Remembering the Houdetsi Festival
2013 -2016

For a number of years this was the official website for the internationally renowned Houdetsi Festival held annually in Crete. This famous festival of music, arts, fine food and traditional crafts was visited by over 20,000 participants every year.

Content is from the site's 2013 -2016 archived pages, as well as from other outside sources.


The annual Houdetsi Festival first took place in 2010. Organized by the Musical Workshop Labyrinth its sole intent is to share with the local community the exquisite music produced by the teachers and students of Labyrinth. Year after year the number of visitors drawn to the Houdetsi Festival increased rapidly resulting with attendance of approximately 50,000 people in 2016.

The original idea began as an opportunity and opportunity for the Labyrinth Music Lab to "partner" with the local community hosting it, as a sign of mutual recognition but also as a spontaneous need to express and externalize an action with worldwide reference. The multi-year, systematic, dynamic creative synthesis of elements of the most important musical traditions has shaped new data in the field of specific music.

The Houdetsi Festival highlights precisely this magic of mixing different musical elements, combining it with local colors, images, aromas and flavors, accompanying it with the spontaneous hospitality of locals and offering it unconditionally to those who want to be part of it. this holiday. The conscious choice of free entry of visitors to the Houdetsi Festival has nothing to do with financial data. Its features and philosophy impose free access. After all, dozens of great musicians from different countries are volunteering and hundreds of people are volunteering in this direction.

In 2017 the Musical Workshop Labyrinth cancelled the summer Houdetsi Festival out of concerns due to to ever increasing visitors. The organizors felt that the limited facilities including the concert venues, the toilets, the security infrastructure, etc. would ensure the proper conditions for a safe event.

For more information about Musical Workshop “Labyrinth” go to their website at:

With the support of the Region of Crete and the Municipality of Archanes Asterousia but also the close cooperation of the Labyrinth Music Association of Friends and the Cultural Association of Houdetsiio.


4th Houdetsi Festival 2013, 1 - 4 of August

The first two editions (2010, 2011) attracted more than 5,000 spectators each year. In 2012 more than 15,000 people from all over the world attended the festival!
Houdetsi has been an international attraction for musicians since 2002 as Labyrinth Musical Workshop organizes seminars and master classes with musicians from all over the world for the last 10 years. Houdetsi Festival as well as Labyrinth Musical Workshop's activities are an initiative of Ross Daly who is also the artistic director of both.
The 4rth Houdetsi Festival will take place from 1-4 of August 2013

Houdetsi Festival 2013
Concerts Program

Thursday 2/8

The Garden of Labyrinth

21:30 - 22:20.  Giorgos Xylouris (Psarogiorgis) laouto & vocals, Giannis Papatzanis (percussion)

22:30 - 23:20.  Dimitris Koliakoudakis will present a program of his own compositions for guitar.

23:30 - 00:30. Maria Fasoulaki together with the group Elyros


21:30 - 22:20. Ross Daly, Zohar Fresco, Kelly Thoma, Sofia Evkleidou and Taxiarhis Georgoulis

22:30 - 23:20. Ahenk, a project featuring Derya Türkan (kemençe) and Murat Aydemir (tanbur). They will play both new and old pieces from the Turkish classical repertoire

23:30 - 00:30. Vasilis Stavrakakis together with Ross Daly, Kelly Thoma, Giorgos Manolakis and Giannis Papatzanis. This concert will turn into a "kantada" (serenade) which will go all around the village ending up in the garden of Labyrinth.

The Street

21:30 - 22:20 "Petrites", Vasilis Xylouris, Nikos Xylouris, Kostas Skoulas, Giannis Loulakis, Vasilis Skoulas . Cretan music.

