Eighteen years have passed since the last time the legendary Doctor Music festival took place deep in the Catalan Pyrenees.
But the event which brought such big names as David Bowie, Lou Reed, Rage Against the Machine, and more, is finally returning. The wait is not over, though. There is still just over a year to go until music fills the mountains once more for the 2019 Reincarnation Edition. And it might not be a one-off resurrection.
Organizers explained that, although they have no intention of putting on the festival on a yearly basis, they are not ruling out the possibility of future events. Next year will mark a clear “before and after,” for the festival compared to the previous four editions in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2000, explained promoter Neo Sala. “It will set the bar high,” he said.
The decision to move forward with Doctor Music’s revival has come, for the most part, after listening to the demand of local mayors, businesses, and residents in Valls d’Àneu, the birthplace of the festival.
Sala expressed hopes that it will have a “positive” effect on the region where it will be held. It is already forecast that it will generate 100 million euros for the Pallars Sobirà economy over the three days it takes place. Sala, however, does not want Doctor Music to bring a short term economic boost, but rather to attract an “energetic and spiritual” type of tourism for time to come. The event’s core ethos is, essentially, sustainability.
For this reason, Doctor Music will offer a model for healthy consumption, with the involvement of local producers, promoting “organic” and “healthy” local products to attendees. “We want people to earn a living in Pallars so they don’t have to leave,” said Sala.
In the days running up to the big event, around 3,000 people will work to meet the needs of the 60,000 or so revellers expected.
Taking place in 28 hectares of pristine meadowland from July 12 to 14, Doctor Music promises to match previous line-ups which have included some of the biggest names in music. Although nothing has been revealed yet, Sala promised that the programme will be “high level and eclectic” like its previous editions, and won’t “let down” anybody.
Just like before, Doctor Music will be held at Escalarre where, according to the festival website, “barely anything has changed” since they were last there, and nor will it change after.
“The valley is the home where we were born. We want it to remain a beautiful and prosperous place for its inhabitants and everyone who visits it,” the website explains, highlighting the event’s “zero waste policy.” Full tickets cost 160 euros per head. Expect top quality rock and electronic music, shiny happy people, green grass, and cows. After all, Doctor Music’s logo isn’t a cow for nothing.