‘Downtown Art Festival’ Attracted Crowds to the Heart of the City
Crowds of locals and tourists gathered in the Old Walled City to observe and enjoy the activities of the 2 day 'Downtown Art Festival' held on 1-2 March 2013. Held by SECOND Project's Nicosia Downtown Initiative and financed by the European Union, the festival included many live music concerts, art exhibitions, ceramics, handicrafts, painting workshops, hip-hop, Turkish Cypriot folk dancing and many other shows..
The programme started on Friday morning with live music performances from Anadolu Fine Arts Orchestra, Sinan Güzen Band and English School of Kyrenia Guitar Orchestra. Ataturk Technical School students displayed their talents in seramics, silk worm cocoon work andLlefkara lace handicrafts in workshops directed by their teachers. Additionally, Anadolu Fine Arts School students showed their talent through a painting workshop of the Buyukhan (Great Inn).
On the second day of the event, Gocmenkoy-Taskinkoy Folk Dance group and Youth Centre Folk Dance group performed Turkish Cypriot folk dances followed by a hip-hop dance show by the talented members of Studio 21. The festival also hosted many concerts from professional musicians including Sertunc Akdogu, Inal Bilsel, El Teigas, Serhan Oncal, Sound of Cyprus, Ersen Erogul & Casablanca House Band, Strange Union, Baria, Kadri & Kemal, Ledra Art Jazz Orchestra, Ledra Art Pop Orchestra, Dj Orhan Eren and Nicosia Turkish Municipality Orchestra. The concerts took place in various spots throughout Downtown including Lefke Hanı, Buyukhan, Bandabuliya, Selimiye and Arasta Squares.
The Gonyeli Music Lovers Choir attracted the attention of many as the crowds filled Buyukhan to see the show. There were also many other interesting acts including a drum circle show directed by Gorkem Muniroglu and an illusion show by Mustafa Seymen.
One of the most important high-lights of the Downtown Art Festival was the Stencil - Graffiti art work by the Near East University Fine Arts Department. Led by Asc. Professor Erdogan Ergun, the students designed and painted graffiti with a theme of the historical landmarks of the Old Walled City. Many locals stated that they enjoyed the event and expected more events like this to happen in the future at Nicosia Downtown.