Written by our Ambassador for Spain and France

Spanish festival Flamenco on Fire went ahead during the pandemic: “People were thankful”

Remedios Amaya at Flamenco on Fire
Foto: Javier Fergo para Flamenco on Fire
Sébastien Martinez
Written by Sébastien Martinez, our Ambassador for Spain and France
You'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.

In a year like 2020, all the focus is on which festivals are cancelled. However, some events díd went ahead. Flamenco on Fire in Spain is one of them, respecting all the measures and creating even more to make this event happen. Let’s have a look on their story.

Flamenco on Fire is a festival that has the purpose to bring flamenco to the North of Spain, as the style is traditionally focused in the South of the Country. All the colours of the flamenco are represented, from very traditional to something modern, mixing the styles. This year, there was even flamenco-electro! Some of the biggest flamenco artists have played at Flamenco on Fire, including Farruquito, Miguel Poveda, Estrella Morente and Sara Baras.

Foto: Javier Fergo for Flamenco on Fire

From 26 to 30 august 2020, Flamenco on Fire took place in Pamplona, North of Spain. Its 7th edition was different from the other ones because of the covid-situation. However, with creativity and solidarity, the goal of making people enjoying music was achieved. Let’s find out how Flamenco on Fire managed to go ahead. 

In different places of Pamplona, inside and outside, there was a seated audience enjoying the best of the flamenco music, with famous national artists like Farruquito, Miguel Poveda or Chano Dominguez. Of course, the priority was the security. As Arturo Fernández, director of Flamenco on Fire, said: “The festival took even more measures than the ones imposed by the region and the government”. With the hashtag #OnFireResponsable (which means On Fire Responsible) and with the help of a manual especially made for the event, people were invited to preserve their own safety and the one of others. And the result was unanimous: no COVID case were found, even 18 days after the event. 

Miguel Poveda at Flamenco on Fire
Foto: Javier Fergo for Flamenco on Fire

A Covid-free Flamenco on Fire

Festileaks had the opportunity to have a talk with Paloma Orte de la Peña, CEO of 17 Actions, an organization that coaches companies and events like festivals. Among other things, 17 Actions has their global ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG). Some of them are focused on reducing poverty, working for gender equality, respecting the environment and taking care of good health and wellbeing. In former years supporting Flamenco on Fire, Paloma’s main objective was caring about environment and social questions. This year of course, SDG 3: “Good Health and Well Being” was first on her mind: 

“For me it was an exciting new experience. Last year I was focusing my work towards reducing environmental impacts and social actions, like working with socially excluded persons. This year, undoubtedly, the main topic was about healthcare. Our environmental and social improvement measures were kept in place, but this year, my main task has been focusing on implementing, coaching and supervising anti COVID measures. People were thankful. Some of them were stressed, had a lot of questions. Knowing we were working on these measures gave them tranquility. Finally, it’s a kind of win-win process: within this weird space with all these rules, everybody could enjoy. And everyone cooperated: artists, teams, audience, we all worked together. Moreover, there was one phone line just for COVID questions: people called just to know about schedules and entrances.”

The audience at Flamenco on Fire
The audience at Flamenco on Fire. Photo : Santidonaire

Flamenco on Fire is an example in a context of festival cancellations. Like some other events in the country, and with the control of site-capacities, traceability of audiences, with everyone wearing masks, everyone could enjoy the festival with no repercussion on health. 

Remedios Amaya at Flamenco on Fire
Foto: Javier Fergo para Flamenco on Fire

Sébastien Martinez
Music festival lover since my youngest age. Every year I'm trying to go to some more events, from France to Hungary passing by Spain or Belgium. I'm a French guy living in Spain, studying music industry, and trying to discover every day some new things. And most of the time listening to all kinds of music :)