Aruba is a Caribbean island that mixes Dutch and Aruban culture, boasts clear tropical seas and perfect sand beaches. It has untold amounts of hot sunshine, and is a perfectly idyllic location to relax, party and soak up some new experiences. This November once more it will be the setting for Love Festival, an ever evolving event that promises bigger and better line-ups than ever before.
Roger Sanchez, Carlo Lio, Bontan, Dennis Ferrer, Prok & Fitch and Technasia amongst many others will all play between the 1st and 5th of November and you can be sure of great production, light and sound as well as parties on beaches, under star lit skies, by the pool, or on more intimate and cosy stages. Here we speak to the team behind it all to find out what makes it so special.
“The artist should be able to high five with people on the floor.”
Who is involved in Love Festival? What skills and experience does the team have?
The people involved in Love Festival are a combination of 2 brothers, a group of close friends and professionals in the fields. Sharing the same love for music and electronic music. Our background is Marketing & Media’s. Billboards, radio stations. We are not promoters, Love Festival started very natural and is growing natural. This is the 4th year organizing it so every year it’s fun to see where you did better compared to the prior year. The music is what we have in common but we also have a different task. Marketing, preparation set up, music, administration, lights, sound..you name it. Many people underestimate the mountains you have to move for a 5 days party. If you don’t have the right team together you won’t get far. First beach party we organised in 10 days, Love Festival 2017 takes 6 months.
What was the initial vision and idea for the festival?
It all started as a beach party organized to launch a sun care brand. The response was overwhelming. People were in love with the music and were dancing all day and long night. We noticed there was something in the air and decided to do it over again the next year. But this time better prepared and also with more DJ’s and stages. Our vision is to become more than just an electronic music festival. We have a lot of admiration for Coachella. They inspires us, but we are the Caribbean and do not want to lose our roots. Please keep in mind Aruba is a small Dutch colony hidden next to the border of South America. The different mix of people from Europe and South America is something you need to experience yourself. This is e very unique combination. So many cultures living in harmony with each other. We even communicate in 4 different languages. So why not translate that to a music festival ? Our dream is not to just cater for just electronic music but one day we will have the biggest electronic music acts in combination with local music, reggae bands and Jazz. And all this will take place on a beautiful setting on a paradise island.
How has it evolved and grown? You are now in your 4th year?
We started as a local beach party and are now becoming a international Festival. Because we went international we are being backed up by Aruba Tourism Authority. To have them on board is a compliment. Beside that we have grown in days, stages and dj’s. But don’t make the mistake that bigger is better for us. Our identity is to stay intimate. Also we have grown with the right contacts in the world of artists. We have to earn their trust and that’s something we realize and respect.
What is new for 2017? What changes and extras are there for people to look out for?
1st of all our Electronic line is a serious heavyweight line. Dennis Ferrer, Prok & Fitch, Stefano Nofirini, Roger Sanchez, Technasia, to mention a view, we are not a local beach party anymore. 2nd This year finally we started with let’s call it “ the Caribbean/Coachella move”. We are introducing an area with different music. This area will have a local/ Carnival flavor. I’m sure that not only the local people will really enjoy it but definitely also the people visiting Aruba. Consider it as an extra treat.
What informs the booking policy, how do you decide who to book? Is it just people you all personally admire?
NO EDM, from there we take the next steps. We want a serious, respected artists, not always the ones with the most views or likes on facebook. We have a team and everybody listens to each other opinion. We make a list of the artists and start communicating with their agent. Sometimes the artist is already booked and if you are lucky he/she is not. Sometimes way to expensive but that’s a reality we have to deal with too. So far our wish list and performing artists are pretty much in tune.
How important is it for you to stay small and intimate? Why is that?
We are about the music, not size of stages and that is important. Also it doesn’t fit our way of life. Aruba is a small island with beautiful sunsets, white beaches and palm trees. The island itself is intimate and we believe that’s the power. So no big stages for us. We actually have decide to make the main stages even smaller and more intimate compared to last year and invest in more stages. The artist should be able to high five with people on the floor.
Explain about some of the stages you have at the festival – what will they be like?
We do not have a “mainstage”, the 3 stages are very intimate and represent Techno,Tech House – Deep House/House and Caribbean (brassband, Carnaval Music, Reggea Music). Besides that we have created extra stages for experimental & underground music.
And where else will there be parties, on the beach, in coves, etc?
Aruba is blessed with beautiful beaches so it would be a missed opportunity not to showcase it. So yes ! first 2 days are a small get together on the beach followed by parties in the clubs. Festival it selves is Nov 3, 4, 5 with pool parties in Renaissance hotel during the day and Love Festival at night. Besides that we offer a Jeep experience so you can explore the island in a fun way with same minded people.
Can you give us some tips on food and drink and cultural hot posts to visit for anyone coming to the event?
First of all Aruba is very very very safe so you can go anywhere you want to. There is something for everyone since Aruba is mixture of everything. So you will find the best fish restaurants and steakhouses. Really good food. But there is something you should really try and that’s the pastechi and the local coco’s water. You will find these next to the road. And…the coco’s water will help you to forget the party headache ha ha.
What are you most excited about for this year’s event?
Smiling and dancing people and people discovering our Island. It’s always a treat to see so many happy faces. It really great to see all the hard work and preparation paying off. It’s something magical.
Love Festival Aruba returns at the start of November for its 4th edition