As summer comes to a close, it’s always an opportunity to think about the long days and longer nights that we have during the hot months of Spain. Everyone has summer traditions, where each year they find themselves marking something on their calendar that they know they need to attend. For us here at LMDES, that summer tradition is La Mar de Músicas in Cartagena, Spain. If you’ve been keeping up this summer, you know we’ve shared all the summer festivals in Spain that are a must-see but this year was different than any other.
With La Mar de Músicas being a long standing tradition of over 20 years, it’s no surprise that people come from all over the world to attend. With over 46,000 people attending over the 9 days, it ignited a new sense of international community and acceptance in Cartagena as the festival was the biggest cultural festival in Europe that focused on Latin America.
This year, with the theme of the festival being Sonidos Latinoamericanos, there was an amazing ambiance throughout the city from the 14th to the 22nd of July. Bringing together the best of art, culture, and music from countries like Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and many more, Cartagena came to life.
The festival has a strong focus on touching on social and political culture through art and it was evident, whether it was through Residente’s jaw-dropping 2-hour performance rapping on issues like immigration and equal rights or Macaco bringing everyone to their feet to sing about love, after each concert, you left with goosebumps.
This year, the festival brought me back a new sense of life, not to mention a slew of new artists that are now on my Spotify playlists.
If you missed out this year, don’t worry, there will be more chances to go. But for now, keep ready to find out some of our favorite acts while there and why you’ll be wanted to clear your calendar next year.
ENDLESS TALENT AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE
One of the best things about La Mar de Músicas is its economic accessibility. Unlike most festivals, many of the performances are free in plazas and locations around the city. If not, the highest you’ll pay is 28€ to see some top performances (most of the time giving you entry into 2 or 3 concerts in one night.)
Depending on who you want to see and what days you’re available, you’ll be able to round up some of your favorite people, car pool and have an amazing experience at a low cost.
AMAZING MUSICAL ACTS
The lineup for this festival was amazing where the acts were artists who you would never know that you’d fall in love with. Many of the people on the lineup I didn’t know of before the festival but I left with so much life and new artists that I’ve been listening to since. There was an amazing variety of performances.
Carla Morrison, a soulful singer from Mexico graced us with her presence as she opened herself up on stage, filled with vulnerability and powerful lyrics. She didn’t just sing but she shared life stories with us, opening up about heartbreak and the feeling of peace.
Michel Camilo and Tomatito brought everyone to tears as they joined together for a powerful flamenco performance. The piano and guitar duo shared ballads and moving uptempo songs as Auditorio Parque Torres was filled on a Sunday evening under the night sky.
Of course, there were also upbeat performances that had everyone dancing until the hours of the morning.
Residente (formerly in Calle 13) had everyone dancing and rapping along to his infamous lyrics that touched on topics like equality, justice and more.
Groups like Puerto Candelaria, Bareto and Chico Trujillo brought together people of all ages to dance until they couldn’t any longer, with their big bands and catchy sounds.
The performances over the days brought together themes like reggae, rap, cambia, flamenco and soul pop, providing something for everyone.
La Mar de Músicas spans over 7 different locations throughout the city and each one of them is equally as breathtaking. Whether you’re listening to a concert overlooking the city under the full moon or starting the evening in one of the main plazas of Cartagena, you’ll be impressed by the location of the concerts just as much as the shows themselves.
If you want more of a sneak peek of what we did this year at La Mar de Musicas, check out our video coverage of the festival below!
Have you ever been? If so, what is your favorite part! Let us know below!
Sienna Brown is the founder of Las Morenas de España. From New York to Murcia, Spain, she is constantly on a journey to inspire and be inspired while engaging in different methods of creation. Her passion for learning about others leads her towards constant exploration and practicing the art of listening as much as she can. See more of her work here and follow her adventures on instagram.