The New Usual Suspects of Music Festivals

16 April 2019
A different approach to the festival experience
A chain-swing ride, photo-ops, LED screens, a giant robot with laser eyes, activism, and poetry: these are only some of the things that you could find at the Ceremonia Festival this past April 6th at Foro Pegaso in Toluca where we presented Cocolab’s original experience Weaving. It’s clear to us that music festivals no longer depend exclusively on musical performances so, how do we achieve a much richer, much comprehensive experience for an audience that demands more and more distraction and recreation?
With a increasing availability of music festivals—all of them with a must-see line up—it is vital to create moments that allow us to explore states of elation that can be absorbed from different disciplines and that, all in all, create an event as memorable as the music performances themselves. This year, Ceremonia took a leap of faith in Weaving, a large-scale light installation that invites us to take a trip of contemplation and introspection through its hallucinatory colors, shapes and notes. Weaving, within the festival experience, offered us the possibility of captivating different senses and enjoying art in an atmosphere different from a gallery or a museum. More than that, as Alejandro Machorro, Executive Director of Cocolab, stated, the diversity of format that an installation of this nature adds to Ceremonia’s promise of inclusion is key to achieve a more comprehensive experience.
Let’s take it a bit further and underscore the importance of these articulations in order to make these shows something more than an outdoors concert with lots of lager beer. The festival experience must be more inventive and engaging. We must take further steps towards making multimedia art and immersive experiences an intrinsic part of music festivals and not just an addition to them. “Digital arts converge very well with these kind of shows,” says Josué Ibáñez, Creative Director behind Weaving. “They come from similar places; they complement each other. These sorts of amalgamations are starting to flourish in Mexico, but they will become fundamental very soon. The idea of incorporating non-musical elements to music festivals is more of a reintroduction than an innovation, but a very wise one because they appeal to the right audience: one that is implicit to technology, that is embedded in it and that gladly absorbs this kind of expressions.”