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Spain’s Arenal Sound festival sells out in seven hours

Tickets for next year’s Arenal Sound festival in Spain sold out in less than seven hours, organisers have announced.

Held in the coastal town of Burriana, near Valencia, the event will return from August 2-7, 2022 after the last two editions were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Promoted by The Music Republic, acts will include Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, C. Tangana, Ñengo Flow, DVBBS, Mike Williams, Bad Gyal, Lola Índigo, Rels B, Morad, and Omar Montes, with more to be confirmed.

All general sale and VIP tickets have already been snapped up, with tickets for the rest areas and complementary products to go on sale soon.

Arenal Sound’s 10th anniversary 2019 festival attracted an estimated 300,000 people over the course of the event to see artists such as Thirty Seconds To Mars and Martin Garrix.

Owned by brothers David and Toño Sánchez, The Music Republic promotes festivals such as Viña Rock, Granada Sound and Madrid Salvaje and also acquired Benicassim Festival from Madrid-based Maraworld in 2019.

More major Spanish festivals pull the plug on 2021

Spain’s 2021 festival season has diminished once again with fresh cancellations from major festivals Mad Cool and Bilbao BBK Live.

Other marquee Spanish festivals including Primavera Sound and Sónar Barcelona were previously called off, while Arenal Sound, Festival Internacional de Benicàssim and Cruïlla are still forging ahead with this year’s events.

Live Nation-promoted Mad Cool (cap. 60,000) was set to take place between 7–10 July 2021 in Madrid but this morning (20 May), the organisers confirmed that this year’s event is cancelled due to the “current force majeure circumstances” of the pandemic.

“It has been a very painful decision to come to, as our desire (and probably yours) was to find ourselves all together again at Mad Cool in 2021,” they said in a statement.

“However, we would like to let you know we think this is the appropriate, sensible and right decision to make. Health is more important than anything.”

“[Mad Cool] would like to let you know we think this is the appropriate, sensible and right decision to make”

The fifth edition of Mad Cool will take place in 2022 from July 6–9. All purchased tickets for Mad Cool 2021 will be valid for the 2022 edition of the festival, while refunds and ticket changes will be available between 7–21 July.

A line-up announcement for 2022 is expected to be made before 7 July, with the organisers noting that “we are keeping as many artists as we can from 2021 and also adding some new ones so we can have the best line-up ever”.

The likes of The Killers, Haim and Cardi B had all been set to play at the 2021 edition of the event.

The cancellation of Mad Cool follows that of Bilbao BBK Live, which was called off on Tuesday (18 May) due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

The 15th anniversary of the Spanish event was due to take place between 8–10 July 2021, with the likes of The Killers, Pet Shop Boys, Supergrass and FKA Twigs.

“We appreciate [fans’] patience, and we share the same frustration for missing out on the festival yet again”

“First and foremost, a big thank you to all of you for your patience and resilience during these tough times,” a statement read.

“We feel your support now more than ever. As you can imagine, Bilbao BBK Live will not be held as originally planned nor on the scheduled date. We will have to wait a bit longer as the highly anticipated reunion is postponed to 2022.”

The post continues: “We appreciate your patience, and we share the same frustration for missing out on the festival yet again. All we can think about is how incredible the reunion is going to be after this long wait, and we guarantee it will be worth it.

We will return even more eager to celebrate and enjoy live music. See you next year!”

The line-up for Bilbao 2022 will arrive by 8 July.

 


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Benicàssim promoter to manage new Valencia arena

Festival promoter The Music Republic will run the under-construction Casal España Arena in Valencia, Spain’s biggest indoor arena, when it opens later this decade.

The Music Republic – whose festival portfolio includes Arenal Sound (60,000-cap.) in Burriana, Viña Rock (60,000-cap.) in Villarrobledo and Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (50,000-cap.), which it acquired from MCD/SJM last summer – will manage the arena alongside Juan Roig, whose Licampa 1617 holding company is leading the project, through a new operating company, València 5 Estrellas.

As well as managing the arena, València 5 Estrellas will oversee all partnerships with promoters, suppliers, service companies and other stakeholders, with the goal of making Casal España Arena a venue where “promoters can [stage] any kind of sports or entertainment events, regardless of their nature or format”, according to The Music Republic (TMR).

With a capacity of up to 18,600 for concerts, the new arena will be the largest in Spain, with space for over 3,000 fans more than Madrid’s WiZink Center.

Valencia Arena to be biggest in Spain

Construction began on Casal España Arena, funded by €220m in public–private investment, earlier this year.

