Cruïlla, a total experience

When we talk about a music festival, it is essential to analyse the line-up of musicians. But Cruïlla, with the countdown for the 12th to 14th of July at the Parc del Fòrum underway, aims to offer much more than a series of concerts. It seeks to be a multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary experience, and this is reflected in areas like food, fashion, art, technology and the environment.

Such an ambitious undertaking as the Festival Cruïlla, which seeks to offer a multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary experience, has required the organisers to join forces with allies who are experts in these fields. It first teamed up with White Summer, a festival in the Empordà which has been creating a magical atmosphere in the summer for years based on a mix of fashion, music and food in a unique setting. The director of White Summer, Myriam Cuatrecasas, explains its contribution to Cruïlla in this way: “We want to offer visitors a hedonistic, sophisticated, expressive and pleasurable complementary range of activities which combine the experience of a music with leisure, culture, food, design, fashion and art. So, our goal is to create an idyllic ecosystem that fosters and enhances a total experience for visitors.”

The outcome of the partnership with White Summer is the creation of the new space Cruïlla Lifestyle by White Summer, which will host a series of unique zones and activities designed especially for Cruïlla visitors. The dining options will include world cuisines, healthy options, vegan and gluten-free dishes with the emphasis on Mediterranean products, all in a setting where the aesthetics are also painstakingly designed. There will also be a market of entrepreneurs and designers, an activity zone for children, travelling performances and parades by the White Summer dance company to enliven the event between concerts. More than 35 food trucks and 30 different brands will ensure that visitors to the festival will enjoy a total experience, or that the music experience is combined with shopping and dining.

In the sphere of art, one noteworthy highlight is the performance by La Fura dels Baus, who will present their show entitled Dreams, an aerial, entertaining, therapeutic performance. Half of the performers are special-needs individuals, while the other half are their therapists. This is an extraordinarily emotionally intense show which takes place in a huge net suspended mid-air. On Friday night, the Aquelarre de Cervera will also be presented, a festival founded in 1978 featuring fire, music and the witches from the region of Lleida which is held the last Saturday of August.

Plus, the artistic experiences launched in previous editions will continue, such as the Art Urbà action, which will present graffiti inspired by the artists featured at the festival, and the stage show created by the artist Lluís Danés for the Estrella Damm stage, the largest in the festival. Danés explains his experience like this: “What I like the best is working with musicians and contributing to a festival like this one that showcases diversity. This year we started off with a huge challenge, since the façade of the stage was expanded by almost 100 square metres, with a height of 18 metres, and the idea was for the sets to capture the underwater world. We want to transport visitors to a journey under the sea, to the world of Jules Verne, and to spotlight the Mediterranean. As always, the stage will morph during the course of the Festival, turning it into a veritable cathedral of the sea.”

Cruïlla has also signed an agreement with the Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house, with which it is undertaking a project with its sights set on long-term growth, and which already includes cross-discounts for the audiences of both. Enjoying all of Cruïlla without having to use cash (with payments and entry via smart bracelets which avoid queues at the entrances), massage zones, an area with a bookshop, a project to collect donations for the social programmes of Sant Joan de Déu … Cruïlla offers free entrance to kids under the age of 15, and its mobility has also improved thanks to uninterrupted TRAM service throughout the entire festival. Furthermore, this year Cruïlla will become the first festival in Spain to use 100% biodegradable cups made of corn, which can be thrown away in bins for organic matter. This entailed an extra effort by the organisers, since the material is photosensitive and thermosensitive, which requires the cups to be stored at a protected temperature to ensure that they retain their functionality in the middle of summertime.

Cruïlla is offering all of this in addition to its music programming, which is finely balanced between major international stars and an extensive roster of local artists.

Featured images:
1. Show “Dreams” by la Fura dels Baus
2. Street art in Cruïlla. Photo from the website of the Festival.