22:30 - 23:20 Stelios Petrakis with his group of musicians will present a program of Cretan music with dance by Thanasis Mavrokostas

23:30 - 00:30 Giorgos Mavromanolakis together with Dimitris Stefanakis (lyra), Manolis Kanakakis (kanun, piano), Raphael Greenblatt (percussion), Manolis Papadakis (bass), Theodoris Pintzopoulos (percussion) will present a program of their own compositions together with excerpts from the traditional repertoire of various regions of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Hadjines,  Cretan Music

21:00 - 21:50 Kostis And Giorgos Saridakis, Manolis Hristakis, Manolis Kritsotakis.

22:00 - 22:50. Nikos Kalomiris

23:00 - 23:50. Petros Kakepakis, Giannis Diakonis, Mhnas Baltzakis,

0:00 - Giannis Gounakis, Giorgos Koutsoumpas, Vasilis Petrodaskalakis

Friday 2/8

Garden Of Labyrinth

21:30 - 22:20 Classical Iranian Music played by Araz Salek (tar) and Pedram Khavar Zamini (Tombak)

22:30 - 23:20. Nikos Palaiologos (Oud & Saz) and Giorgos Kladis (percussion).

23:30 - 00:30. Daud Khan Sadozai (Rabab & Sarod) and Ciro Montanari (tabla). Daud Khan Sadozai plays the Afghan lute rabab and is widely considered to be one of the foremost representatives of the Afghan musical tradition. However, he is also a renowned virtuoso on the North Indian Sarod, an instrument which is in fact derived from the rabab. On the sarod he has studied with the illustrious maestro Amjad Ali Khan. He will be accompanied by the young and highly talented Italian tabla player Ciro Montanari.


21:30 - 22:20. Daulute is an ensemble which features Giorgos Zacharioudakis (flutes), Dimitris Sideris, and Giannis Papatzanis. Their music clearly has its roots in the Cretan tradition, but it does not stay confined to this. It extends quite freely into other cultural realms thus affording the listener a warm experiences

22:30 - 23:20 Eleonore Billy is one of the foremost exponents of the Swedish folk instrument Nyckelharpa today, this despite the fact that she is actually Fench and not at all Swedish. She will present a program incorporating elements from the Swedish folk tradition as well as compositions of her own. In this concert she will play together with Kelly Thoma, with whom she regularly works, Pavlos Spyropoulos (bass), Sofia Evkleidou (cello) and her student from the seminar that she will be teaching in Houdetsi.

23:30 - 00:30. Kopare is a newly formed ensemble which is comprised of 4 students from Labyrinth who have been with us since the very beginning in Houdetsi. Paul Goodman (lyra, bulgari), Manolia Kokologianni (lyra), Vangelis Hadzovoulos (oud, lavta, saz) and Sergios Voulgaris (percussion). They will present a program of their own compositions.

The Street

21:00 -  22:00  Nikos and Andreas Flamourakis, Cretan music with violin and laouto.

22:00 - 23:00 Iliodromio is a collective of musicians coming from the music department of the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki. It was established by the composer Ilias Sarigiannidis in the context of the composition courses at the university and much of the repertoire is comprised of compositions of his own.

23:30 - 00:30 The traditional dance troupe of Nontas Erotokritakis will present dances from all regions of Crete to the accompaniment of live music

Hadjines, Cretan music

21:00 – 21:50 Manolis Kalykakis

22:00 - 22:50 Vangelis Alexakis, Giorgos Vouidaskis

23:00 – 23:50  Vassilis Hadjimakris, Antonis Apostolou, Antonis Maniorios, Alexis Alevizakis, Minas Spanakis

00:00 - Giorgos Bitzanakis, Giorgos Stavrakakis , Antonis Manousakis

Saturday 3/8

The Garden of Labyrinth

21:30 - 22:20.  Italian percussionist Ciro Montanari who has studied North Indian Tabla extensively for many years will give a recital for solo tabla accompanied by Davi Garcia on Sarangi.

