Written by Sébastien Martinez, our Ambassador for Spain and FranceYou're reading an article by a Festileaks Ambassador. These are reporters located throughout Europe and the world. Festileaks Ambassadors write about what is happening in their region, in a way you can only do when you're a local. Articles by Ambassadors are in English. Read more.
This year, we all watched festivals getting cancelled. Most of them were postponed to next year, but there are some warriors in Europe. Some festivals tried everything to survive, changing their format and providing solutions not to disappear. Tomavistas, in Madrid, is one of them. A hope for festivals in these weird times.
First things first. As they describe themselves, Tomavistas is “the perfect festival for those who try to run away from the massifications and want to live a comforting once in a lifetime experience”. An indie festival with strong social and environmental values that takes place in Madrid since 2014. Over the past years, the festival booked acts such as Beach House, Temples and The Jesus and Mary Chain.
In 2020, the festival was about to host Jarvis Cocker, Anna Calvi, Suede, The Horrors and Allah-Las, among many others. The event should have taken place from 21 to 23 May, but unfortunately got cancelled because of the obvious C-reasons.
Not one, but two cancellations
On 2 July, Tomavistas Extra was announced. An extra festival from 3 to 10 September, at the same place, to make up for the lack of festival back in May. Tomavistas Extra was presented as a cycle of two live concerts and multiple dj sessions each day, plus a large variety of gastronomy and more surprises for the audience.
A great national line-up with artists like Dorian, Hinds, Carolina Durante and Novedades Carminha was announced. And all the social distances measures were put in place. The emotion was back. Everything was ready. It was supposed to be one of the only medium-big festivals in the city for in 2020, after Mad Cool, Paraíso and DCODE, were cancelled. A highlight of the summer.
But then, sadly, the festival was cancelled once again on 31 August, just a few hours before the start of the edition. The municipal assembly denied the permit, even with all the measures put in place. And that was that: it looked like there was not going to be a Tomavistas in 2020.
Still going ahead
The festival received a lot of support with messages on social networks, and denied giving up. In the middle of September, they announced that they were back: on 20 September, from 23 to 26 September and on 2 October, in IFEMA, and in La Riviera. Most of the artists announced to come back as well. This past week, people finally danced again at Tomavistas.
Big Spanish acts like Dorian and Hinds played great concerts, in front of a happy crowd: with face masks! Hinds also presented their third album, The Prettiest Curse.
The whole team of the festival that worked hard for Tomavistas Extras will remember this weird year and special month of September. This team that did all they could to make this happen, following all the rules to make sure the event was safe. As some sort of reward, the festival then finally took place. Dogged does it.
Tomavistas 2021 in advanced preparation
Now that the festival finally got its 2020 edition, Tomavistas is also looking forward. For Tomavistas 2021, a big piece of the lineup has already been announced. Suede, Jarvis Cocker and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are among the artists to perform at the Parque Enrique Tierno Galván in Madrid. Below, you will find the lineup for next year, subject to changes and additions.
A hope for other European events
This is the story of a festival that did the best they could and tried everything in an effort to preserve the important cultural climate. This was all done in a context of protests in Spain and Europe with the hashtag #WeMakeEvents and #AlertaRoja (#RedAlert). In Spain, culture and music represents more than 3% of the country’s GDP, with more than 690,000 professionals. Artists, teams, producers, bookers and managers are among those who suffer the most from the current situation, yet are still doing their best to make us enjoy, dance, and making sure the sector is not disappearing. That’s something really special and that deserves a big thank you.