Nicosia’s Pop Up festival is a celebration of the capitals’ CCIs and their power to stimulate change for social & economic development and urban revitalization.
During the financial crisis in Cyprus creative actors had been neglected, urban degradation was noted and tourists were experiencing Nicosia's stagnation. Responding to this situation, NiMAC (Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre) took the initiative to mobilize and motivate CCIs. Through the review and redefinition of their role, CCIs would be able to contribute to the growth of a new economic model through the renewing of urban space and the re-mobilization of tourists’ interest.
An average of 30 unexploited shops are being renovated and rented to creative actors in low costs, for 6 weeks. Shops are located within a degraded urban district. Through an open call, NiMAC chooses the most relevant proposals to the 4th content pillars: innovation, trade, culture/arts and education. Additionally, NiMAC has the responsibility of implementing the marketing plan for promoting actors, events and the festival. Also, more than 20 special events are organised hosting cultural and creative shows, exhibitions, installations, open-air music events, lectures and workshops, the festival fosters, grassroots networking, cooperation, interaction, encouragement of synergies and stimulation for innovative and prototype artistic production.
An outstanding example of a CCIs festival that is re-shaping an area’s image and develop Creative Tourism. Creative artists, locals and tourists are interacting and co-producing new forms of cultural products having a sustainable social and economic impact.

Resources needed

Pop Up is funded by the Nicosia Municipality with €50000 per year and an additional amount of €20000 is been secured from private sponsorship. In-kind sponsors support the restoration of the shops. Municipality implements logistics, health and security plans utilizing all its available recourses.

Evidence of success

CIs are being considered as a fundamental force of change. Festival accelerates new creative business, stimulates the review of Municipal strategic plans (e.g 30m invest on Nicosia’s Creative Business Quarter, taxes incentives) and policies of the ministry of the interior. At the same time, it cultivates urban consciousness and urban aesthetics. The success of the Festival is also proven by the high level of attendance, as approximately 30.000 – 35.000 thousand people are visiting the festival

Difficulties encountered

Raising sponsorship. Extroversion and further promotion of the festival. Further development of the festival content. Strengthening collaboration with local hotels, travel agencies and HORECA enterprises.

Potential for learning or transfer

The “festivalization” of the CIs is a fundamental and efficient way of developing Cultural Creative Tourism. During a festival, creative actors can be gathered together and coherently presented to particular target groups archiving promotion, networking and strengthening of cultural industries which are fundamental priorities for further development of both CCIs and the city. Key success factors are the improvement of corporate sponsorship whilst enhancing strong collaboration with private organisations. Other key success factors include the promotion of cultural and creative production, diversification of activities, and amelioration of accessibility. The festival had been a precursor of the Nicosia’s “Creative Business Quarter” strategic plan and a catalyst for upgrading municipal plans of urban revitalization, enrichment of cultural policies and improvement of urban mobility plans.

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Main institution
NiMAC Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Associated with the Pierides Foundation
Κύπρος, Cyprus (Κυπρος)
Start Date
January 2020
End Date
December 2020


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