The biggest music festival of the Balearics has come a long way since its early days. In only four years, the budget has grown from 400,000 to four million euros, whilst visitor numbers have grown from the original 8,000 to 27,000 in 2018, and 36,000 expected this year. The main music styles are electronic, indie rock and world music with this year’s line-up including Spanish and international stars such as Amaia, Two Door Cinema Club, The Vaccines and Jamiroquai.
“The quality of the music was always the most important thing for us but we didn’t want to do a festival that was only for a particular group but, instead, something that appeals to a broad audience,” says Álvaro who started organising parties and events when he was young. It’s no surprise the Argentine loved Ibiza so much he decided to move there when he was 27 years-old. However, there was still a long way to go until the first Mallorca Live Festival in 2016.
“At the beginning it was primarily our enthusiasm for the music and the festival that kept us going. It costs a lot of money to put on a festival and you have to invest a great deal, particularly in the first few years until you reach a certain size. Therefore public institutions, sponsors and, of course, public acceptance are crucial for its financial success,” says Álvaro casually yet considered, his choice of words revealing his studies in marketing and sales.
He found the pioneering partner for this project in the Mallorcan hotel group Meliá. After the success of the first festival, Álvaro and Meliá decided to move it from Polígono Son Castelló to Magaluf where the site was, on the one hand easier and cheaper to develop for a big festival. On the other hand, a major music festival also fitted perfectly with the idea shared by both Meliá and Calvià council of transforming the ailing holiday resort into the top tourism destination it once was.
Magaluf is the essential place for many parties. Live music, several major tourist attractions and a large beach make this a popular spot on the island. […] Magaluf
“Those responsible in the municipality of Calvià really liked the idea and from then on it gradually became easier to organise the festival,” says Álvaro. It’s easy to see why Meliá and Calvià have such a great interest in the project. For each euro invested by public bodies, festival goers spend 13, and the festival generates direct and indirect revenue of 3.6 million euros. Just under half of all participants come from abroad or the Spanish mainland and more than 50% of them spent three nights or more on Mallorca.
However, it hasn’t always been easy – there were times Álvaro thought about giving up the festival. “Alongside the financing, it’s the logistics that represent the biggest challenge on Mallorca. We try to source as much as possible locally but most of the equipment and technology, such as the stage, music and light systems, have to be supplied from the mainland.”
Despite this, the festival has established itself as one of the most important major events on Mallorca, as Álvaro confirms: “The festival is becoming increasingly significant not only on a musical but also on a social level. It’s the only place on Mallorca where you can see such an artistic line-up in two days.”
This year there will be three smaller stages, which will create an even closer connection between the festival and the local community. There will also be a food route on the festival grounds with delicacies from all over the world, the relaxation zones will be expanded and in ‘The Town’ sponsors will host various events.
“The festival also brings the Mallorcan community and people from many different towns and villages on Mallorca together and it’s already become a regular annual get-together. Many locals stay in the hotels in the area and view the festival as a weekend break,” says Álvaro. And that’s quite an achievement, as anyone who knows the island will know it’s not always easy to get a Mallorcan to travel…
Photos by Estefanía Durán & Javier Iglesias
More about Mallorca Live Festival
May 2020 will see the largest music event in the Balearic Islands happening in Magaluf, promising a fantastic line up alongside art, food and fashion. […] Mallorca LIVE! Festival