Since Dreambeach's seventh edition closed, the one of 2019, more than 1000 days have passed. The dates for 2020 were already announced by the Levante Almeria macrofestival at that time. We all know the outcome. Covid-19 caused a health crisis that forced the organization to cancel the event twice: in 2020 and 2021. It was a nightmare of thousands, wasted hours and thousands of euros. Dreambeach knew that he would be back sooner or later, and it has been that day.
Next Wednesday starts the eighth edition of the macrofestival that is celebrated on the beaches of Villaricos-Palomares. This cultural and social event will run until Sunday, and will draw thousands of people from all over the globe. IDEAL met with Goncalo Miranda (producer, artist, and artistic director of Dreambeach), at the festival's gates. He asked them to bring the same enthusiasm to the festival.
In 2019, nobody could have imagined that Dreambeach would be rediscovered after three years. It was just a few days ago that the festival took place.
After two years of the pandemic almost stopping, there is a lot of hope to be able to go back to Dreambeach and other festivals. It is difficult to get back in action and make up the time lost.
The work continued for two years because many "dreamers" already had their tickets. It was announced with posters and scenarios, but it was ultimately suspended. What has been your experience?
It was a waste of time. We kept going, we continued to work, we postponed events, and we managed everything that comes with managing a festival of this nature for two consecutive years. It was not easy.
How does an artistic director handle a blank poster? Basically, why choose one artist over another?
-In this case, we had many artists already signed for 2020. This poster is unusual because of the limitations we faced when creating it.
You should look at the latest musical trends and the artists who are making the most music to create a poster. It's essentially a game of 'Tetris with the current artists.
There are more festivals and more competition. Are posters getting harder to create?
The problem with too much competition is that it can be more difficult to find artists who have enough offers. This also means the public has more options, making it harder to reach the numbers. However, I believe that it is a natural evolution, and we will slowly return to normal.
Dreambeach celebrates July for the first time in its history. Are you unsure if it is a permanent or temporary change?
The authorities and residents of the area insist on changing July to July. We are very disappointed as Dreambeach is an August celebration. It is not an easy decision to make, because there are many authorities involved. However, we would like to return to August or at least get closer.
-In the previous edition of 2019, 160,000 people were reached. These numbers are hard to keep up with.
Personally, I believe it will change. After two years of pandemics, excessive events, and change of dates... There are many factors that can influence our numbers and I believe we will be slightly lower. We expect around 120,000 people.
How has Dreambeach changed from its inception to now?
The evolution has been very positive. We have grown from a small event in an isolated corner of Almeria's coast to be one of Europe's most important music festivals. We had to stop after the pandemic, which was two years ago. But, we have a lot of work ahead and the team is very motivated to grow and develop the brand in the future.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of this eighth edition?
-What the festival is. The festival has a unique poster and an amazing audiovisual production. It also features the location, the beach, and all that Almeria offers. It's a festival that is enjoyed and lived.
You may think the poster is very innovative, but others criticize it for obscuring the essence of electronic music. Is it so?
-The critics behind social media networks will always be there and will continue to exist. It is up to us to deal with it and analyse it. However, we feel that there is much gratuitous criticism that is more offensive and constructive than constructive. We don't worry about it because it is destructive and has no objectives.
This year, nothing less than Alesso, Shaquille Ol'Neal, Dimitri Vegas, and Bizarrap will be in Villaricos
Dreambeach has chosen different names over the years and has had an eclectic lineup that always features different artists. We have become an innovative festival with new names, which is something I believe has happened over the years.
Goncalo in one of his sessions at the 'carpazo. / Dream beach
You are also an artist director and a DJ. How does it feel to be a Dreambeach DJ and get on the Dreambeach 'carpazo’?
Dreambeach is my home, it's the session that I love the most. Dreambeach is my home. I've performed in more than 30 countries this summer. It is a part of my heart. It was without a doubt my most memorable session.
How will it look this year?
-Very similar to previous year, with three stages as well as a camping area. We have removed the swimming pool and improved the camping area. It will provide a comfortable and relaxing environment for all who visit it.
Festivals are culture, but they also have economic impact and create jobs. What does this mean for the region
We have a greater economic impact than 10 million euros on the region. We offer services and tourism. The festival is a boon for Almeria, and particularly Villaricos. Dreambeach is a great event that has helped to put our county on the map. Many people have discovered this area and are now planning to spend their vacations there. Dreambeach is important in making Levante Almeria well-known, not only in Spain but also internationally. It is an international festival and we promote local tourism.
What does the brand's global expansion mean?
-Evolution, growth, and moving forward
These steps could be used to move the Villaricos festival away.
-Villaricos, the main headquarters of Dreambeach. Although we love the area and feel at home, the imposition of July has caused us some damage. We will have to assess whether we can continue in Villaricos or move closer to August. Villaricos is right now our home, and we love it.
What message would you send to the thousands of 'dreamers,' already headed to Villaricos with their dreams?
-They have the same desire as we do.