The seventeenth edition of the Banyoles phonic festival will not be held at the end of next June, as planned, and will be moved to 2021. The current uncertainty “makes it unfeasible” to hold the event this year with its usual format, they say the organizers, who intend to maintain the “commitments made with this year’s artists for the coming year”. “It’s possible to move the poster for a year and that’s what we want, to postpone, not to cancel,” explains the festival’s director, Francesc Viladiu.
“For weeks we have been evaluating different options, but the uncertainty continues and does not allow us to decide anything firm,” he said. He points out that the sector has made a difference, for example from the Network of Music Festivals of Catalonia, (Xàfec), to “try to find answers” and that they have contacted the administration to try to “solve all the questions that were open ”but still“ lacked a lot of information to make an almost imminent decision ”.
Regarding the possibility of resizing the festival to adapt it to the restrictions set by the regulations, Viladiu indicates that, “although it might seem that it was feasible for the type of small-format concert”, it is difficult because it does not marry the spirit of the (a) phònica, with a majority of free appointments and some paid to “fully live the city of Banyoles, with stages spread throughout the city …” and above all, because at this time they have not received clear instructions regarding the protocols to be followed and the limitations of capacity.
The festival had not yet been able to advance anything on the poster, because it was scheduled to make the first confirmations in mid-March, just when the state of alarm for the pandemic was declared.
“We decided not to start the machinery to see how the situation evolved and in the end, it was a good decision,” says Viladiu, who reiterates that he hopes to maintain the bulk of the programming of the 20 for the new dates, from 24 to 27 June 21.
The person in charge of the Banyoles event is, nevertheless, optimistic about the future of the sector, and sees in the current situation an opportunity to reflect, “beyond all the professionals who will lose their jobs this summer, which is really a very difficult ».
“Perhaps mass events will become less common and there will be smaller events spread across the territory, which is what we have long been claiming a series of festivals across the country: a model that seeks contact and is the public what a concert is going to see, not that it puts an artist in the middle of a space with large crowds where you can’t fully enjoy it ».