Written by Elena Pérez, our Ambassador for SpainYou'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.
As we all know, Covid-19 affects almost all festivals, and many had to cancel their 2020 editions. Only a few lucky ones took place in spite of the pandemic. Obviously while taking care of the required specifications. They demonstrated that Spanish festivals are not dead, even though they are living through difficult times. The show must go on.
Here is a short list of the first Spanish festivals celebrated this summer.
Cruïlla is a Barcelona festival taking place in July and August. This year, with the covid pandemic, Crüilla XXS was born, taking the form of a series of concerts. It offered more than 200 shows for over 35,000 people in eight different locations, one of which was Camp Nou. Some of the artists who participated in this new edition were Alba Reche, Fuel Fandango, Ladilla Rusa and Recycled J. Fortunately, the organisation sold out tickets for 27 of the shows. Other activities at the festival include circus, comedia, clowns, dance and theatre. An experience full of different arts and performances, perfect to discover new artists from Catalonia.
During July, August and the first week of September, Metropoli City takes place across different locations in Gijon, Northern Spain. At the festival you can enjoy a Comic Con, get a tattoo, ride a motorcycle or practice surfing. There is also an entertainment area for kids and spectacles like The Lion King. This year, they even offered an escape room set in the world of Harry Potter. Some of the artists who played this year are Amaral, Don Patricio, Loquillo and Pablo López. The festival is a perfect opportunity to visit the north of Spain and enjoy music and art in the same locations, one of which is a bullring.
Starlite Catalana Occidente
Taking place in Marbella (Málaga) in August, Starlite is an international festival celebrated since 2012, usually welcoming artists and visitors from all over the world. This year, they kept the same format as usually (a series of concerts) but, because of the pandemic, only 40,000 people could enjoy the shows of Pitingo, Ara Malikian, Lola Índigo, Morat and many more. Most of the artists were Spanish, since those from abroad had to cancel. Next year, Starlite will return with reggaeton superstar Ozuna, as well as Lionel Richie and Simple Minds. Additionally, Starlite has a foundation where big stars support different causes every year, such as the Tears and Favours Foundation led by Antonio Banderas, Concert for Peace and Go Up Madrid. Starlite is not only about music, you can also find fashion and art, plus the presentation of movies like World War Z in 2013.
Flamenco on Fire
Also interesting is Flamenco on Fire, a festival focused on typically Spanish flamenco dancing and singing. It takes place in August in Pamplona and Tudela (Northern Spain), welcoming big artists of the genre such as Miguel Poveda, Vicente Amigo, Remedios Amaya and Los Chichos. It’s special that the festival brings all forms of flamenco to the north of Spain, as this genre is usually related to the south of the country. Almost 7,500 people enjoyed concerts on the streets, patios and balconies, as well as activities for the little ones at Flamenco on Fire. The festival also broadcasted some of these concerts online.
Other Spanish festivals celebrated during September were Tomavistas Extra, Granada Sound and Mallorca Live Festival. These events represented safety and responsibility in culture, since there was no contagion. In the end, the Spanish festival summer was not completely lost, proving that there is a way forward for international events.