60,000 People Live the Hippie Myth in Matala Festival aka “Burning Man” of Europe

In the 60s & 70s the international media became intrigued about the hippie travellers making their homes in the caves at Matala beach in Crete. That intrigue continues… today with people of all ages visiting the village to relive the memory of the hippie era.

Matala Beach Festival, the reuniting point for hippies from all over the world could also be described as the Burning Man of Europe, except this festival takes place on a gorgeous beach (Matala) on the Greek island of Crete.

During the 1960’s Matala were home to the hippies who used to live in the caves and other parts of the beach. Today these memories are revived at the Matala Festival, the ultimate hippie experience in Greece.

This year the festival kicked off on June 20 with 60,000 people enjoying 3 days of  love, peace and music. Along with the festive activities and events, visitors can also enjoy the beautiful sunset from the famous beach caves.

The festival started as a book-launch party in June 2011 when the Mayor of the region hosted an event on the beach to celebrate the launch of the ‘Myth of Matala’ book featuring photos of the hippie cave residents during the 60s & 70s. It was  the first hippie reunion, 35,000 people heard about it and flocked to Matala beach. Next year the number of attendees reached 58,000 and this year more than 60,000 expect to show up at the Festival.

The multicultural event for all ages is like time traveling to a different era in music, arts, and literature, starting from the 1960s and 1970s to the present. Music fans and self-called hippies celebrate peace and love through music and art.

Many artists, musicians, and performers will participate in this 3-day-festival that offers three live stages (Cave stage, Earth stage, Camping stage). Other activities are also taking part at the Earth village, located near the beach.

Some of the bands playing this year are the GB  BLUES BAND, RENEGADE, CROSSROADS, VIVA CARLOS, CSD, as well as the Greek band Kitrina Podilata and Greek singer/songwriter Panos Katsimixas.

Matala Festival is organized by the Municipality of Festos in collaboration with the Region of Crete, Greece. Festival  entrance is free, as the organizer’s main goal is the development and the promotion of the municipality as a tourist destination.

Watch the following videos from the Matala beach festival:



  1. It looks like a pretty nice festival but the burning man is NOT a hippie festival. That’s what the majority of people take from it but it’s because of the usual stereotypes associated. In reality, it does go far beyond that and that’s why it’s unique.