Where to see it: The Festivals
Another excellent place to see flamenco is at one of the many festivals that are staged throughout Andalucía during the summer months.
When one thinks of a flamenco festival, or any music festival, one conjures an image of open air, moonlight sky, and all the aromas that a warm summers night has to offer.
One of the major aspects of a flamenco festival is the proximity of the bar, where people congregate to have a few drinks and conversation, some not even bothering to take their seats because the bar has a perfect view of the stage.
Fortunately the festivals are reserved for the more orthodox flamenco, where the voice and guitar will be the only thing on the stage, and it is at these festivals that you will be able to enjoy the true aspect of flamenco.
Depending on the towns past history of flamenco singers, and I say singers because the festivals are mainly dedicated to the cante, will depend on the quality of the show.
Most festivals are held in the town’s bullring or an open field, and they will normally start around ten thirty and go on until three or four in the morning and even the most ardent of fans will find it exhausting to last the course of the night.
The atmosphere at these festivals is always exciting, and people from all walks of life will be in attendance. The older men with their fraying straw hats conversing in the bar area over a glass of cool fino, the women in the most striking dress designs, silk shawls, and fans in motion, and the smell of jasmine that mingles with the warm summer air combine to make the setting the most enjoyable you could possibly encounter.
Another aspect of the festival is the large gypsy contingent that will also be in attendance, and sometimes to watch their antics will be as enjoyable as the festival itself.
The large gypsy clans can that look so regal on arrival, the women, if widowed dressed
in black, and the younger women, their long dark hair trailing down the backs of their brightly coloured gitana dresses, and their piercing dark eyes transfixed on their men.
The older gypsy men with their dark copper complexions and in lined gypsy features look so authoritative with their large clan assembled around them, gold rings and chains adorn the fingers and wrists, and they have a look that tells you that they are the ancestors of what we are all here to see tonight.
Málaga and Seville hold their Bienal de flamenco on alternate years, and these festivals are normally held between September and October, and will last for one month. During these two important festivals most of the top names in the world of flamenco, along with many of the local artistes will perform at the many recitals that are staged in different venues in the cities.
Cordoba also holds an annual festival, as well as Jerez de la Frontera, which is normally staged in February, and again these two festivals will attract some of the best artistes around.
Many will put the reason for flamenco’s continuing progress on these festivals, and they are one of the best places to get that true flamenco atmosphere, Un forma de vida- a way of life!
|Alhaurín de la Torre||Festival Torre del Cante-June|
|Alora||Festival de cante grande-July|
|Antequera||Noche Flamenca de Santa María-Aug|
|Dos Hermanas||Festival de Flamenco Juan Talega-June|
|Granada||Noche Flamenca de Albaycin-August|
|Jerez de la Frontera||Festival de Jerez-April|
Bienal de Arte Flamenco Malaga
|Mairena del Alcor||Festival de Cante jondo A.Mairena-Sept|
|Morón de la Frontera||Gazpacho Andaluz-August|
|Ronda||Festival de cante grande-August|
Bienal de Arte Flamenco Sevilla