22:30-23:20. One of Crete's most renowned virtuosi of the laouto, Giorgos Manolakis will perform compositions of his own accompanied by Pavlos Spyropoulos (bass) and Zohar Fresco (percussion)

23:30 - 00:30.  Neda is a group of four musicians who have participated in many seminars and other activities at Labyrinth ever since the first year in Houdetsi 11 years ago.  Christos Barbas, Giorgos Papaioannou, Victoria Taskou and Pavlos Spyropoulos will perform original compositions and improvisations of their own inspired by the musical traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean which they have studied for many years.


21:30 - 22:20. Haris Lambrakis together with his quartet will perform a highly original program of new compositions and improvisations which form a bridge between traditional sounds and elements of Jazz and other contemporary traditions.

22:30 - 23:20. Two of Turkey's foremost musicians, Yurdal Tokcan (oud) and Göksel Baktagir (kanun) will perform original compositions of their own as well as traditional material from the music of Istanbul.

23:30 - 00:30. Internationally renowned Spanish guitarist Fernando Perez has studied many different musical idioms from all over the world and he has adapted them to the favored instrument of his native Spain the guitar. He will guide us with a single guitar through the world of music as he has lived and studied it over the years.

The Street

22:00 - 23:15  Zephyros is a group of musicians who live in Thessaloniki and who will present a program of urban Cretan music from the early 20th century up until the music of Hainides, a contemporary Cretan music group. The members of Zephyros are:

Odysseas Mavromatis - guitars

Kosmas Sarigiannidis - mainland and Cretan Laouto, Saz

Kostas Kyritsakis - Lyra, Mandolin

23:30 - 00:30   An improvised meeting of Percussionists from three different directions:  Zohar Fresco (bendir & reqq), Pedram Khavar-Zamini (tombak) και Ciro Montanari (tabla).

Hadjines, Cretan music

21:00 - 21:50 Nektarios Pachiadakis, Antonis Manousakis, Kyveli Sergiou, Nektarios Marinos

22:00 - 22:50 Manolis Papadakis, Alekos Fanourakis, Kostas Makakis, Kostas Tzanakakis

23:00 - 23:50 Babis & Zacharias Vouidaskis, Giorgos Triantafyllakis, Andreas Roumeliotis

Sunday 4/8

The Street

21:30 - 22:30 Manolis Drakakis, Michalis Frangiadoulakis, Manolis Papadakis


21:30 - 22:30 Mantolin virtuoso Michalis Kontaxakis together with Kyriakos Tappakis (Oud), Marina Dakanali (vocals) and Kostas Kalantzis will perform a program of original compositions and improvisations


22:00 - A program of Cretan music with Antonis Karatzis and his ensemble.

The Garden of Labyrinth

22:30 - 1:30  The final concert which will close the festival and in which all of the musicians will participate.

During the festival there will be exhibitions of musical instruments, painting and other visual arts:



THURSDAY 1/8: TIME 18:30-20:30 ''Cultural Camping of Astritsi’’-Through team games and theatrical expression we will try to understand and better conceive the 5 senses of our body…

THURSDAY 1/8: TIME 20.30 - "EROTKRITOS"  Puppet Show from Puppet Group Kou-Klo

FRIDAY 2/8: TIME 18.30-19.30 - "JOURNEY ON THE MAGIC CARPET"  Story telling from Meropi Apelidou

FRIDAY 2/8: TIME 20.00 - ¨PARAMITHIA - ΝTOREMITHIA" A candle for the little rihno and the Flying Disk

SATURDAY 3/8: TIME 20.30-21.30 - "MUSICAL FAIRYTALES"  Alkis Pashalidis and Maria Tsouknaki

SUNDAY 4/8:    TIME 20.30-21.30 - "MUSICAL FAIRYTALES"  Alkis Pashalidis and Maria Tsouknaki



Houdetsi has a few bed and breakfast hotels which are usually occupied by the students of Labyrinth during the seminars. In the list below you can find one luxury hotel in Houdetsi as well as a few more in the neighboring village of Archanes. (8klm far from Houdetsi)

Petronikolis,,  +30 2810 743 203,

Neraidospilios,, +30 6945 60 72 74,
Archontiko,, +30 2810 752 985,
Villa Orestis,+30 2810 751 619, +30 6942 44 57 84




5th Houdetsi Festival 2014, 7 - 10 of August


Houdetsi Festival is a 4 day celebration of music, dance, food and art that takes place in the little village of Houdetsi which is located 23 klm due south of Heraklion, on the island of Crete. 

