We have unmasked ourselves and, it has not been so difficult, shaken the phobia of crowds. Music festivals have returned, after two long years of hiatus. The Viña Rock, Primavera Sound, Azkena Rock or Sónar have dispelled the last misgivings: there is a desire for music, crowding and fun.
The great confinement was a blow to middle-class musicians, who barely earn crumbs from digital platforms and live on live shows. The documentary Pandemic Tour 2020 Belako, by Hernán Zin (at Movistar+ Fest), narrates the efforts of the Biscayan rock band to break the ice and give concerts in the summer of 2020. Belako was experiencing a sweet moment when the covid broke out. They were starting a tour in the US, that was a dream, but they just did a hurried gig in New York before rushing out because they were going to close the border.
Back, the harsh reality. They resorted, like others, to acoustic recitals from their homes for the networks. The split screen, a piano, a guitar, a set of saucepans as drums, the one that sings in her kitchen while she kneads… A more than precarious formula that kept them active and in contact with their followers. That summer the hand was opened up a little bit —they called it de-escalation, remember?— and they hit the road in bubble motorhomes, to perform at drive-ins. The first date was a rush of applause and horns. And the day came to play for an audience without cars, in plastic chairs distanced by legal imperative. And then in theaters. They thought you couldn’t dance sitting down, but they saw that you could.
They crossed the desert. Belako will take it out on many festivals this summer. It is shocking to relive, through these four young people, that time that was so hard for everyone. We pretend we have forgotten. But of course we agree.
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