March 7, 2021

Rio Babel 2019: "We want to end the queues of the festivals" | Miss Festivals Blog


Roberto Recuero is responsible for festivals of Sonde3, an artist representation agency that recognizes the value of these events in the live music industry: "We are promoters and we have to give our artists work, in this part it is fundamental Having a space and opening a concert hall is now forbidden, the other option is a festival, which is what can be done now. " But starting from scratch is not easy, so he recognizes that his projects are made with 100% passion and a little madness: "almost all of us do it, in some cases we receive support but nothing that exceeds 10% of the We support it by trying to make the event profitable. " In this sense, he assures that it takes five years to have that benefit: "that of arriving and kissing the saint is impossible, and less in a festival".

Recuero says that he continues to suffer with the fact that people in Spain instead of going to see their favorite artist and enjoying the concert have as their primary objective to get drunk before entering a concert. Next to him, Isabel Sánchez, artistic director and programmer of the Río Babel festival, participates in the conversation, which celebrates its third edition at IFEMA on 4, 5 and 6 July. She assures that she is in charge of "making the letter to the Three Kings" and of giving form to the poster: "we see which artists are going to be on tour, which ones are released and who are fundamental to support the festival. we closed its contract for the next edition before it ends. " He admits that with so many festivals, the battle has hardened: "this year there are not so many artists on tour and the caches have gone up, so it has been very hard to convince people to come to Rio Babel and not go to another festival" .

The reality is that the high season of festivals in Europe is shared with the United States, which has a good sum of important musical events during this time, which makes hiring difficult. Sanchez says that the artists' way of acting also influences the process: "Every time they want to charge more and turn less, before they could spend the summer months in Europe, but now they come two or three weeks, they act in festivals where better pay them and go home. " Consider that it is good for them to be in these places: "acting in a festival allows you to expand the audience, playing only for your fans only does not make you grow".

Sánchez admits that lograr programming similar to the one you dream is a great satisfaction: "this 2019 we have managed to Bomba Estéreo offer in Rio Babel its only concert in Europe and this is quite an achievement". She assures that this is a festival that drinks from many styles, something that according to her differentiates them from others: "the rest are not so eclectic, Tomavistas has a line and Mad Cool is the same, even if they open up, they do not have the vision of others European festivals where you can program at the same time Latin American artists and artists mainstream"In this sense, he recognizes that many of the posters are the same and believes that it is a matter of convenience:" people copy the formulas that work ".

"We want to end the queues of the festivals"



When asked if parity and emerging talent is taken into account when making a line up, Sanchez is blunt: "Sometimes we get posters like that, like in the first edition of the Babel River where there was a lot of parity." At the time, this was not taken into account and we did it without thinking about a quota of female bands, to which Of course we support. "

For the people in charge of Sonde3 the programming supposes around 60% of the budget of a festival, a variation that depends on the artist or main artists for which it is bet. In this sense, Recuero admits the difference between groups: "you can have an emerging band to open a festival for a thousand euros and a headliner for two hundred thousand." A question that not only concerns the cache but also everything that an artist implies and that falls within the chascarrillo: "there are artists who ask for four dressing rooms with controlled temperatures and caterings exclusive, they go home in jet private and do not even enter. "

For Recuero, the important thing is quality and attention to the public: "we want to put an end to the queues of the festivals, when you have ten thousand people in charge you have ten thousand problems". He admits that the festival bubble exists, but welcomes him: "this makes us strive more to be more attractive and different". With Rio Babel they carry it out: "our goal is to make a festival where people feel cared for, independently of the programming, which must also be of quality". But for this, also highlights the need to change the legislation and regulations that protect these events, which qualifies as incongruous: "right now the same regulations are being applied to the festivities of a town that for a temporary event such as It is a festival, I miss that the legislation is done with professionals of these events, there is a lack of communication between the people who regulate and the people who operate. "

Poster of the Babel River 2019

Rio Babel poster



Bad Bunny, Stereo Bomb, Love of Lesbian, Jorge Drexler, The sticker, Fatboy Slim, Dorian, Fuel Fandango and many more star in the third edition of Río Babel from July 4 to 6 at IFEMA- Feria de Madrid. A music festival that will incite the dance in all its manifestations thanks to a heterogeneous poster with rhythms that go from the urban, to the indie, the electronic or the Latin American roots. Three days in the open air, music of all styles, a food market for all tastes and a new distribution of the venue with localized service system designed especially to encourage the circulation of attendees and ensure good visibility.

45% of the public in Rio Babel does not go to other festivals and 70% say it would repeat. Most of the attendees are from Madrid, in fact, only 14% are from outside the Community. In addition, two percentages stand out: 28% have between 35 and 40 years and 25% between 30 and 34. And with an average cost per person per day of 136 euros, the goal of this 2019 is to get 20,000 souls to pass through IFEMA .

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