The Festivalino: A loudspeaker to the world of Extremeño country

For people of Pescueza, a small rural town located in a region called Extremadura it is like a dream come true. The Festivalino of Pescueza is a demonstration that the rural country is alive and small towns in Extremadura have a lot to say.  People recognize that this festival has many benefits, such as the merging of traditions with modernity, the respect and caring for the natural resources and surroundings, an event that brings together people of many generations, the transmission of knowledge and the benefits of collective effort in a town, with population less than two hundred people.

El Festivalino 2The cultural inheritance of Extremadura can be lived in every corner of Pescueza, during the three day long festival: Castúo Workshops, which is a local dialect mainly used in literary creations, are offered to the public.  Local sweets can be tasted and folkloric performances are along the streets of town. These activities emphasize the local accent to the festival. Which is fussed with the art of balloon bending, face painting, local crafts, theater, live music and a “batukada” which is the opportunity to dance at the rhythm of drums and other locally designed percussion instruments.

Another singularity of the Festivalino is to convey the care and love for nature, specifically in a uniquely privileged park called “Canchos de Ramiro”. Every year the invited artists and the public share an event, which is the planting of evergreens, oak trees, furze trees and pine trees at places surrounding this municipality. During the eight years, since the starting of this festival, it is estimated that around 5000 trees and shrubs have been planted.

El Festivalino 3
Rozalén plantando árboles en El Festivalino 2015

Pescueza is a good example of how teamwork and solidarity between neighbors can consolidate a festival, after having been celebrated during eight consecutive years. But the success of Festivalino has much greater claims, when in 2007 the arrival of Lara, in a town that had for 16 years been without any births, turned into a newsworthy event and a celebration.

Today, the laughter of children has returned to Pescueza, as they play and shout with their happy games in local parks and streets. There are, now, eight school age children living in Pescueza.  Every one is happy to know that babies are expected in the near future. The Extremeño towns are alive and from Pescueza they want to shout it to the four corners of the world.

In the midst of the Spanish economic crisis, Pescueza and its´ inhabitants have been able to reinvent themselves and come afloat. During the past few years a number of couples have made Pescueza their home.  They have become entrepreneurs of rural tourism and have developed businesses as tourist guides, managers of guided walking/hiking tours and by opening a country rental house and a lodge for visitors. Also, a small self-service general store and food market was opened.

In many ways, it can be said that the small Pescueza festival has become grand. To be considered are the famous musical groups that have participated and the quality of the music that can be heard in the different corners of this town. To mention just a few, artists such as the “Celtas Cortos” and Rozalén have patronized the 2015 edition of the festival. Other participating artists are Soraya, El Pescao, La Musicalité, Paula Arrojo, La Oreja de Van Gogh and Manuel Carrasco.

This town, located in the valley of Alagón, can boast of creating four different scenarios for the entertainment of the visiting public, during this festival: the “Plaza Mayor”, which is the main town square, the Town Hall, the “Postigo” or Old Town Gate and the Soccer Stadium. The historic center of town, which is around the High Plaza, the Church and the old fort are crowded with stands that sell local arts and crafts.  It is important to say that all organized events are free for the visiting public.

The Festivalino is much more than a weekend full of out door music, fun and activities. The Festivalino is life, which grows, in rural Extremadura.

El Festivalino4

The Festivalino of Pescueza is a cultural event, held during three days, every year in April. Pescueza is a small town in the northern part of Extremadura, which is a region in western Spain. The town is in a completely rural area, surrounded by country.  Has a population of less than 200 people.

PlanVe, la guía de ocio del Norte de Extremadura 

Original article and photos by Ainhoa Miguel / Translated by Susana Windt


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