From Kendrick Lamar to Macedonian Electronica: This is Cruilla Festival

Article by: Amanda Foschini|@foschini

Tue July 07, 2015 | 00:00 AM

A great festival – one that yields lifelong memories – lives at the crossroads between good music, new discoveries, and diversity.

Cruilla , the Catalan word for "crossroad," is an aptly named summer festival taking place in Barcelona from July 10-12. Unlike its big brothers Primavera Sound and Sónar , Cruilla keeps it small, simple, and eclectic with a genre-bendng lineup (that's even partially voted on by the public) featuring everything from French swing to Macedonian electronic music to American classics and African world music. It's basically a trip around the globe, thanks to performing musicians from the likes of Africa, Australia, Brazil, Holland, France, USA, Macedonia and more.

By celebrating the joy of diversity – of both the artists and the crowd – Cruilla exudes a unique vibe or, as the Spanish say, “buen rollo." Here's some highlights of what's in store for Cruilla weekend:

From The Balkans To Brazil

Xavier Rudd and The United Nations Band, with musicians from Samoa, Africa, Australia, Germany and New Guinea, will represent the Australian jazz scene, while Kiril Džajkovsk – a Macedonian electronic producer – will present the sound of the Balkans. French hip-hop will come by the hand of Le Peuple De L'Herbe and O Rappa’s Brazilian reggae-rock are in the spotlight.

The People Have Spoken

Among the local talent performing at this year's edition is Sense Sal, a festive, Latin pop-folk Catalan band that won a cover contest produced by Cruilla and judged by the public. The band scored the first prize creating Catalan versions of Crystal Fighters and Two Door Cinema Club songs and got the opportunity to play at the big stage, side by side with the headliners. 

Fusion Frenzy

Eager to discover new genres? Try the Brazilectro of Zuco 103, a trio formed by a Brazilian, a German and a Dutchman. They play acid jazz with a tropical flavor. Or check out the musical craziness of Troker, a Mexican collective that fuses rock, jazz, cumbia and psychedelia. The Guadalupe Plata trio will come with their electro-Mexican blues and Diana Fuentes will represent Cuba’s new musical scene.

Troker Borax Chapala Blues Glastonbury from Bernardo Perez on Vimeo.


Even in its selection of more established artists, Cruilla shows its diversity by bringing together names like afro-beat godfathers Osibisa, the unmistakable Ms. Lauryn Hill and her no-less-famous, three-time Grammy winner and brother-in-law Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley.

On The Radio

And yet, among all of the international flair, American headliners also have their space at Cruilla. You'll see fresh names like Vintage Trouble, who will debut at the festival after opening for artists like Queen’s Brian May, the “safe and sound” boys of Capital Cities, soul-man Aloe Blacc, the CocoRosie sisters, pop band Sparks (who will join Franz Ferdinand for their new project FFS) and the incomparable Kendrick Lamar.

Like Primavera Sound, Cruilla takes place at Parc del Fòrum, a huge, open-air venue and park with amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea. But that's where the similarities stop there. Cruilla is far smaller, with 40,000 attendees (compared to Primavera's 150,000), fewer stages, longer sets that sometimes last up to 75 minutes and – hey – no time slot conflicts! Cruilla is also more family-oriented with spaces for kids where families can play and rest.

Ready for this Spanish mix of good music, great people, and “buen rollo”? You can find tickets here.