In recent years, Murcia had emerged as a great stage for concerts of a national and even international nature. Beyond Madrid and Barcelona, the capital of Segura had crept in as one of the juiciest options for promoters and artists when it comes to organizing tour dates in Spain, probably at the level of Bilbao, Valencia and Seville. A strategic geographical position, an important cluster of venues and the effervescent activity of regional promoters had made it possible. But since last March – and a lot has rained since then … – Murcia has suffered an unprecedented musical drought. The same one that hits almost anywhere on the globe today, true, but it stings particularly in a place that had used fans to have to choose between ten, twelve or twenty bands every weekend to listen to live. Now, except for few and honorable exceptions, only the streams and the hope that the new year has brought with it and, above all, the start of vaccinations against covid-19 remain. For this reason – and although the battle against the virus still requires a last effort – there are already those who look at the concert schedule for 2021 with optimism; especially the part that concerns the summer months and beyond. Therefore, it is time to review the artists and bands that, if the pandemic allows it, plan to ‘return to normal’ with Murcia as the main stage.
Following a chronological order, the first big events of the year are found in May, a month in which the possibility of holding massive events seems remote, according to experts. Therefore, it would be convenient not to get too illusions about the weekend of the 14th and 15th, when Pablo López and Izal plan to offer two concerts – in fact, double dates on Friday and Saturday – at the Víctor Villegas Auditorium and the Artillery Barracks, respectively. . Similarly, the farewell to Extremoduro – scheduled for the 21st and 22nd at the La Fica fairgrounds – is also on the air again: although the goodbye to Robe Iniesta and his family is already a year late due to Covid-19, the band has ensured that they will only undertake their last tour when the public can accompany them “without any restriction of any kind, no masks, no gels, or distancing.” So we have to wait at the expense of a possible second postponement; yes, for now, Ticketmaster continues with the sold out sign.
Another concert that has raised a lot of expectation and scheduled for the month of May is the one that will bring together three of the most powerful urban artists of the moment in the Plaza de Toros: Lola Indigo, Bad Gyal and Don Patricio (day 22), also relocated after proclaiming the state of alarm, like the second edition of the Marearock Murcia –with Los Chikos del Maíz and Lehendakaris Muertos as headliners–, rescheduled for March 6 and pending a new postponement or cancellation (except for a sanitary miracle). Something similar happens with the gig that the legendary Scottish punk band The Exploited has scheduled at Garaje Beat Club for April 21. Nor does it seem easy that it could be carried out on the same stage –at least, on the scheduled date– that of the Japanese Mono (April 1), while it is easier for Stool, which two weeks later plans to take the stage of the Villegas . And it is that the Regional Auditorium, due to its size, is one of the few spaces that is being able to host concerts; yes, with significant capacity reductions.
The most optimistic say that live music can recover lost ground during the summer months. It is these pages of the calendar, therefore, that music lovers can look forward to most (although without losing their minds …). Something (the latter) difficult if we review the list of artists with blackout dates in Murcia: David Bisbal will take the Plaza de Toros on June 5; space that less than a week later will occupy the Americans Wilco. For his part, the ‘king of salsa’, Marc Anthony, plans to fill La Fica on the 11th of the same month, while the British Madness will shake skeletons in the bullfighting arena of La Condomina on the 15th and a myth of Spanish song as José Luis Perales will say goodbye to the Murcian public on the same stage three days later. Less media, although no less interesting, is the concert that will bring together at Garaje Beat Club on June 10, four of the most prominent bands of the German post-rock and alternative metal label Pelagic Records: Svalbard, Hypno5e and PG. Lost will be in charge of opening in Murcia for The Ocean Collective, authors of what for progressive lovers was the best album of last year, Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic (2020).
If all goes according to plan, the month of July will open with the new edition of the Sunsetland Festival, which although it has had to leave almost all of the artists announced in view of its celebration last summer on the air, has achieved keep for this 2021 its great headliner: the Puerto Rican reggaeton player Daddy Yankee. It will be on July 2, and, a couple of weeks later, the one who will visit the capital of Segura is the Colombian Maluma, one of the most listened to artists in the world for several years. His presence in Murcia within his next world tour demonstrates the entity of the city as a concert venue; And it is only in this way that Alejandro Sanz’s double appointment in the Plaza de Toros (23 and 24) and the visits of two music legends such as Roger Hodgson and Sting, leaders respectively of Supertramp and The Police, are also explained. Both will perform at the La Condomina arena with just two days apart: July 26 and 28. And that’s not counting festivals like Las Noches del Malecón or others beyond the municipality of Murcia such as La Mar de Músicas, Jazz San Javier, El Cante de las Minas and Lo Ferro, which are still prudent for their next editions.
This tense wait has also led to the month of August remaining fallow for the moment and practically free of dates, although in September the activity is resumed: Ana Torroja will be at the Artillery Barracks on the 10th and Raphael will perform in the Plaza de Bulls on the 25th, and although launching the bells to the flight with the virus still swarming would be reckless, even the most pessimistic consider the last four-month period of 2021 as a ‘safe’ window for the programming of cultural events. Although, as happens every year – and with the exception of some other show already programmed like that of India Martínez in El Batel on October 9, that of the Canadians Anvil in Garaje Beat on 15 and that of La Polla Records in the Artillery Barracks of the 23 of that same month -, it is still early to fill the autumn and winter agenda; now, one thing is certain: it will be loaded with live music, and Murcia and the entire Region are looking forward to it.
Oh, by the way, the warmers can rest assured: the new edition of the festival, with Vetusta Morla and Viva Sweden at the helm, seems guaranteed for the weekend of October 8 and 9.