Marissa Sariol-Clough is a student at James Madison University and an ISA Summer 2015 Featured Student Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Sevilla, Spain.
Ever wonder what it’s like to attend a music festival like Firefly in Spain? I was lucky enough to have that opportunity and even luckier that the festival was being held in my host city, Seville! Seville’s Territorios 2015 is considered an ‘International Music Festival’ and this was its eighteenth year in town. Last year, 2014, drew 34,000 people and this year was sure to be even more incredible.
Attending music festivals and concerts in the United States is one of my favorite summer activities so you could only imagine how excited I was to learn Territorios was only 45 minutes away. I found out about the festival through an email sent out by ISA, as they always suggest activities to attend during our free time.
The festival lasted two days and was surprisingly very affordable compared to American music festivals. For a one day pass, the ticket cost 25 euros and for two days 40 euros; what a bargain! Buying my ticket in Spain was very different than the ticket process in the United States. My friends and I simply went to a small, certified clothing shop in the middle of the city and asked to buy a ticket.
Earlier on, I compared Territorios to Firefly because it is very well known but truth be told, the festival was much smaller. It consisted of two stages with six artists on each stage, each day. For those who had never attended a music festival, it was a great way to break into the scene. The artists each had long set lists and played their hearts out to the audience, whether they understand the language or not. Which was one of the best parts about the festival. I was exposed to a reggae Bosnian group, Spanish rap, techno, rock, flamenco, and last but not least, American pop (The Ting Tings) and electronic dance music (Afrojack), to name a few genres.
In addition, there was a wide variety of food that was also reasonably priced! You could pay two euros for a taco or at most, five euros for a Kebab Andaluz. Andalusia is the region that Seville is located in and the food is amazing, a must-try when visiting the area! While studying abroad it is wise to be open to new experiences, food, and people. You will learn more and enjoy the visit immensely. I try to keep an open mind, so instead of getting a burger, fries, hot dog, or even pizza, I chose a Kebab Andaluz. I did not write down the exact ingredients but I do remember absolutely loving it and making a mental note to try it again.
One of the major differences I noticed about the international artists were their lyrics and stances on major political issues. Calle 13, one of the headliners from Saturday night, is known for their involvement in the Puerto Rican Independence movement and they sang many songs expressing their feelings. Calle 13, along with Dubioza Koletkiv addressed issues in both their home countries and others. Although I could not understand all the lyrics, it was clear they were passionate about their music and determined to put on a great show.
The language barrier can be an obstacle while abroad but it will ultimately benefit you to learn the language and the locals will definitely appreciate the effort. Small scale or not, Territorios was a weekend to remember that made a lasting impression on me and was an overall great experience for music lovers everywhere!
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