The Plasencia International Folk Music Festival turns twenty

The “Festival Internacional Folk Plasencia” (Plasencia International Folk Music Festival) makes the North of Extremadura the preferred destination for hundreds of music lovers, who plan their vacations around this city in the Spanish province of Cáceres at the valley of river Jerte.  It is not surprising if one considers the quality of this contest, which in every one of the editions has taken great care to develop a program that includes participants who are ranking at the pole of this music genre with international, national and regional contestants. This is a real treat for eyes and ears of anyone that attends, because the shows are held on fantastic outdoor scenarios, such as the Plaza Mayor and the Lucia Tower, which is part of the medieval city wall. Also, the concerts are free for the public.

Top international folk music figures

The Israeli singer Noa will be performing at the 20th Anniversary Edition. While artist such as the Armenian violinist Ara Malikian, have performed in the past. Also, names that are worshiped in this musical genre have been present, groups such as Gwendal and Capercaille.

noa festival folk plasenciaThe list of famous artist is completed with national celebrities, such as Carlos Nuñez, Quepa Junkera, Cristina Pato, Carmen París, Eliseo Parra and musical groups like Musgaña or Luar Na Lubre. Acetre, En Verea and Aulaga Folk are representatives of the Extremeño music, who have been part of this venture since its beginning and which becomes bigger as the years pass.

Folk Plasencia hosts 15000 visitors every year

The “Festival Internacional Folk Plasencia” grows with every year thanks to the support of more than 15000 people that attend this call for the three-day long festival.  The program is, mainly, sponsored by the Ayuntamiento de Plasencia (Plasencia City Council) and the Junta de Extremadura. Also, the Diputación Provincial de Cáceres is among other patrons who help support this event.  Thousands of souls wanting to sing and dance gather in Plasencia to enjoy this festival which is considered, by experts, at the level of famous folk festivals such as Ortigueira, Intercéltico and Tradicionarius.

Among the attending public are the neighbors from Plasencia and the residents of other cities and towns in the North of Extremadura. They act as the hosts to all the others who enthusiastically come from all places in Spain and lands from far away, making this a festival with no national borders.  The interchange of cultures is precisely one of the characteristics of this festival, which is able to unite, through music, sons and fathers, grandchildren and grand parents, locals and foreigners with the rhythm of the same tune.

festival folk plasencia

Parades and workshops

The fun at the Festival Internacional Folk Plasencia creates an ambient, which is, much more than the concerts.  On the streets, walked by musical groups from Extremadura such as drummers, invite the public to attend the concerts. Also, musical groups from other communities join this invitation.  This is a prelude for the concerts held during the night.

Workshops, which are also free for the public, held by attending artist are one of the attractions of this festival.  They are luxury “maestros” which enhance the festival with their knowledge. They give fans and professionals the opportunity to share information and experiences.

Folk Plasencia a tourism stimulator for Extremadura

The “Festival Internacional Folk Plasencia” has steadfast followers who look for the moment when the program is published to reserve the time in their agendas; this allows them possibility of enjoying a vacation, which is immersed in traditional type music. Also, the festival is important for the tourist business of Extremadura. The visitors patronize all kinds of hotels, restaurants, stores and special sites such as the natural swimming pools of the North of Extremadura.

In essence, the “Festival Internacional Folk Plasencia”, held in August, every year, is one of the must dates of the Extremeño Calendar; it is a date that manifests the power of music.

The “Festival Internacional Folk Plasencia” held during the month of August at beautiful medieval Plasencia, founded by King Alphonse VIII in year 1186, to please God and men. Plasencia is located in Spain, in the province of Cáceres, the North of Extremadura, a region close to Madrid and neighboring Portugal.

The Concerts are open-air events, scheduled after sundown.  During the past twenty years they have been held at the Plaza Mayor and at Torre Lucia, which is part of the surrounding city wall.

The entrance fee to the concerts and other festival activities are free of charge.

The musical workshops are held during the day, prior to the concerts.  They are organized at cultural sites in the city of Plasencia. The entrance fee to the workshop is free, for all those that want to learn about Folk Music.

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PlanVe, la guía de ocio del Norte de Extremadura 

Original article by Merche R. Rey

 Translated by Susana Windt

20 años de Festival Folk en Plasencia

Published in August, 2015