The first Street Mode Festival was organized in September 2009 in the Central Square of Thermi, a suburb in Thessaloniki, Greece. The event was conceptualized, organized and produced by Giannis Efstathiou (aka Nox1), and during its first year it offered a graffiti jam, a skate contest, and a live musical performance by “Vodka Juniors”. During the next years, a big amount of bands was added to the program, along with new events such as street dance battles and parkour jams. The Central square of Thermi remained the venue of the festival for 5 years, from 2009 to 2013, where artists from all over Greece were invited to perform in front of the constantly growing audience.
In 2014, the festival moved to a bigger venue, Pier A & Warehouse C at the port area of Thessaloniki. The addition of the reggae icon “Alpha Blondie” and the legendary hip-hop band “Sugar Hill Gang” to Street Mode 2016 signaled the first international entries to the festival’s musical line-up. Numerous internationally acclaimed acts additions followed the next years such as Ska-P, New Model Army, Turbonegro, Phil Campbell, Max Romeo, Pussy Riot, Looptroop Rockers and Dubioza Kolektiv.
The year 2017 was a turning point in the history of the festival, as it moved to a bigger venue (FIX Open-Air Multiplex in Thessaloniki) giving space to more than 80 bands from all over the world to perform in 5 stages during a 3-day long program. The significant increase in not only the amount but also the variety in musical acts and other events since 2016, contributed to shape a new character to the festival and from that point and on, Street Mode established a reputation as a major-type festival. In 2019, it moved back to the port area of Thessaloniki, but this time at Pier B & Warehouse 8. In 2022, after 2 years of absence due to the covid-19 pandemic, Street Mode Festival returned in Thermi, in a brand new venue called Sonik Arena.