VALENCIA. The euphoria of the first macrofestivals without any restrictions (such as SanSan or Viña Rock) confirm what was already expected: people want to make up for lost time since 2020. The live music format for a mass audience has been one of the most affected by these months of hiatus, but the return to normality is finding an explosion of urban festivals in the city of Valencia, which will not stop during the spring and fall.
If less than a decade ago, practically only the Festival de les Arts filled the agenda, while the macrofestivals moved to Benicàssim or Burriana, now not a few musical events of different sizes and audiences have settled in València, having as a reference space the City of Arts and Sciences. This newspaper has already analyzed the difficulties and strengths of this sitebut in current terms, a funnel of requests to hold musical dates there can be counterproductive and more than limited.
Valencia lacks spaces to celebrate festivals. In addition to the City, the Casal España Arena pavilion will not be inaugurated in 2024 and its functions are those of a covered room, in a possible parallelism with a Palau Sant Jordi or a WiZink Center, so it will not work for some city proposals either. On the other hand, the Marina Sur space, which this summer will host the Rosalía concert, will be dedicated from next year to logistics activities for the Port of Valencia, so it will be lost as a musical space. Outside of that, there is only the Bullringbecause other possible scenarios such as La Punta are ruled out due to bureaucratic complications and legal insecurity.
With all this, both in the Valencian Community and in the city of Valencia, the explosion of festivals is a reality. The pandemic, Tourism sources explain, raised the number of applicants for aid from mediterranean new Musix from approximately 40 to more than 130. This was due to the fact that the large festivals set up parallel products to be able to hold events under the conditions of the pandemic and to collect the direct aid to the sector that was activated. This year it has already begun to deflate – the figures are closer to 70 – but without going down, much less, to the levels of 2019.
The factors can be several. One, of course, is the activation of these aids Mediterranew Musix, which have been a shock to companies. But other factors could be the opening of the indie scene to the mainstream, which has significantly expanded the target audience of the festivals. If the average age rises, moreover, the format also changes: from the attractiveness of sharing camping days (something that seems impossible in Valencia), to the urban festival in which a space is transformed for a few hours, and after the program is you can go to a disco, home or a hotel. This option is of more interest to Mediterranew Musix because it generates a greater tourist impact than campsites.
Waiting for new venues, without a doubt València has joined the fever for music festivals, which in turn are experiencing a time of transformation in form and content.
The new festivals in Valencia
From word to deed: here’s a look at some of the festivals that are opening in the coming months in Valencia.
This same weekend is the Valencia Flow Festan appointment that wants to link the LGTB community with a musical and informative offer that will take place in Spook. Samantha Hudson, Racky Ripper, Taito Tikaro, LVL1, Isabella, Chelo and up to 30 artists will perform on different stages with musical styles as diverse as pop, underground electronic, house, circuit, hits, tropical disco or techno. Also talks by the main activists of the city of Valencia such as Daniela Requena, Javier Gil, Angelica Saenz, Damian Lopez, Miguel Garzon, featuring Liz Dust. The appointment wants to take root and take advantage of the celebration of the Gay Games in 2026 to create a network of events dedicated to the LGTB community.
Big Soundwhich although it had a first edition this summer at the Ciutat de València stadium, premieres the format with which it was designed and which had to be canceled in 2020. The proposal is quite a hit on the table to become the festival of reference of the urban and Latin music of the city, with names like C. Tangana, Nathy Peluso, Nicky Jam or Bad Gyal.
diversity It also premieres in Valencia and at the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències. The festival concept also wants to be linked to the general public, but with an emphasis on giving voice to demands such as Black Lives Matter or the LGBT movement. The poster is very ambitious, with Iggy Pop, Maneskin, Black Eyed Peas, Christina Aguilera, Nicki Nicole, Zaz, Armin van Buuren or Martin Garrixamong others.
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Music festivals multiply in Valencia