Víctor Sendra, CEO of Licampa 1617, comments: “A significant milestone has been reached in this project, which allows us to move forward in the management of the venue alongside partners that are highly specialised in the organisation and creation of music and entertainment experiences…

“It is a great opportunity for Valencia and Spain, having the first arena of such a magnitude”

“In addition, we share the same vision regarding the future of Casal España Arena de València. We have long way to go, and we are very excited to create a team that will help us succeed with a project that is so important for Valencia, and to which Juan Roig’s patronage is fully committed.”

TMR David Sánchez adds: “It is a great opportunity for Valencia and Spain, having the first arena of such a magnitude and capabilities, designed to host all kinds of cultural, sports and corporate events, [positioning] itself as an attractive venue for users and the maximum number of event promoters.

“Valencia will be able to host many events that could not be accommodated to date due to the lack of equipped and specialised spaces. We are very pleased and grateful for contributing to the management of this great project, together with Licampa 1617.”

Casal España Arena is projected to open in 2023.

 


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Spanish fests at ‘clear disadvantage’ without gov action

The Spanish Association of Music Festivals (Asociación de Festivales de Música – FMA) has warned that the country “could become the first without festivals” if the government does not implement measures similar to those seen in neighbouring countries soon.

“If the adequate measures are not taken, our festivals will be at a clear disadvantage to other European festivals,” reads a statement from the FMA, which includes events including Primavera Sound, Bilbao BBK Live, Arenal Sound, Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB) and Sónar.

The Spanish association states it is expecting “the mass suspension of festivals and music events for the 2020 summer season”, which will “jeopardise the rest of the year due to the unfeasibility of rescheduling every event”.

The FMA proposes measures similar to those put forward by Spanish music federation Esmúsica, in particular, the introduction of greater flexibility around the way consumers can be compensated for a cancelled or postponed event.

Ticketholders should be able to decide whether to hold on to tickets for rescheduled events or exchange them for those for another event or festival via a voucher.

“If the adequate measures are not taken, our festivals will be at a clear disadvantage to other European festivals”

If neither of these options are available, says the FMA, customers should be able to ask for a cash refund that will be delivered within 18 months of the cancellation date.

The association highlights measures put in place in other countries such as Germany, which has introduced a voucher system; the Netherlands, which is running a public campaign encouraging consumers to retain tickets for future events; Italy, which has made the refund process more flexible; and Portugal, where a voucher scheme is also in place.

Spanish festivals including Primavera Sound, Mallorca Live and Vina Rock have moved to later in the year, with organisers of Sónar (18 to 20 June), Mad Cool (8 to 11 July), Bilbao BBK (9 to 11 July), FIB (16 to 19 July) and Arenal Sound (28 July to 2 August) yet to make announcements on the fate of their 2020 editions.

“We are waiting for them to tell us when we will be able to return to activity,” Albert Salmerón, president of Spanish promoters’ association, APM, tells el Periódico. “Or at least until when we won’t be able to return to it. That would help us to plan.”

The Spanish government is meeting on 5 May to approve measures for the cultural industry.

 


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Primavera Sound moves to August

The 20th-anniversary Primavera Sound Barcelona will now take place from 26 to 30 August, as the festival shifts back three months to avoid disruption from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Both Primavera Sound music festival and Primavera Pro, the industry conference that runs alongside it, will take place at their original venue, Barcelona’s waterfront at the Parc del Fòrum.

The events typically takes place at the start of June – Primavera means ‘spring’ in Spanish – with organisers using the slogan: “Primavera in summer, for once in a lifetime”.

Primavera’s Portuguese sister event, Nos Primavera Sound Porto has also been postponed, moving from mid-June to 3 to 5 September.

Tickets already purchased for both festivals and the conference remain valid for the new dates.

Primavera Sound experienced record ticket sales following the release of its line-up this year, with over 10,000 fans snapping up tickets in 24 hours to see the likes of the Strokes, Massive Attack, Iggy Pop, Lana Del Rey, Kacey Musgraves, Tyler the Creator, Beck, Bikini Kill and Disclosure.

Organisers state they “will make every effort to ensure that this change affects the festival’s programme as little as possible.”

“Let’s all face this together. We will get through this together. And we will celebrate our 20th anniversary together”

Ticket sales will be reactivated once the country’s official state of emergency, declared on 14 March, is over.

“Let’s all face this together. We will get through this together. And we will celebrate our 20th anniversary together,” reads a statement from organisers.

Primavera is not the only Spanish festival to change dates due to coronavirus.

Mallorca Live has moved from mid-May to 8 to 10 October, with organisers stating that 80% of the line-up has so far been retained for the later date. The 25th edition of Viña Rock festival will also take place in October, moving from dates at the end of April.

Mad Cool festival director Javier Arnaiz confirmed his intention to continue with the 2020 festival to Spanish newspaper El País last week, saying “our aim is for the festival to go ahead on the original dates. We are positive despite the cirumstances. Suspension is not a part of our plans.” Spanish festivals including Sónar (18 to 20 June), Arenal Sound (28 July to 2 August), Bilbao BBK (9 to 11) and FIB are all currently going ahead as planned.

