Sunday, July 01, 2007

Europride '07

Because I whined here before and probably raised some worries around, I should give you the roving report on this year’s Europride! In a nutshell, it was a success, at least on the impact it had on my emotional silhouette.

The open-air gigs began on Wednesday, and in four different squares, each with a distinct type of music. I love open-air stuff, and here in Spain it’s alleviating on the lungs due to the high numbers of smokers everywhere. I chose the square with the most excentric cast of acts, Plaza del Rey, and they had one theme for each night. On the first night, the material was the voice. Unfortunately, the first two performers were playbacks, but to close the night they had an awesome acappella quartet of black brothers and a sister, performing soul, reggae, hip hop and flamenco fusion. Blissful.

On Thursday, the night belonged to Flamenco. I saw a Macedonian string ensemble (four violins, one cello and percussion) playing the most vibrant of Spanish musical traditions; then a superb Flamenco Fusion trio of guitar, voice and baile; and to close the night a real juerga flamenca! I was dying to try that live for a long time now, but because I didn’t know where the acts are and because everybody tells me it’s very expensive, I chose to wait. And to those who wait, good things come!

Friday was the evening at Plaza del Rey dedicated to Contemporary Dance, but frankly, it almost bored me to death. But watching an electropunk gig (Digital21) on another square earlier that evening saved the night!

Yesterday, the actual Parade was a huge success! I watched in the very beginning of Gran Vía in a priviledged position all the committees from other Comunidades Autónomas, neighbouring European countries, political parties and organizations of all types. Then came the huge corporate buses with sound systems and DJs. I decided to follow one of the last cars, ‘Sleazy Madrid’, dedicated to the Leather community. Not that I’m particularly inclined to that aesthetic, but they had a juggler on the car, playing with knives, and that kinda appealed to me, and the Dutch and the German following that car certainly were good company to have a party! But then quickly I moved on to other cars ahead, as the mob took the way in anxiety to see what was ahead and made the progress of the Parade a bit difficult. The Spanish police is not used to standing and moving people, only the ones sitting down having beer and smoking, so be patient with them! :D

I arrived at Plaza de España hungry, tired and thirsty though happy and excited, and didn’t want to stay for the concerts, that seemed frankly boring and too gay-ish for my tastes. So I took the metro home and went to bed around two a.m.

I managed to take some photos, before my batteries died. I’ll upload the best ones to my album here on Tribe when the batteries finish recharging.

Next weekend I’m going to the BEST event I’ll have attended in my life so far, the celtic music Festival de Ortigueira. I was having a really hard time finding lodging in the Galician small village that hosts the event and gives it its name, but because good things come in sequence, I discovered today that Jose owns a sleeping bag and one of his friends has a tent that doesn’t require ANY assembling. You just drop it and, FLOP!, before it hits the ground it’s ready to shelter you for the night! Yay! Now, I’ve already bought four extra rechargeable batteries for Ortigueira, and be sure I’ll be back to Madrid with quite the photo album!