Festival Cruïlla clearly wants to go beyond just the traditional concept of a music festival. And a good example of this is the ‘experiences’ the festival offers in other areas, such as art, food, fashion and opera, as well as its efforts to set an example in terms of social and environmental sustainability while ensuring festival-goers are comfortable. Based on the premise that nearly everyone who attends is local, the festival seeks out ways to bring them in as much as possible and address their “interests beyond just music”. There are details that say it all: the festival, held on 12, 13 and 14 July at the Parc del Fòrum, only sells 25,000 tickets when the grounds have a capacity of 50,000. “Instead of getting lost at the festival, you run into people,” explains Cruïlla Director Jordi Herreruela. Another of his affirmations sums up the spirit of the non-musical news this July, which are the seed of projects destined to grow: “We don’t want to promote events, we want to manage a community of cultural consumers.”
One of the most ambitious projects launched this year is the biodegradable cup. For the first time in Spain, a music festival is using this type of cup and leaving hard plastic behind. In collaboration with Estrella Damm, the beer-maker has designed a biodegradable cup “made of corn,” so it “is compostable,” and can be put in the organic bins, explains Jordi Laball, of the Damm Department of Communication and External Relations. Cruïlla is one of the first festivals in the world to make this commitment, a fact that Herreruela believes “will transform festivals in Spain and around the world.”
Also new this year, and the “beginning of a closer relationship”, is the collaboration agreement with Gran Teatre del Liceu to bring opera to the Cruïlla audiences. Those with tickets to Cruïlla can also get “good seat and discounts” for Donizetti’s La favorite, which will be at the Liceu in July.
FOOD AND FASHION
For the food and fashion on offer, Cruïlla has handed the reins over to White Summer, the festival held in Pals focusing on these topics. So, the food will be “more varied and with better signs,” and will also include vegan and gluten-free options. It will also include coffee, “by popular demand,” joked Herreruela. Plus, there will be a market with creative entrepreneurs and designers, a kids’ zone (under-15s get in free) and shows by a dance company. In total, 35 food trucks and more than 30 brands will be present at the Parc del Fòrum. In terms of fashion, this year festival-goers will be able to send their shopping home and the merchandising line has now become its ‘own brand’. This ‘street-like’ atmosphere will be rounded off with performances by Fura dels Baus and a taste of Aquelarre de Cervera.
Technology will also have a notable place in the festival. And this year, Cruïlla has been working to perfect some already existing tools. So, this is the fourth fully cashless year (it was the first festival in the world to do so), with smart bracelets to pay for everything on the Cruïlla grounds. The organisers guarantee that these bracelets will allow festival-goers to pay for only what they consume, and they can be collected at the Movistar store on Plaça Catalunya while the festival is on to avoid lines, another milestone for the event. On the festival grounds, there will be Wi-Fi and charging areas, plus a gaming zone and augmented-reality games, which will allow anyone who wants to “hunt for Gaudí’s dragons.”
In terms of mobility, during Cruïlla the tram system will be running all night and there will be buses from the Fòrum to Plaça Catalunya and cycle parking.
The Cruïlla stage that will host headliners like Jack White, Prophets of Rage, N.E.R.D and David Byrne will once again be a spectacular scene, designed by artist Lluís Danés. The Damm stage will be 100 square meters bigger and 18 metres taller (as tall as a five-storey building), making it one of the largest open-air music stages in the country. “We like the connection with the sea. I imagined a sort of cathedral of the sea, like a portal welcoming other cultures. The stage is a maritime building, with eyes that serve as lighthouses,” says Danés. On either side, there are 12-metre seahorses and “an army of jellyfish”, for a feeling of opulence. Little wonder the Cruïlla Director considers the stage design “one of the headliners”. Once again this year, the festival looks to urban art, with graffiti actions associated with the artists performing. All together, the event is destined to plunge festival-goers into a three-day dream stimulating the senses.