Fira Mediterrània signs a collaboration agreement with Estivada

Estivada, the quintessential Occitan festival, is to feature performances by three groups put forward by Fira Mediterrània

Estivada, the quintessential Occitan festival, is to feature performances by three groups put forward by Fira Mediterrània

Fira Mediterrània of Manresa and Estivada, the quintessential Occitan festival, have signed a collaboration agreement for the 2013-2014 period, in which both events commit to a series of actions connected with artistic programming, professional activities, consultancy and communication.  Under the agreement, the programme for this year’s Estivada will feature performances by Cobla Sant Jordi i Roger Mas, Obrint Pas, Pep Gimeno “El botifarra”. The agreement is part of the internationalisation programme promoted by Fundació Mediterrània and targeted at Catalan artists.

Estivada will be holding its 20th event at Rodez from 24 to 28 July; what makes this festival special is not only its multidisciplinary programme, but also that it is a cross-regional showcase for Occitan culture. Estivada has a modern and universalist view of Occitan identity, one that refuses to stay silent; the festival does its best to ensure that Occitan, a minority language in the south of France and in Italy, but the joint official language in Catalonia and in the Vall d’Aran, regains its rightful place as a language for everyday life and not solely for memories. The entire Estivada programme is built around the Occitan language. Artists from all the Occitan-speaking regions – Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes, Limousin, Auvergne, Rhône-Alps, Provençe-Alps-Côte d’Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in France; Vall d’Aran in Catalonia, plus the Occitan-speaking valleys of the Piedmont in Italy – will be at the Estivada festival to perform their work and exchange points of view and common issues. Despite this approach, the festival is supported by many friends and artists performing in other languages.

Under the agreement signed by Estivada and Fira Mediterrània, Cobla Sant Jordi i Roger Mas, Obrint Pas, Pep Gimeno “El botifarra” and Claudio Sanna will all be performing in Rodez. Plans for next year’s event are already underway, with Estivada scheduling four groups from Catalonia who will be chosen from eight acts put forward by Fira Mediterrània from performances featured in the 2012 and 2013 events. Estivada will also be putting forward eight Occitan groups for Fira Mediterrània to pick four who will come to Manresa in 2014.

In terms of professional activity, both Estivada and Fira Mediterrània will provide a modular stand in their respective business areas. Estivada will also be taking part in the speed-dating sessions, brief pre-arranged meetings between specialists from the performing arts and music sector and any artists and practitioners wanting to make direct contact, held as part of the Mediterrània PROfessional Meeting at the 16th Fira Mediterrània.

As far as communication is concerned, the agreement states that both Estivada and Fira Mediterrània will be including each other’s logos and acknowledging each other as artistic partner on their respective promotional materials. The two partners will also be advertising each other’s events on their respective web sites and 2.0 channels as well as holding promotional activities to complement printed publicity material.

The artists

Cobla Sant Jordi i Roger Mas

Roger Mas i la Cobla Sant Jordi Ciutat de Barcelona are presenting a show produced jointly with Fira Mediterrània of Manresa in 2011. Roger Mas i la Cobla Sant Jordi perform a distinctive repertoire by the singer-songwriter from Solsona accompanied by one of today’s most longstanding and popular cobla groups, with arrangements by Xavier Guitó.  Bringing in the tones of the double-reed Catalan shawm, plus the restrained brass wind section and Roger Mas’s customary instrumental backing, provides a great background to the songs, leading to arrangements that result in an unusual and emotive dialogue.


Roger Mas i la Cobla Sant Jordi at Fira Mediterrània 2011. Photo Gerard Font

Obrint Pas

They have performed at Fira Mediterrània several times, their last appearance being in 2010 as part of Estepa Mediterrània, Fira’s Off section.  The music that emerges from their own individual fusion of traditional sounds and instruments with modern rhythms (ska, reggae, rock, hardcore and the like) and their visually stunning live shows are the basic ingredients of the group's distinctive formula. Over the last few years, the lads from the Horta region have shown why they are the most international of all Catalan rock bands. Their last tour was to promote their CD and book, Coratge, released in 2011 and taking them to gigs halfway across the world. In 2013 the group is easing off the gas a little and only making a few appearances, including at Estivada


Obrint Pas

Pep Gimeno “El botifarra”

Josep Gimeno is Pep 'Botifarra', one of today’s best singers, who has been performing for the last 25 years. His repertoire includes threshing songs and other traditional numbers (some delicate, others funny and coarse) and is a kind of social chronicle of a community that has changed for ever and that he has been able to recover by listening to senior citizens in the Costera region. Pep Gimeno has performed in Manresa several times, both as a solo artist and in good company, like in 2011, when he shared the stage with Quico el Cèlio, el Noi i el Mut de Ferreries, at the opening night of the show La Barraca.


Pep Gimeno in Manresa in 2011. Photo: Josep Tomàs