Hundreds of musicians and various other artists from all over the world, gather in Houdetsi in order to share their love for art and culture.

The first edition in 2010 attracted 4,000 people from all over Crete.

This year 23,000 people from all over the world attended the Festival! The success of Houdetsi Festival was beyond everyone’s expectations…

Today it is considered one of the biggest festivals in Greece and one of the most significant in its category, in Europe.

Do not miss the opportunity this year to experience these four magical nights this August.

Admission to all concerts is free of charge!

The festival is sponsored by the Municipality of Archanes-Asterousia and the Region of Crete, as well as through the support of other local private businesses.

Houdetsi has been an international attraction for musicians since 2002 as Labyrinth Musical Workshop organizes seminars and master classes with musicians from all over the world for the last 10 years. Houdetsi Festival , as well as Labyrinth Musical Workshop's activities are an initiative of Ross Daly who is also the artistic director of both.

The 5th Houdetsi Festival will take place from 7-10 of August 2014

Organised by :
Musical Workshop Labyrinth
Municipality of Archanes-Asterousia
Region of Crete
Cultural Association of Houdetsi

Every night from 21:00 till the morning there are concerts on five stages in the village.
The Crafts Market starts every evening at 19:00 and the Luthiers Exhibition is open all day.
Also you can visit the Labyrinth's Musical Workshop instruments' exhibition all day
All the events are free for the public!

A few words from the Artistic Director:

    This year's Houdetsi Festival, as all of the previous editions in previous years, relies entirely on the spirit of volunteer work on the part of all of the illustrious musicians who will be participating, as well as on the part of all of the many people, each in his own way, who participate in the organizational aspects of the festival. We are deeply grateful to all of them as we clearly recognize that it is due to their efforts that this festival exists.

      For us here at the Musical Workshop Labyrinth, it is a recognized and established fact that the meeting of different people from different origins, each bringing with him something special and unique is the essential requisite for the birth of the new and the renewal of the old. When such meetings take place, frequently the new creation as a whole surpasses the sum of its parts. An invisible but decisive element is at work which is none other than the spirit of creativity itself. A spirit which is available to all, each according to his/her nature, but controllable by none. It is from these meetings of different peoples and different cultures that we at Labyrinth are constantly learning and enriching our lives and it is our desire, through the means of the Houdetsi Festival, to share this magical experience with our neighbors as well as with our visitors from far and near.

          Ross Daly
          Houdetsi 2013



Crete Celebrates Ethnic Music at the Houdetsi Festival

Mihaela Lica Butler - August 7th, 2014 /

Houdetsi. Not your usual destination on Crete, and by no means a village recommended by travel guides. But things may change due to a young international music festival, which grows in popularity with every editio

Celebrating its 5th annual edition, the Houdetsi Festival brings together artists and performers from all over the world, live, in front of the public, for a 4 day celebration of cultural diversity. This is also a celebration of tradition, reviving the medieval and folk music that shaped generations, influencing the styles of today.

There will be no less than five scenes set up in Houdetsi this year, each ready to accommodate distinguished traditional musicians and soloists performing Arabic, Bulgarian, Persian, Indian and Swedish folk music, among many others. And, of course the sound of the Cretan lyra will resonate with mystic mystery every evening.

The festival attracts hundreds of people, both locals and tourists. More than music, the festival showcases handcrafts, local products, musical instruments, photography and pottery exhibitions, and it offers activities for children, too. The Houdetsi Festival begins Thursday, August 7 and runs until Sunday, August 10, 2014.




6o Houdetsi Music Festival 2015

The Houdetsi Festival is a four-day celebration of music, dance, taste and art taking place in the village of Choudetsi, 23 km from Heraklion.

