A powerful concert by Vestusta Morla at the Guíxols Arena, the biggest stage of the Porta Ferrada festival, and an extremely inspired Sara Baras at the Cap Roig festival said goodbye this Saturday to two of the most important festivals in Catalonia, both on the Costa Brava.
The two filled, a trend that has been repeated this summer. The public and artists were eager to meet again and it was noticed everywhere, although for this you had to be seated and wearing a mask despite being outdoors. The fifth wave of covid-19 has not spoiled the health of music festivals.
Portalblau’s new orientation in L’Escala and the first festival in La Cerdanya,that concludes this Monday with Love of Lesbian, they have penetrated. “It was not bad for the debut,” says Martín Pérez, head of the Cerdanya Music Festival, who has benefited from his accumulated experience at the Pedralbes Festival, among others.
“We have been to 41 degrees during the day but at night it oscillated between 26 and 21, a pleasant temperature.” Climate change seems to have benefited him: the event has avoided the famous storms in the area. “Starting a new festival is always risky.
” Of the 17,000 tickets put on sale for 10 performances, Pérez estimates to close with 13,700. Nothing to do with the Pedralbes Festival with almost 100,000 attendees -98,874 paid-, in a ninth crowded edition, from June 1 to July 25.
All promoters agree that people this year really wanted to enjoy themselves. Artists included, although the caches have gone down. With a maximum capacity of 70% (some appointments decided to limit it to 50%) it is impossible to pay as before . It is time to adapt to the new reality. “You don’t have to explain much, a spreadsheet is enough!”, Says Pérez.
Rosario, Sílvia Pérez Cruz, Manel , Sopa de Cabra, Estopa and Oques Grasses, among others, have put on their boots in the absence of foreign competition. The delta variant affected groups such as El Pot Petit, who could not perform at Portalblau, and Antonio José, who had to cancel at Cap Roig.
At Terramar de Sitges, from July 29 to August 13, the registered figures were 14,520 tickets sold and 88% total occupancy in its 14 performances. Far were the 2019 figures with 25,175 spectators, impossible to achieve with a capacity reduced by half this year: 1,100 maximum seats.
Peralada also considerably reduced the capacity of the main stage, to only 700 spectators, and concentrated all the performances of its 35th edition from July 16 to August 1. Tickets were sold out in 12 of the 14 opera, dance and pop shows.
Only soprano Lise Davidsen canceled. It was affected by the changes in the protocols of the German Government before the advance of the fifth wave. “It has been the most intense and most complex edition”, recognizes Oriol Aguilà, director of the festival.
The desire to regain normalcy was also noted in other events such as the Arts d’Estiu in Pineda de Mar, this year allied for the first time with the production company The Project, which also works at Porta Ferrada.
“Between us we have placed 50,000 tickets,” says promoter Iñaki Martí happily. Arts d’Estiu had 14,000 attendees -12,500 paid- and reached 92% occupancy. Of the 12 concerts, eight were ‘sold out’.
In Porta Ferrada, of the 43,000 available tickets, 38,000 were sold and there was an occupancy of 88%. “We have reached pre-pandemic figures , ” says festival director Albert Mallol proudly.
From Jardins de Cap Roig, in Calella de Palafrugell, Juli Guiu, its director, states that he is “very happy” after the reopening this year with grandstands expanded to 2,500 seats to only be able to occupy 1,700 by Procicat regulations – and a ‘village’ area larger to maintain safety distances.
Resounding success: 33,607 tickets sold and 98% occupancy. “We are very satisfied. Of the 21 shows performed, 19 were ‘sold out’ and those that did not sell all tickets were very close, 10% were missing,” explains Guiu.
Not bad if we take into account that in 2019, when the pandemic did not exist, there were 10 ‘sold out’ in the 26 shows. Artists of yesterday and today like the legendary Raphael, Silvia Pérez Cruz and Blaumut swept before a devoted audience.
Looking ahead to next year, Guiu hopes to be able to maintain the new restaurant area much larger to guarantee safety distances. “Hopefully the modifications we have made can stay.
” The curfews have not helped the ‘village’ areas of the festivals, another aspect of the business. It is not the same to stay partying after a concert than to have to leave whistling.
The new stage of Portalblau, the L’Escala festival, triumphed with its multi-thematic proposal in beautiful landscape and heritage spaces. Cristina Torres, its director, describes this 14th edition as “historic”, with more sold-out tickets than ever.
More than 10,000 attendees -9,000 with paid admission, as there were free activities- and 90% occupancy endorse its commitment to quality and local artists such as Cor de Teatre. The internationals, the multifaceted Moroccan author Mahi Binebine and the Greek-French singer Dafné Kritharas, canceled after the infections increased in Catalonia, but the next edition will come.
Passenger canceled at Cap Roig. Also Ben Harper, Jamie Cullum and Kool and the Gang suspended at Porta Ferrada, which next year, on its 60th anniversary, hopes to count on them and bet big on humor, classical and dance beyond the great pop-rock concerts.