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In 2006, the RIALTO Theatre timidly took the first steps to organize a series of events dedicated to diversity and tolerance. Since then, the colourful world of the Ethnic Festival became a meeting of groups and sounds from different countries.
The festival presents virtuoso musicians established in the international music scene that search, adopt influences and trends, creating performances that surpass boundaries and frontiers of all kinds.
It takes place every July, having as its hub the Heroes’ Square in Limassol and occasionally various
squares in Nicosia. Is been also organised at villages of Limassol district where, since 2012, started
the institution of Rialto Residency. A program of common staying and studying where Cypriot musicians meet and collaborate with guest artists from abroad. Through residence and joint study of
artists develops a renewed reading of various musical traditions, aiming at a new joint approach. The Residency’s outcome is presented in a first concert at the village of staying and followed by a concert at the Heroes’ Square.
Since May 2011, when the festival became a member of the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals, it focused mostly to the Mediterranean and Middle East countries, considering that such identity is essentially determined by the geographical, historical and cultural relations between the
countries of the region, and which are reflected in their musical traditions.
Within the framework of the festival cinema screenings are organized regularly, an International Symposium was held in 2011 and a discussion in 2013. All these events have as common theme the importance and evolution of traditional music and the establishment of World Music as a genre
and the effects on the musical traditions of each place.