Suzi Quatro, one of the great stars of rock, will not play on June 19 at Azkena Rock, where she was one of the strong names on the lineup. This has been confirmed by an announcement on the singer’s official website. In its concert calendar, the Vitorian festival appeared a few days ago as one more date and now it is accompanied by a notice: “Postponed TBC”, translated as postponed (pending confirmation of new dates). The announcement suggests that the Vitoria festival will not carry out its plans in the Mendizabala fields, at least in its original format.
Quatro, one of the most influential rockers of the seventies, has been the first to make public that the edition of the festival is postponed, at least on her tour. The promoter Last Tour, recently consulted by this newspaper about the format, He pointed out that during these weeks they would make the final program public. “We are awaiting the recommendations of the health authorities to announce a program that can be carried out with certainty,” said the organization without revealing whether the festival is suspended, an alternative cycle or the current lineup, including legends like Iggy Pop, Patti Smith or Brian Wilson, it will undergo changes and will be completely reformulated. In any case, the promoter has had to be flexible to work in various scenarios.
It was last year around this time when the great Vitoria festival announced that the 2020 edition was being postponed, adding to a cascade of cancellations for that summer, such as Sonar, Primavera or Mad Cool. Instead, and given the impossibility of carrying out large-format and face-to-face shows, promoted the ARF Sofa Edition, a series of online activities with more than twelve hours of free access videos and the screening of ‘Rockanrollers’, the film directed by Juanma Bajo Ulloa about the festival.
Although the health situation begins to improve, big events will still have to wait. With current limitations, the maximum capacity in the Basque Country is set at 600 spectators, far from the 20,000 attendees per day that surrounds the Mendizabala event. Only the number of tickets sold by Azkena Rock would far exceed this current restricted offer. Running the festival in pre-pandemic conditions is currently impossible. In general terms, the great summer festivals have chosen to postpone and carry out alternative cycles adapting to the allowed capacities. There are also some examples, such as Cruïlla (Barcelona), Sonorama (Aranda de Duero) and Vida Festival (Vilanova i la Geltrú), which will be held by performing daily antigen tests.
Before this panorama, the Iradier Arena seems like one of the alternatives to Azkena Rock to carry out concerts. In fact, the promoter is part of the Kultura Bizia association, an initiative that brings together some thirty cultural agents and programmers, and they have reserved dates to carry out concerts from June 17 to 19, coinciding with their usual celebration. This Saturday the group La Excavadora premiered on stage of the multipurpose pavilion, which has been fitted out to comply with sanitary restrictions and has slightly improved its acoustics after being fitted with curtains and a synthetic floor to mitigate sound rebound.