Doctor Music Festival Reincarnated For 2019

Twenty years after leaving the idyllic valley Valle d’Aneu in the Catalan Pyrenees,

Sala himself announced the news at a special unveiling ceremony in London, Feb. 20. Special, because the food that was served came from one of the world’s most renowned chefs: Albert Adrià. Olives that dissolved into liquid once in the mouth, Strawberries filled with a Campari gel, the famous Spanish Jamon and edible cigars.

Guests were blown away, not just by the flamboyancy of the food but also its quality.

The indulgence had a reason. During the 2019 reincarnation of Doctor Music Festival, Adrià and his entire staff of 55 will abandon their restaurant in Barcelona and set up shop some 250km north, in Valle d’Aneu, where the festival debuted in 1996.

It was the first ever music festival in Spain, and food played an important role even back then. The majority of ingredients will be sourced form organic agricultural and livestock farming, free of any kind of chemicals, to promote the Valle d’Aneu as an ecological, sustainable food and tourism destination. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of preparing all the food using the resources available from the region,” said Adrià. Of course music will play an equally important role at Doctor Music Festival 2019.

Acts that played the festival in the past include David Bowie, Rage Against The Machine, Blur, Beastie Boys, and Muse. Doctor Music Festival took place in the Valle d’Aneu three times (1996, 1997, 1998), before moving to Asturias for a one-off in 2000.

“It was a magical experience for all of us, including the people who organize it,” Sala said. “At the time people thought we were crazy for doing a festival in a lost valley in the middle of nowhere, where the nearest village only has 400 inhabitants. People said nobody was going to come, they said we would go bankrupt. And they were half right, half wrong. We were very successful, sold-out almost every year. But we indeed went bankrupt. After three fantastic editions in the valley, we had to stop.”

Sala recalled that it was a time when no one in Spain really believed in festivals, at least no investors or sponsors, and there was no local support for the event.

“Twenty years later the festival is still in the memory of all the people in the valley. … All of those memories are one of the reasons that made me want to be back, seeing that the people in the area really love us. The still remember. Their sons and daughters talk about it.”

The 2019 reincarnation will be a one-off.

“We’re not coming back just to be there every year,” Sala said, without excluding that Doctor Music Festival may return again at some point. Sala also remembered the first act to ever confirm his festival: David Bowie.

“I was very shocked when I received the email from John Giddings in December 1995, confirming that Bowie would play the festival. People didn’t believe it first. It was an amazing set, he played nearly two hours.”

After the gig, Bowie told Sala that “it was magic. He loved the valley. He didn’t come by helicopter or anything. He came by bus and stayed in a hotel in the valley nearby. It was a very magical moment for me, and I wish we could have him again.”

No musical acts have been announced yet. Tickets can be reserved starting Feb. 21 at midnight. The first 6,000 tickets will go on sale in the beginning of May for euro 175.

Visitors of any of the former editions will receive a euro 50 discount. The 2019 edition will host 5 stages, VIP and general camping for a minimum of 40,000 people.