A first postponement, a second postponement, a third postponement. “All very hard.” But the most important festival in Castilla-La Mancha and surely also in Spain, has finally managed to celebrate its 25th anniversary. And he has done it in style. The figures are very similar to those of other years, with 240,000 attendees during the week of celebration and an economic impact of around 22 million euros. 1,800 direct jobs and more than 3,000 indirect ones. An impact that reaches about 50 or 60 kilometers around.
These are the main balance figures made by the organization of Viña Rock, which this year has had the motto ‘Libres’. The trace of the pandemic has barely been seen, the masks and other measures have disappeared as if they had never existed. The director of the festival, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, explained that it has been “by appealing to the viñarrockero spirit” that the organization has been able to rise stronger and stronger. “Congratulations to the team for once again making this the best festival”, he stressed, thanking the Community Board, the artists and the sponsors, “everyone”.
Also to the attendees who, as he points out every year, have given a “lesson in civility and tolerance” in the celebration of the festival. There are a hundred bands that have performed on the seven stages, with styles of music as varied as reggae, rock, rap, metal and alternative music in general. “Always looking for balance”. Gutiérrez has explicitly apologized for the coincidence of the Kase O and SFDK concerts on the first day of the festival, but has pointed out that they are consequences of a complex organization.
Gutiérrez has also pointed out that the festival seeks to bet on bands with a “more immediate” future, citing Zoo, and also on newer bands. “We promise to continue working and be at the height of the public,” he stressed.
The Valencian businessman David Sánchez has assured that the festival plays in the “Champion” league, thanks also to the collaboration and “welcome” of the local residents. “The success is of thousands of people who are not here and we have to thank, but above all the residents of Villarrobledo.” Regarding the services offered, the businessman has indicated that 6,000 people have come in official buses and more than 3,000 have stayed at the ‘glamping’ with the tents set up by the organization.
This year the ‘cashless’ technology has also been launched, which has “avoided queues” and made everything “much easier”. They have also stated that “there is no more use and throw away” with the incorporation of reusable cups that were priced at 2.5 euros. This has made it possible to have the premises, in general, in better clean conditions. “These years have been complicated and we have always transferred the concerns of the organization and the public to the mayor,” he concluded.
This year the company’s contract with the City Council is fulfilled, and the mayor of the town, Valentín Bueno, has invited it to renew to continue with the festival. In fact, he has invited them to present a “great offer”. For the city council, the “true success” of the festival is that there has been “no major incident” to report. “Thank you for having open arms to receive thousands of people, because it is the hallmark of the town,” said Councilman Bernardo Ortega.
The mayor of Villarrobledo has highlighted that something had to happen at the international level to stop the celebration of the festival. “We have returned because we wanted to and the proof is all the people who have come to Villarrobledo”, pointed out Valentín Bueno. It went back to the beginning of the event, which went ahead thanks to the encouragement of different councilors and mayors until reaching the current “more modern” and professional model. It was thanks to a councilor for Culture, she recalled, María Gutiérrez, that it went ahead. It has also remembered all the mayors, Paco Segovia, Pedro Antonio Ruiz and Alberto González, who have promoted the celebration of the event.
“This shows that there is a commitment from the people, both of one color and another for Villarrobledo to have a festival, which is what has been achieved this time,” said the mayor. He has also apologized to the neighborhoods that suffer “more pressure” within the town. “This festival is not only alive, it is growing and enjoying enviable health,” he stressed. For the people, what “has been missed the most” has been “filling the streets with color and smiles, within the sadness and of having been locked up and unable to leave the house.”
In 2023, Viña Rock will also be held from April 28 to 30.