Sala Tries A Reggae Fest

Having dropped out of the festival business since failing to find a site for his Doctor Music Festival, promoter Neo Sala is dipping his toe back in the market with a one-day reggae fest in Barcelona.

It’s to be staged August 10 at El Poble Espanyol with a lineup that includes US reggae act SOJA, Black Uhuru, The Skatalites, and Pirat’s Sound Sistem.


Sala’s festival history dates to 1996 and lasted until 2005, when it was snuffed out as one of the side of effects of then-Clear Channel Entertainment and Irish promoter Denis Desmond’s joint purchase of Mean Fiddler Music Group.

Having run Doctor Music Festival – named after his Barcelona-based company – in Escalarre for three years, Sala moved it to Asturias because of rising local costs and the Escalarre site being five hours from the nearest international airport.

After one year in Asturias, where lack of local support meant Doctor Music’s usual 25,000 crowd shrank by almost a half, Sala – with backing from Mean Fiddler – began searching Spain for a new home for his festival.

When Mean Fiddler was sold, then-CCE chief Michael Rapino made it clear he wasn’t interested in continuing Fiddler’s efforts to start up outdoors in Spain and Germany, where Johannes Wessels of Hamburg-based Music Pool had also been working with Mean Fiddler to re-invent his Schuettorf Festival.

Doctor Music, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, also has upcoming shows with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Bon Jovi, Mark Knopfler, and Bruno Mars.