Will you be at the Antipodes | Lonsdale St Greek festival this weekend? There will be souvlaki, ouzo and Greek music and dance in the large Greek street festival on Lonsdale Street where the Greek Community of Melbourne’s Antipodes Festival taking place on Saturday 29 February and Sunday 1 March.

Come and say ‘hi’ to the Neos Kosmos team that will be live blogging throughout the two days of fun. Send your photos or any other tips and info related to the festivities to mary@neoskosmos.com.au or post them onto our Facebook page and we’ll chase your leads and add your pics to our photo gallery.

CLICK HERE for the full program.

10.30, 29 February

The dance party is continuing until late as festival-goers are partying until they drop – as Greeks do.


9pm, 29 February

It was a jam-packed crowd enjoying Giotta negka at the Delphi Bank stage.


7.30pm, 29 February

Victoria’s Premier Dan Andrews officially opened the festival. ‘Καλησπέρα ελληνίδες και έλληνες’, he said, before acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land and stakeholders within the community. He pointed to the “difficult circumstances” that have plagued the state, such as bushfires. “But I can’t tell you how proud I am, how pleased I am, to look across this crowd at this great celebration of the Greek community in Melbourne and Victoria – a great celebration of the contribution that the Greek community has made to this state and continues to make every day and in every way,” he said.

“You can’t imagine Melbourne and Victoria without the contribution of the Greek community. After all, Melbourne, the capital of Victoria; Athens, the capital of Greece; and Thessaloniki, the capital of Makedonia, are great Greek cities of the world. We come together to celebrate Greek culture and heritage, Greek language, the contribution that the Greek community have made and that we’re all in this together.”

He spoke of multiculturalism as our greatest gift and thanked the Greek community for all it has done. He pointed to multiculturalism as a “precious gift” that should not be taken for granted. He stated his pride that Melbourne has the biggest community everywhere.

Victoria’s leader of the opposition, Michael O’Brien said that though he doesn’t agree with Mr Andrews on much, however he does agree “fully on the huge contribution that the Greek community has made to Melbourne and Victoria. We would not be the strong state that we are without that huge contribution,” he said, applauding the success of so many people in the Greek community. He reiterated his party’s support to Greeks.

Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos spoke in Greek, saying that she is proud to be a minister of Greek background in the largest celebration of our culture outside of Greece. “We are continuing the Greek tradition in Melbourne, in the centre of the Greek community on Lonsdale Street while looking at the (copies of) the Parthenon Marbles,” she said. “Next year, we will have an even larger celebration because it will be 200 years since the creation of Greek Democracy. And I promise you two things – funding for events for this anniversary and a better Antipodes Festival on Lonsdale Street and to dance Zorba, with me leading the dance.”

Euro 2004 champion Giorgos Caragounis was introduced to the crowd by GCM President Bill Papastergiadis. “I am happy to be here,” he said, adding that he has been in Melbourne for three days and sees Greeks wherever he goes. He has understood that they “love Greece”. He remembered the glorious moment of soccer and saw photographs of Greek Australian celebrations on Lonsdale Street.


Everything is in full swing. Walking around the stalls the crowds are swelling.

Greek Community of Melbourne President Bill Papastergiadis told Neos Kosmos that he was “ecstatic with the turnout” at this year’s festival which he is optimistic will get better.

“It looks a little less to me this year,” he said, but points to it as “the largest festival outside of Greece and in Melbourne”. He will carry the voice of Greeks to the Delphi Forum this week where he will meet with key stakeholders to showcase the needs of the Greek Australian diaspora. Stay tuned for more.

Meanwhile, here’s a glimpse at what’s currently going on at the Festival.





5.15pm, Saturday, 29 February

The Cretans are on stage and there is a dance frenzy as the crowd enjoys the lively music.


3.30 pm, Saturday, 29 February

The festival is in full swing. The sun has been shining and Lonsdale Street in Melbourne’s CBD is bustling with people, and the sounds and aromas of Greece.

There are dancers walking the streets in traditional dress, along with women dressed as ancient Greek goddesses on stilts, who have both Greek Australians and non-Greeks alike in awe and taking advantage of the photo opportunities.

Despite fears that threats of the coronavirus would keep people away, thousands have turned out to enjoy the day’s offerings. People of all ages have gathered, enjoying entertainment across the three stages, including traditional dances from various regions by groups including Pontiaki Estia and the Kalymnian Philanthropic Brotherhood of Melbourne on the A & A Holdings Stage.

The smells of meats on the rotisserie are wafting through the air, with lines of people queuing up to try.

Meanwhile the winner of the Pass the Pastitsio Competition was named, with Katerina Moshoyiannis awarded the maker of the best pastitsio. We’ll try and get our hands on the recipe for you! Stay tuned.

See our photo gallery below, and live videos:



1.30 pm, Saturday, 29 February

The Zorba ‘Til You Drop Competition attracted a crowd at the Delphi Bank stage, with MC, comedian George Dimarelos entertaining those gathered. He had people of all backgrounds shouting “opa!”, getting them into the spirit of the day.

Nikos Vokkolos was the winner of the competition, taking out the top spot in one hour and 48 minutes. For his endurance, he was awarded a free trip to Greece.


12.35 pm, Saturday, 29 February

The Antipodes Greek Festival has gotten off to a great start, with early arrivals treated to a sneak peak performance by the headline act. Giota Negka took to the Delphi Bank stage to warm up with her band, impressing with her powerful voice.


9pm, Friday, 28 February

Preparations were underway with trucks closing down Lonsdale Street. The fun kicks off at 11am on Saturday.



Formerly known as Lonsdale St Greek Festival, Melbourne’s largest Greek cultural celebration is back with a new name, new look and some new offerings. With over 90 stalls, three free entertainment stages and roving performers, children’s rides and activities, as well as multiple bars and an array of mouthwatering Greek food options, there will be something for the entire family to enjoy.

Festival co-chairs Jim Bossinakis and Leonidas Vlahakis are confident that this year’s Festival will be the biggest and the best.

“The 33rd Antipodes Festival will feature more stalls, vendors and performers than ever before which is a testament to the popularity and reputation of this internationally renowned event” said Jim Bossinakis.

Leonidas Vlahakis added “We encourage all Melburnians to attend. Attracting a crowd of over 100,000 Antipodes really is a celebration of cultural diversity. Our aim is to share the Greek culture with everyone in an inclusive multicultural celebration.”

READ MORE: Heading to the Antipodes Festival this year? Giota Negka invites you to ‘come with an open heart’

The area will be shut off to cars to make way for the huge event that will include the participation of traditional and modern performers of more than 50 groups of musicians and dancers, including Greek singer Giota Negka making her Australian debut. Preparation for the festival will start at 10pm on Friday 28 February, however the trading hours are from 11am to 11pm on Saturday and from 10am to 10pm on Sunday. Traffic conditions will be impacted until 5am on Monday 2 March.

Bus routes have been diverted to nearby streets.

More info on the festival at www.lonsdalestfestival.com.au

READ MORE: The Antipodes Greek Festival is just around the corner

Neos Kosmos will be there to cover festivities. Check our site for our live blog throughout the festivities. And send us photos and videos from the event to mary@neoskosmos.com

1.30 pm, Saturday, 29 February

The Zorba ‘Til You Drop Competition attracted a crowd at the Delphi Bank stage, with MC, comedian George Dimarelos entertaining those gathered. He had people of all backgrounds shouting “opa!”, getting them into the spirit of the day.

Nikos Vokkolos was the winner of the competition, taking out the top spot in one hour and 48 minutes. For his endurance, he was awarded a free trip to Greece.