The approach differs from that seen in the UK in recent weeks, with the cancellation of the major events including Glastonbury Festival, Download, Isle of Wight, Parklife, Lovebox and All Points East.

 


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Spain’s APM launches new festival arm

Spain’s Association of Music Promoters (APM) is launching APM Festivals, a new division consisting of 80 festival from across Spain.

The association will present its new division today (22 January) at Madrid’s International Tourism Trade Fair (Fitur), which is taking place at exhibition centre Ifema, at 4 p.m. local time.

APM spokesperson Carol Rodriguez, who is responsible for the festival division, will announce the objectives and demands of the new division, and name the participating festivals.

The Spanish live music industry has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with APM recording five consecutive years of growth since 2014.

Major Spanish festivals include Primavera Sound, which reported record ticket sales for its 2020 edition; Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival; Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, which was last year acquired by the Music Republic, promoter of festivals Arenal Sound and Viña Rock; Bilbao BBK Live and Superstruct-backed Sónar Festival.

Photo: (CC BY 2.0)

 


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Record ticket sales for Spain’s biggest festival

Tickets to the 2017 edition of Spain’s biggest music festival, Arenal Sound, are selling historically well – despite still being without a venue.

Promoter Imusic was forced to move the festival from its traditional beachside home in Burriana, a seaside town in Valencia, to new venues in nearby Villarreal and Nules last year after local authorities ruled the its location was in violation of Spain’s Ley de Costas (Coastal Law) of 1988.

It has yet to announce where the eighth Arenal Sound will take place, despite having already confirmed a host of local and international acts, including Bastille, Jake Bugg, Martin Garrix, Fedde Le Grand and Icona Pop.

“It is the best year yet for Arenal Sound”

Speaking to Spanish daily El Mundo, an spokesperson declined to provide specific numbers, but said in terms of tickets “it is the best year [yet] for Arenal Sound”. Imusic expects the festival to be sold out by April.

Sales of tickets for buses to and from the festival are also selling well, with more than 3,400 people having bought a bus ticket – “a historic record for these dates”, says the promoter.

An estimated 300,000 people attended Arenal Sound 2016 – up from 260,000 the previous year.

 


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Arenal Sound 2016 welcome in Nules, says town

Arenal Sound, the Spanish music festival facing eviction from its current home in Burriana, has been given permission to relocate to a beachside area near the town of Nules, some five miles south along the Valencia coast.

Although Arenal Sound promoter’s Imusic’s plan is to keep the festival at its current location, which is close to a residential area of the town and has come under attack from locals (one comment on elperiodic.com calls it “a festival that brings nothing to Burriana except waste and noise pollution”), councillors in Nules have reached an agreement to host the event, starting this year, should it no longer be welcome in Burriana.

In addition to noise complaints, is argued that the current location of Arenal Sound violates Spain’s Ley de Costas (Coastal Law) of 1988.

However, elperiodic.com reports that its mooted new home may face a similar problem, being a protected wetland that would need paving – quickly – before the festival starts on 4 September.

The seventh Arenal Sound will take place from 4 to 7 September. Its line-up includes The 1975, The Hives, Two Door Cinema Club, The Hives, Steve Aoki, Kaiser Chiefs, Kodaline and Crystal Castles.

Arenal Sound to fight beach eviction

Spanish festival Arenal Sound is being forced to consider new locations for 2016 as it faces eviction from its traditional beachfront home in Burriana, Valencia.

Arenal Sound will this year host its seventh edition, with a line-up that includes (for a bargain €35, or €65 with camping) The 1975, The Hives, Two Door Cinema Club, The Hives, Steve Aoki, Kaiser Chiefs, Kodaline and Crystal Castles.

It is argued that the current location of Arenal Sound violates Spain’s Ley de Costas (Coastal Law) of 1988.

Promoter Imusic Festival SL has said that, as it continues its search for a new home for the festival, it will in parallel continue to appeal the city council’s decision based on three factors: the festival’s transitoriness, age and attraction to tourists.

The appeal argues that: local regulations only prohibit full-time activities taking place near to Burriana’s harbour, but the festival and its infrastructure are temporary; the festival has taken place in the same spot for a number of the years, with the blessing of the Provincial Coastal Service (Servicio Provincial de Costas); and the festival is a major draw for tourists, something recognised by Valencia’s tourist board, which has reported favourably on its economic impact both at a provincial and national level.

Valencian housing minister María José Salvador says his government is “in favour of Arenal Sound and international festivals when the law is being followed”.

One likely option for a new venue is the PAI Jardines de Malvarrosa campgrounds, also in Burriana, although the festival would lose its coveted seaside location.