The Houdetsi Festival highlights precisely this magic of mixing different musical elements, combining it with local colors, images, aromas and flavors, accompanying it with the spontaneous hospitality of locals and offering it unconditionally to those who want to be part of it.

This year will be held between 6-9 August the 6th festivals collectively organized by the Labyrinth Music Lab, the Region of Crete, the Municipality of Archeros Asterousia, the Cultural Association of Houdetsi, and the newly established Festival Music Festival Houdetsi ) .

This Festival was started by the Labyrinth Music Lab's desire to share with our local community and visitors the beautiful sounds of the music of Labyrinth teachers and friends who arrive in Houdetsi every summer to participate in our programs.

Admission to the festival is free to the public and our choice is based on two pillars:

1. All the musicians participating in the festival offer their art without any desire to support the work of the Labyrinth.
2. We make the most of the Festival's expenses from public collective organizations (District, Municipality), from the exhibitors' benchmarks and from the sale of food (skewers etc) during the festival and thus free entry to the world is self-evident to us.

Our main interest in this event is to give our guests the opportunity to hear rare, authentic and mainly quality music as they are performed by top musicians from around the world.

This is done in the context of a simple and friendly meeting between the local community, our visitors and musicians from all over the world with the aim of getting to know each other and developing friendship.

By no means is the Hudecci Music Festival aimed at commercial gain and its festival directors take every possible means to safeguard this character.   

Ross M. Daly, Houdetsi 2015





AUGUST 04, 2016 |

What do you get when you put an Irish musician, a musical workshop called the Labyrinth, and a traditional Cretan village together? Well, you get one of Crete’s most famous and beloved music festivals, that’s what!

Cretans love good music, parties, and basically any chance to celebrate. If you take a look at many artefacts left over from the Minoan civilisation that was once present in this area, you’ll find many remainders of items that one would traditionally use to celebrate — it’s clear that the act of celebrating played, and continues to play, a vital role in society on the island.

There’s nothing better than celebrating with like-minded people who have an appreciation for the small things in life

Houdetsi is a village located 23 kilometres south of the city of Heraklion on Crete. It’s a mountainous village with approximately 1,000 residents. The village is blessed with crystal clear waters, fertile land, beautiful churches, astounding architecture, and of course, an amazing landscape. In the past, wealthy citizens from the capital (Heraklion) visited Houdetsi during the warm summer months, as the leafy village provided a cooler alternative to the scorching beaches of the city.

Houdetsi is the perfect backdrop to learn about Cretan traditions
Over the past six years, however, many locals (and travellers too!) have flocked to the village for a four-day celebration of music, food, and art.

The original idea started as an opportunity to partner with the “Labyrinth Musical Workshop,” and the local community that hosts it, to mutually recognise the human need to spontaneously express oneself.
There’s also plenty of souvenirs and traditional items to purchase for all the shopaholics out there!

The Labyrinth Musical Workshop is a unique educational institution dedicated to the study of the world’s modal musical traditions, and every year Ross Daly and his colleagues organise an impressive number of seminars and masterclasses, which are taught by many of the world’s greatest musicians.

The colours, the sounds, the smells… you’ll never want to leave! The Houdetsi Music Festival is a magical synthesis of different musical elements, combined with local colours, images, fragrances, and flavours.

There’s just so much to see in one tiny village!
Apart from the Labyrinth Municipal Workshop, which is directed by Ross Daly, co-organisers are the Municipality of Archanes, the Region of Crete, and the Cultural Association of Houdetsi.

The bouzouki is probably one of the most relaxation-inducing instruments out there!

If you’re travelling around Greece this summer, and are thinking of taking a trip out the islands, definitely consider stopping by Crete! The island boasts beautiful beaches, great food, a rich history, hospitable people, and plenty of things to do! The Houdetsi Music Festival runs in August and is free for all — it’s also a great way to interact with the Cretan community, and is a wonderful way to learn about the island in a unique way!