May 2009: Next Stop: Esperanzah!

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May 2009: Next Stop: Esperanzah!

Everyone to Barcelona at the end of June!

Not-for-profit, up for a party and looking for change; this time we’ve really pushed the boat out.

It’s an uncertain time for festivals at the moment, seemingly folding one after the other.  It’s a similarly uncertain and generally worrying time given the current economic situation.  We could have thrown in the towel, but we’ve decided to go all out because we believe that festivals such as Esperanzah 2009, festivals of unity, understanding and justice are necessary.  It’s a risky venture, but if we didn’t take risks once in a while things would never change.

Just remember that if we’d not all three of us gone all out a few years back RadioChango wouldn’t exist.  Over the course of 8 years all those who form part of our community of values, music and ideals; all those who come together from time to time in this little spot in cyperspace, so intangible and yet so real; all these people have given much more in hours of sacrifice, effort and risk than they’ve taken.  8 years on, we’re sure that anything that builds itself from the ground up, with humility and honesty, hope and ideals, has its place simply because it brings something new.

The Festival Esperanzah will take place from 26th – 28th June in the Parque de Sant Cosme in el Prat de Llobregat in Barcelona (between the airport and the city.)  The festival is in collaboration with its namesake festival, held every year for the past 8 years in Belgium (www.esperanzah.be), which RadioChango has supported right from its inception.

We want this festival to be one of committed musicians, and we’re happy to announce the participation of La Pegatina, Terrakota, SMOD (whose new disc was produced by Manu Chao), La Orquestra Van Van, Keziah Jones, Costo Rico, Muyayo Rif (winners of the Best Discovery award at the last Festimad), El Cabrero, Les Freres Guissé, discoveries from the underground scene and many, many more surprises.  Today, at the last minute, Calima also joined the troupe. So that we’ll definitely be able to come back next year, we’ve had to do without other groups that we like so much just to ensure that this year’s edition of the festival goes ahead. Despite this, there are still 50 days left and a lot of time for more surprises.

The way in which we’ve gone about doing this festival means that the focus is not just on the concerts, but also on enjoying an entire day of discovery out in the open air.  You’ll be able to get to know associations and NGO’s (over 30 have already been confirmed) who put into practice the commitment to a fairer world as sung by our artists, as well as trying the cuisines of the world, attending conferences, watching circus performances and street theatre or documentary films about the environment.  Most importantly, though, you’ll be able to share your feelings and emotions with everyone else on the site, all of whom will be coming from different backgrounds and generations.

We’ve fought hard so that the festival in its entirety is one consistent with our ideals: open to all and with an affordable ticket price (€30 for three days; €15 for one) which was only achievable thanks to the participating bands, many of whom reduced their usual performance fees and made a special effort to attend.

Let’s hope that all those who today belong to the ‘República del Chango’ share this dream with us and attend this great event; and that at the end of June artists, associations, music lovers and idealists will unite at El Prat.

:: Mono Lo (Translation by Oliver Boothroyd) ::



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