December 10, 2023

“With these shoes it seems that I am eight years old,” said Cayetana, six years old, as soon as she entered Mad Cool, which took place from July 6 to 10 in Madrid. This 2022, many young people are experiencing their first times at a festival, but the little ones do it with an even more special emotion, that of feeling like the adults. That you go to your first musical date a few months after having arrived in the world, or that you can see your favorite group before the famous adolescence are some of the new realities that occur in many events that are held these days in Spain. In the latest edition of the Madrid festival, where up to 70,000 people have gathered in a single day, it was easy to find a considerable number of children, especially when approaching the one with the closest Ferris wheel. instagrammable From the capital.

In this macro-festival, if you were a minor and you were under eight years old you could enjoy the experience totally free, but from nine to 16 kids already had to buy their own ticket. Children had to be accompanied by adults, unless they belonged to the exclusive 17-year-old club, in which case they could access alone. The little ones had to register at the entrance and that was what Cayetana, six, needed to debut at an event of these characteristics and be able to enjoy her idols, Imagine Dragons, as well as those of her parents, Metallica.

Something similar, but at a higher cost, lived Alejandro, Óscar and Javier, three brothers from Alicante aged 10, 14 and 15, who enjoyed the event accompanied by their mother and grandmother. “It’s very big, we expected it to be smaller,” they said. The eldest did not hide his desire to live the experience with friends, and confessed that it is normal for young people to go to festivals at his age. Alicia, her parent, thought she would be the exception and was surprised by the number of minors around her: “It’s a way of enjoying something like this with them now, later they won’t want to come with us to festivals.”

Jose and Virginia are the parents of Mario, who at 10 years old is the universal heir to the musical passion that his family shows. Together with them, he was living his first time at a festival and he did it with several objectives on his agenda, one of them, to see The Killers: “He knows all the songs, he comes from home with the lesson learned.” That’s how blunt his mother was, festival girl usual, who took advantage of the occasion to demand a discount on the ticket price – the price of the three-day ticket for Mad Cool, for example, is 185 euros, while a single day costs 75 euros, to which VAT must be added—for those over eight years of age and she was very excited about living this experience with her son: “We want him to enjoy and live music, because this is a way of life”.

No one doubts that the smallest are the quarry that these appointments must conquer if they want to stay alive, some more critical attendees than usual for whom the promoters will have to be even harder if possible. This was demonstrated by Mario, who was clear about the possibility of repeating the experience: “When the night is over I’ll see if I come back.”

Baby with headphones at the Mad Cool festival in Madrid.
Baby with headphones at the Mad Cool festival in Madrid.C.G

Resukids: the festival for children

Alba Guijarro, 38 years old and from Viveiro (Lugo), is responsible for one of the great children’s initiatives that takes place on the circuit festival-goer National: Resukids. Through his leisure and free time company, Eureka, and with the Resurrection Fest showcase, every year in his town he organizes a small musical universe only suitable for minors: “The idea is that children experience the festival in their own way and that families can share this leisure time with them, but each according to their needs”. The project offers many options to families so that the little ones can enjoy the experience: they can do it for just one afternoon, a whole day or directly sign up for the camp from the first to the last day of the festival.

Guijarro insists on the importance of revitalization: “In the afternoons we do activities within the venue and in the mornings we complement the offer with surfing classes, horseback riding or tattoo workshops.” They have a base camp located one kilometer from the Resu designed 100% for the little ones: “We put bracelets with their phone number on them, some caps to keep them under control, and we take them to the festival on a tourist train.” During the experience they are the true kings of the event: “They are the bosses, we are making noise, we shout and we make the sign of the horns with our hands. People react very well when they see us.”

Once inside the enclosure and to move safely, the monitors escort the little ones and their route has almost more privileges than that of their parents: “We are going to have a drink in the VIP area, we go up to a stage and visit the behind the scenes”. They have the privilege of seeing the festival as an audience and also living the hidden part that everyone imagines: “Every day a band lets them go on stage when they are playing and that freaks them out. They go down in flames.” Just before returning to the base camp on the Resukids train and in an area more secluded from people, they continue to carry out activities that vary according to the day: from a sheet metal workshop to a game or a dinner watching a concert.

This year up to 60 minors from all over Spain have signed up every day, an audience ranging from 3 to 12 years old. All in exchange for a price ranging from 40 euros for an afternoon to 355 euros for the five-day camp. In the latter case, many already know each other from other years and meet again every summer. Its organizer ensures that parents visit their children from time to time, or even take them to eat: “It’s vacation and we adapt. Each one then continues with their parallel festival”. Guijarro admits that many families are beginning to demand the same camp but for teenagers. Beyond Resukids, children can attend the festival up to the age of 12 for free and from 13 to 18 years old paying their entrance and with the authorization of an adult: “At first the children came because their parents liked it, now they know of music and ask to see specific bands”.

The best way to go with a small child to a festival is to bring headphones, especially if they are babies, because the music is usually very loud. In addition, it is advisable to bring water, sunscreen, a hat, a sweatshirt —even change of clothes—, a flashlight (at night there is little light) and food so as not to depend on what is sold on the premises. And to enjoy!

Primavera Sound and its space Minimúsica

Another great festival, Primavera Sound in Barcelona, ​​once again demonstrated its commitment to family reconciliation thanks to Minimúsica, a space where the little ones enjoyed artistic workshops, games and live concerts within the venue. In this sense, the event made it easier for children under 14 years of age to have free access to the venue accompanied by an adult with a ticket. In its last edition, this area located in the Parc del Fòrum was a stage for the new generations to get to know the festival up close. From some drum classes given by Todd Trainer from Shellac to a spray-painted concert poster workshop, including special performances by Santiago Motorizado, Ferran Palau or Chaqueta de Cándal. The initiative included activities for all audiences to bring music closer to children and provided everything necessary for families to be comfortable: baby changing tables, hearing protectors, nursing cushions, microwaves, high chairs and adapted bathrooms.

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