The #RiasBaixasFest reinvent themselves to come back in 2021 with the support of the Deputación
“The year 2020 will be full of music and 2021 will have even more music.” That is how the President of the Deputación de Pontevedra, Carmela Silva, described today the “reinvention” of As Rías Baixas festivals in times of COVID-19. During the official presentation of the new edition of Rías Baixas Fest, President Silva confirmed the Deputación’s “wholehearted support to this cultural and tourist industry, which is strategic for the province” and thanked the promoters of those events for being able to find new formats and ideas to ensure their continuity this year, to recover their contents and “re-emerge” in 2021.
“I am very glad that they have not given up in such a complex scenario caused by a pandemic. It means so much to the music industry in Galicia and in our province,” the President said during the presentation that took place under the iconic magnolia tree located in the gardens of the Pazo provincial, the main building of the Deputación de Pontevedra. “We knew that we were warriors, but after COVID-19 it is clear that nothing can beat us, nothing can take away our dreams, our ideas and our will to keep creating. We live in a province where ”our culture, our heritage, and our food are a way of live and these festivals represent it very well.
Thus, this year, the festivals PortAmérica (in the town of Caldas de Reis), Revenidas (in the village of Vilaxoán, called Revenidas en Conserva this year), Atlantic Fest (in the town of Vilagarcía de Arousa), SonRías Baixas (in the town of Bueu), Sinsal (in the town of Redondela) and Vive Nigrán (in the town of Nigrán) will try new activities, including tourism initiatives, promotions, and concerts with a limited capacity or online, which will be announced in the coming days, so as to recover their essence next year, as the President highlighted.
“The audience will see renewed festivals, organised with more enthusiasm than ever. This year they have reinvented themselves thanks to new technology, which helps us keep offering concerts and stay in touch with citizens. “It is going to be an unusual year, but there will be plenty of initiatives, each with a motto to identify what is going to happen”.
Total investment of 450,000 euros for two years
Being aware of the importance of festivals for the survival of the cultural sector after the coronavirus crisis and their financial impact on the province, the Deputación has decided to keep funding these events both this year and in 2021, investing 450,000 euros in total (225,000 each year). “We have a very powerful music industry and these festivals stimulate economic activity and job creation. We could not stop supporting it. We are just doing what we are supposed to do as an Administration,” Carmela Silva noted.
She also outlined the strong link between each of these events with the area in which they take place and “with its landscape, its food, its nearby businesses, with our producers, and with sustainable tourism.” She added that “besides music, these festivals are also about equality, and they be on our land, on diversity, on the environment, and on respect for everybody, something that identifies them.”
Both the President and the promoters of the festivals showed their gratitude to the audience, which is “very loyal” and has mostly kept their tickets for next year.
During the presentation, which was also attended by representatives of the municipalities, the video of the new tourism campaign of the institution, “Come”, was projected “so that people keep coming.” Another video with pictures of the festivals from 2019 was also shown. Under the big magnolia tree located in the gardens of the Pazo, “which is the symbol and the strength of our land and of a people that has very deep historical roots,” Carmela Silva guaranteed the success of this new phase and emphasised that “the Rías Baixas Fest project is for everyone, a pledge that municipalities, industries and the provincial administration must support. We are emerging from this situation stronger than ever.”
New formats with all health guarantees
On the one hand, Susana Laya, in charge of Atlantic Fest, reminded that “the cultural sector has faced several crisis and shown its restless spirit. This crisis is different because we do not know our enemy, so it is proving to be particularly difficult for us,” but, she assured, “our vocation is music, especially live music. That is why we keep trying to adapt with cultural actions that ensure the safety of all people involved.”
The reinvention of #RíasBaixasFest consists of “reducing hours and capacity and implementing protocols adapted to the new normality.” Laya highlighted the importance of “maintaining all festivals, not just some of them, because we are part of a tissue that largely supports the cultural industry and many families.” Moreover, she declared that festivals “are aware of their responsibility regarding health matters: we are working hard so that in 2021 we can have the best possible festivals. They are great already, but with our new energy they will amazing.” The adaptation and survival of festivals is made possible by “the support of the Deputación and local governments in these critical times: it has helped us carry on with our activities this summer and stay afloat to come back stronger,” Laya stated. She also highlighted that the support of the Deputación dates back to a long time ago. “We have spent years working on a brand, #RíasBaixasFest, under which we share the goal of being quality events that truly represent the area in which they take place.”
On the other hand, the representative of SonRías Baixas, Jordi Lauren, assured that “we have already overcome many challenges and brought hope, but new challenges appear daily, so we still do not know how we are going to face our new normality. If we all work together, we will make it.” Lauren reminded that “music festivals are complex ecosystems; managing them and keeping them alive is a difficult task.” As he pointed out, the only way to do so is by “combining these four factors: land, public administrations, and public and private sponsorships.”
About public sponsorships, Lauren affirmed that “we know they trust us, because they have supported us from the beginning. Without it we would not have been able to survive.” Regarding future prospects, “we hope this break is as short as possible, but even if it is longer than expected, we will be able to build something similar and improve it. Warrior, Galician, land and emotion are words that define us because when we strive for something, we can achieve it.”