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In the background

For many people going to a festival is to put on the wristband and listen to a gig after another. It’s not a bad choice, actually, summer becomes the perfect time to enjoy your favourite bands live. But a festival is much more besides that, and arranging it is an unknown task that no one thinks of. In relation to that, as much as Granada is renowned for being and endless source of bands, it is not behind with respect to the organisation of festivals either.

The company from Granada Hermanos Toro have got hold of the background of two of the heftiest festivals in Andalucía: the Weekend Beach (July 4 and 5 at Torre del Mar), and the DreamBeach (August 8 and 9 at Villaricos, Almería). Both are coordinated and assembled by this company which lays a wager on powerful festivals that offer something different. That is the case of the newbie Weekend Beach.

To set this festival in motion, the project team has spent more than two years. “Finding an attractive location with the right infrastructure is one of the first steps, and not easy at all.” explains Fátima Rodríguez, in charge of hiring the artists. No wonder, we must take into account that founding a festival is like erecting an ephemeral city that has to count on the presence of everything necessary to make the stay pleasant. Apart from setting it up, most of the areas must have camping zones and a significant group of hotels; it needs certain maintenance and the required institutional support. A behind-the-camera job that none of the attendees know about, but which is the base that provides sponsors to advertise the event, organise previous parties and sustain the festival. In this sense, Torre del Mar, in Málaga, debuts as a festival benchmark. A place noticeable for its summer character of beach and sun, that seeks to get a foothold in the route of concerts.

Making up an appealing line-up is something else. Fátima Rodríguez is sure about it: in the case of the Weekend Beach they wanted to set themselves aside from homogeneous line-ups and have bet on an eclectic squad. Only this way can people get why they can enjoy bands so different to each other such as Rosendo o Canteca de Macao with León Benavente and Love of Lesbian in the same place. “We think diversity is wealth, and that offering the best of every style is a plus, that’s why we have such a special line-up” claims the company.

Unlike is their approach to create the line-up for DreamBeach. The veterans that will attend the beach in Villaricos, Almería in august, and how special they are, make the company keep their bet on electronic music, and on a setting that could not be any better to let yourself go with the best DJs and musicians, such as Les Castizos, Marco Baley, and Zomboy.

The company’s team is not in charge of just these two festivals. The Zaidín Rock, the oldest free rock festival in Spain, which takes place on September in the Zaidín neighbourhood, Granada, also counts on the experience of Hermanos Toro. “Organising these events is no easy task, it is actually a risk in which you will either win or lose, but that either way, you enjoy and through which you make people enjoy as well.”

The companies and event-planner producers assert they are going through one of their toughest periods, with more administrative and institutional obstacles than ever before (IVA rise, difficulties when it comes to finding a location), “We still believe that if something in this country is worth investing in, that is culture; and no matter what it takes, it’s what we are passionate about.” Fátima declares. “In fact, music and culture do not only mobilise the masses, but also sets in motion the engine of economy in every place it goes to, therefore the benefits are greater than the loss. If, instead of putting obstacles, everyone supported the industry, we would all win not only great concerts, but a lot more.”

Translation by Irene Soto.