The Athens Epidaurus Festival is Greece’s leading cultural organisation and one of the oldest continuously running festivals in Europe. Spanning 66 years, the Festival has welcomed some of the greatest music, dance, and theatre artists of the international and local scene, in collaboration with the most prestigious Greek and international organisations, attracting large audiences from around the world. Up until 2005, the Festival had been held exclusively at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. In the summer of 2006, five brand-new theatre stages were launched at the Peiraios 260 industrial venue which has since emerged as an important springboard for contemporary art. Artistic productions and site-specific performances are also presented at other venues in Attica and various locations as part of the Festival.

In the VAST project, the Athens Epidaurus Festival participates as a partner, with Dr Aristotelis Nikolaidis as the lead person, offering its knowledge and longtime expertise in ancient drama. Until now, the Festival has collaborated with the other partners contributing to VAST with the Festival’s archive (photographs and videos) and closely following the needs of WP1: CO-DESIGN: Multi-disciplinary scientific methodology for advanced digitisation, that is more related to ancient drama. Due to its long history the Festival has gained a leading role in the audience’s perception, especially regarding the performances in Ancient Epidaurus. The Athens Epidaurus Festival aims to engage existing and new audiences in Athens, Epidaurus and internationally with the VAST values by making the ancient texts more accessible to diverse audiences and allowing the latter to engage and empathise with the characters of the tragedies, as members of societies across time and place. The Festival is also planning to make good use of its rich archive and to organise communication actions and new research programmes, in order to disseminate the project to a large audience.