Ciudad del Mar Festival: An Alternative to Banal Music

Ciudad del Mar Festival: An Alternative to Banal Music
Fecha de publicación: 
18 June 2022
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Buena Fe is one of the groups that has performed the most on the Perla del Sur stages during Ciudad del Mar.

As a variant against banal and bad taste music, since 2014 the Ciudad del Mar Alternative Music Festival has been taking place in Cienfuegos, an option that brings youth closer to a mix of genres and sounds as a prelude to the summer stage.

Organized jointly by the Tomás Terry Theater and Karamba group, directed by Jorge Luis Robaina, the event is a way to socialize the less promoted formats in the media, and which are part of the richness of the nation's musical scenario.

Miguel Cañellas Sueiras, general director of theater group and the contest, brings readers closer to the origins, development, and expectations of one of the most anticipated initiatives by Cienfuegos, carried out on social networks in its latest editions (2020 and 2021) due to COVID-19.

Why the decision to undertake this project together with Karamba?

“For a few years, that band had held the meeting A bridge to Havana in the summer, through which it brought little-known melodies to the public and invited artists from other latitudes, from other Cuban provinces and even Cienfuegos.

“But that was a-single-day thing and from here we saw that they were on the right track, that's why when we decided to remove the artistic presentations scheduled in the city from the theater, with the purpose of influencing more young people, we thought of that group.

"Jorgito Robaina immediately accepted the idea and we began to promote it with the support of the provincial government."

El Fiestón, as it’s also known, has gained become popular after almost a decade of existence.

"More and more creators are joining, even though attempts to impose easy, bad, strident music persist, the one that supposedly attracts the population more," said Cañellas Sueiras.

Important exponents of the national scene have gotten on the stages of Cienfuegos, among them Buena Fe, Waldo Mendoza, Toques del Río, Mayco D´Alma, Ivette Cepeda, Pedrito Calvo, Yoyo Ibarra, El Niño y la Verdad, Alain Daniel , Charanga Latina, Tony Ávila, as well as locals Rolo Rivera, Tecnocaribe and Nelson Valdés, among others.

Those artists who performed at the beginning of Ciudad del Mar later gained many followers from Cienfuegos, how was it possible?

“At first the crowd did not move towards the large spaces, so we tried to alternate lesser-known or media artists such as Adrián Berazaín, Mauricio Figueiral, Ernesto and David Blanco with popular groups and defenders of Cuban and international music in the style of Qva Libre, Pedrito Calvo, Adalberto Álvarez y su Son, Waldo Mendoza, Will Campa.

“This strategy allowed the show to become a great summer party, which was gaining more and more followers.

“The last face-to-face version gave me great satisfaction when I noticed that almost 60,000 people sang the songs of Adrián Berazaín and Mauricio Figueiral in the city square, something wonderful because the objective of bringing the music of these performers to the people had been achieved.

"The Festival has influenced the cultural range of the province so much that from its first two editions, recreational and tourist centers, universities, where they used to listen to other genres, began to call these groups and program them on their posters."

What does it mean to return to the stage after two formats in cyberspace due to the SARS COV-2 virus?

“We have huge expectations, it will be the first concerts without so many limitations, where the people will once again enjoy themselves in the midst of the new normalcy, after two years of mandatory use of the mask and physical distancing.

"We will perform almost sixty shows with guests from Holguín, Matanzas, Pinar del Río and, of course, from Havana, and Cienfuegos."

Since the first Ciudad del Mar there has been a tribute to Bartolomé Maximiliano Moré, el Benny, also known as the Bárbaro del Ritmo and the Sonero Mayor de Cuba, who immortalized Que bueno baila usted, Santa Isabel de Las Lajas and Bonito y sabroso very popular songs.

The ninth edition, which like its predecessors seeks to perpetuate good music in any of its genres will take place from June 30th to July 3rd, and has the support of the Provincial Administration of Culture and the Government of the territory, the Musical Recordings and Editions Company (Egrem) and the Musicuba Agency.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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