Cruïlla is one of the city’s leading festivals, with eight years already behind it and around 60,000 attendees. Cruïlla Barcelona has become one of the key dates on the summer calendar, and the festival is already finalising details and warming up for its ninth edition, which will be held in Parc del Fòrum on 12, 13 and 14 July. During the preparation process, the festival organisation receives help from its “partners”, an exclusive group of brands who work together with Cruïlla towards their goal of being “a festival in Barcelona and for Barcelona”. Gorka Niubó, head of institutional relations and sponsorship for the Cruïlla festival, explained that: “We know how to work with brands, evolving together, and sponsors come to us because we are growing, just as we grow because we have sponsors”, he told us. But when Niubó talks about growth, he makes sure to note that in Cruïlla’s case “the goal is not to get audience figures to shoot up to stratospheric levels, or to base everything on ticket sales – instead, our DNA leans more towards an organic growth model”. That’s Cruïlla Barcelona is untroubled by the fact that the festival is sometimes referred to as the little brother of the city’s musical festivals, it attracts much smaller crowds than Primavera Sound and Sonar, who welcome around 120,000 and 200,000 each. Cruïlla’s organisers explain that their objective is to maintain a “human scale” that allows festival-goers to enjoy an experience that goes beyond the line-up.
Estrella Damm is Cruïlla Barcelona’s main partner. The beer brand has supported the festival from the beginning, and Niubó explains that much of their success over the years has been a result of their mutual understanding, and “knowing how to work hand in hand”. Other brands have joined up alongside Estrella Damm, seeing the festival as a new way to reach an audience that does not fit the usual target for this kind of cultural event. In fact, Cruïlla attracts a crowd with a very broad age range, from young people aged 18 to adults over 45, “which says a lot about what kind of festival we are”, explains the head of Institutional relations and sponsorship. The festival rejects the huge crowds found at macrofestivals that are targeted at a young or even teen audience, as well as shunning “red carpet” events with a very limited capacity and specific line-up, which attract a higher average age.
Estrella Damm not only provides the beer for the festival, but also provides the set design for the main stage, and has made Cruïlla the first music festival in Spain to offer drinks in biodegradable cups.
Cruïlla is also unique, because unlike other festivals held in Barcelona, its audience is mainly local. In fact, over 85% of festival attendees live in the Barcelona metropolitan area, a fact that also makes the event a special opportunity for brands that want to identify themselves with the city, and who are looking to make an impact on the local market. Gorka Nuibó explains that brands choose the festival because “we have a unique DNA, the experience that cannot be replicated in any other city, and Cruïlla is organised in Barcelona and it a festival for Barcelona”. Niubó explains that this is a way to convey that “we have our own personality and we are looking for an impact that goes beyond trends”.
This is the case for Estrella Damm, which not only provides beer for the festival, but also provides the set design for the main stage, and has made Cruïlla the first music festival in Spain to offer drinks in biodegradable cups. This is one of the key philosophies in the search for sponsors. As Niubó says, “it is about much more than finding someone to give us some money and their logo”. Partners also help create experiences for festival-goers. This is the case for the Scoot brand of electric motorbikes – Cruïlla gives visitors the chance to charge their phones with their electric batteries. Treatwell offers its services in the Wellness area, Racc is in charge of medical care and offers a medical van for the festival, TRAM offers an uninterrupted transport service while Cruïlla is running, while the trainer brand Munich is in charge of the chill out zone. The list of festival partners also includes Movistar, which not only provides technology and logistics services, but also sets up a shop that hosts its own concerts. Torres, Casa Tarradellas, Coca-Cola/Royal Bliss and Café Cornellà offer catering services, while Bon Preu gives each visitor a pack with revitalizing products at the start of the festival. Brugal, Vueling, Jagermeister and Smoking are also on the list of sponsors, and the festival also collaborates with the non-profit organisation Social Work Obra Social de Sant Joan de Déu. In addition, this year an agreement was signed with Liceu opera house to offer Cruïlla attendees a 50% discount on one its operas. This shows that the festival audience is varied and a good bet, explains Niubó, “to show that experiences can be shared with other cultural institutions in the city, although they might seem to be so different.”
For Niubó, the key to success when making agreements with sponsors lies in making sure everybody wins, “not just the festival and brands, of course, but also the public, and our partnerships have to have meaning and bring some kind of benefit to the people attending the festival”. This philosophy applies to everything: Selling unique experiences and making sure that people see Cruïlla as something different from other festivals. The music on offer also makes a big difference. That’s why the festival has an outstanding line-up this year, with artists such as Jack White, Prophets of Rage, N.E.R.D, Kygo, Justice, The Roots, David Byrne, and Bunbury. A perfect combination of music and experiences for the ninth edition of this festival, which has worked over the last few years to become a summer classic in Barcelona.
From left to right: Jack White, Bunbury, N.E.R.D, Prophets of rage, Kygo, David Byrne, Roots y Justice.