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Picture this. You're miles out, walking past some vineyards, taking the in the scenic hillsides of Vilanova i la Geltrú. Just an hour train ride out of Barcelona, this region could not seem any more different from its bustling neighboring city. It is however, home to the lively, unique, fresh off the boat music festival Vida.
Rock, pop and indie alike, this festival has a bit for everyone. Starting in just 2013, this festival has yet to tip into the field of public knowledge, but that may soon be changing. With headlining artists in 2017 such as Phoenix, The Flaming Lips and Fleet Foxes, Vida is hitting the ground running. Taking place in late June - early July each year, this three-day fest is stocked with both international sensations as well as local legends. I, being a huge fan, came to see Phoenix but discovered other artists such as Marem Ladson, Joan Miquel Oliver and Alien Tango throughout the night.
A Little Razzle Dazzle
Art, food trucks and intimate musical performances woven into the Spanish forests. That is the gist. From the big main stage out in the open, able to accommodate hundreds, to the smaller stages hidden in the trees with a more close contact feel, every base is covered. Spend the day admiring art installations that are hanging from trees or plopped on the forest floor, visiting food trucks in the middle of the woods or bouncing from stage to stage as you discover new artists. As long as you keep a stage schedule on hand and an open mind, you are sure to enjoy some music form your favorite artists, but also take home some new jams. I also recommend checking out the merch tents as well, some cool band posters are typically for sale and of course t-shirts featuring the names of your favorite performers. Note that this festival is family friendly too. I saw many couples with their kids dancing along to the tunes among the olive trees. People of all ages can enjoy the music from as close or as far as they like. Grassy hills to sit upon and ample picnic tables make it possible to relax and take it easy while still getting the concert experience.
Quaint and Cozy
The forest lives.
How to Make It Happen
I undoubtedly did this festival the hard way. I took a train to Vilanova i la Geltrú, bused to near the festival grounds, walked the rest of the way and enjoyed the festival. Luckily, when the night is through, buses await festival goers, ready to take them to their destinations. This is a camping-centered festival, where many guests camp between nights in the designated campground, which one of the buses will take patrons to when the night is over. It is possible, however, to stay in Barcelona as I did and make your way back the night of. Buses which you can catch at the train station head back to the city during the early hours of the morning for a reasonable fare. You might have to wait around for a bit, but you'll be surrounded by a lively crew, so it's all part of the journey. As the festival increases in popularity, a more established route back to Barcelona will no doubt be established. For a festival as new as Vida, I was pleasantly surprised by the adventure that I encountered at my first experience there.
Why It Should Be on Your List
I could go on for days, and I only got to experience one day of the Vida life. Versatility of stages, location and variety of performers are what make Vida like no other. Moral of the story, take note. A festival this good will not stay under the radar for long. This years fest occurs June 28 through July 1, so make your plans accordingly.