Sonorama Ribera is an annual music festival that takes place in Aranda de Duero (Burgos) since 1998 and that has a few faithful followers in Ibiza, who attend every year. The announcement that the festival would land on the island thanks to the restless minds behind Concept Hotel Group was the best news possible for live music aficionados.
The festival took place in three hotels of the hotel chain: Paradiso (which also hosted cultural activities in their Adda Gallery) and Romeo's in Cala de Bou, a few minute walk from each other, plus Cubanito in Cala Gració for the wine tasting at midday. It was like attending to one of the big festivals we're used to but having to run from one hotel to another to not miss the next band.
A fantastic 4-day event with book launches, a documentary movie premiere, talks (including one called The cultural industry of Ibiza: beyond clubs programming), etc and most importantly, lots of live music with a huge line-up. A total of 35 concerts and a dozen of DJs were part of the first edition of Sonorama Ribera goes to Ibiza.
Here are my personal highlights from this weekend:
* Nada Surf on friday, which were one of the two surprise artists on the bill (the other one was the hilarious duo Ladilla Rusa). I mentioned the American band recently in the forum because the bassist lives here and they filmed a video-clip on the island. A few weeks later and I got to see them live... yeees. Karavana were a nice discovery and La Habitación Roja, even on acoustic, were great as usual.
* L.A. on saturday. Sixth time for Luis Albert Segura on the island after his shows at El Reencuentro (2014), Ibiza Rocks (2016), Dorado Live Shows (2016/2017) and Rock In Riu (2018). For me one of the main reasons to attend to the festival. Seeing the legendary Los Secretos was special and Arde Bogotá's show was one of the most energetic.
* Ginebras on sunday. So much fun. Silly me thought Joe Crepúsculo's music was a bit meeeh before seeing him live but in the end it actually was one of the peak moments of the day. The appearance of the singer and actress Kimberley Tell (Hierro, etc) was cool too.
The two local bands on the bill also deserve a mention, as they proved they have nothing to envy to other national bands:
* Uncle Sal added a blues rock touch to the eclectic line-up. This time not only they played the title track of their upcoming fourth album Darken my door, which was already premiered at Dorado Live Shows one month ago, but also gave us another two samples of what we'll be able to listen in november: "Shotgun girl" and "Jacksonville tonight", the first single. Old friend and producer of their new release PJ González sat behind the drum kit for this gig.
* Billy Flamingos are also set to release a new album, their second one, called Oscuro baile de salón in the coming months. Javier Ajenjo, promoter of the long-standing festival, introduced them and announced they're the first band confirmed for Sonorama Ribera in august 2022. Like Uncle Sal, the indie rockers brought in a special line-up for the occasion. As their guitarist and drummer were playing in mainland Spain with their other band Morning Drivers, they asked Álvaro Navarro from Madrid band Miss Caffeina (who lives here all year round) and Alex Costa from MRC to fill in.
Most members of the bands were hanging out with the crowd and in some cases even collaborating with other bands as special guests. Sidonie invited Eric Jiménez from influential bands Los Planetas and Lagartija Nick to play percussion on their last song. He came to present his new book and was interviewed by Fernando Navarro from El País.
Special mention to the crowd, with lots of regulars to the festival that came from different points of the country for this first edition on the island, who showed an exemplary behavior. Something that called my attention was that many bands commented how grateful they were to be playing at last with people standing instead of sitting, something they haven't experienced for so long.
All in all an amazing experience and by far the most fun weekend of the whole year.