as Gina Bachauer, Maria Callas, Leonard Bernstein, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Herbert von Carayan, Agnes Baltsa, Montserrat Caballe, Rudolf Nureev, Martha Graham, Bolshoi Ballet, Kirov Ballet, and others.
The events of the Athens Festival are also staged at the air theatre of Lykabettus, located in the heart of Athens. It has housed concerts by those such as Vanessa Mae, Lou Reed, Brian Ferry, Pet Shop Boys, Orbital, James, and others.
Since 2002, the festival's performances have been staged in the Little Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, constructed in the IV century BC with the capacity of 14,000 visitors. It is home to the significant works of Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Euripides, and Sophocles.
The Athens Festival is widely reputed for its Classical Greek Drama, with the performances running from the beginning of July until the end of August at the Little Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. Other locations are used by the festival as well, including the ancient Pnyx for a poetry reading and young Greek musicians' recitals, and Piraeus Str, which hosts modern events for young audience mostly.
Initiated in 2001, the Athens Festival Museum is an exhibition of costumes based on masks, photographs, sketches, and audiovisual material.
The festival comprises two sections: the summer section, running from June until July, and the autumn section, covering August and September. So, whenever you make up your mind to join the spectators of the festival, you are sure to enjoy drama, ballet, concert, and/or opera on the slopes of the illuminated Acropolis.
It is advisable to bring a cushion or something of that kind to sit on to enjoy the performance to the fullest extent.
This year the Athens Festival, the annual Greek Festival marked its 50th anniversary. A number of prominent Greek and international artists were invited to perform at the Little Theatre of Epidaurus, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
Several events of the festival occurred at the Lykavittos Theatre, located on Lykavittos Hill, and having the capacity of 4,000 seats. It staged concerts by such performers as Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Paco de Lucia and Massive Attack.