Access All Areas June 2019 - Page 34

JUNE | OPINION What sets RFM SOMNII apart? Somnii means dream in Latin and the name says it all. It’s like a treasure that was hidden from the international audience so far. The combination is unique: the relaxed, friendly and welcoming atmosphere of Portugal combined with some of the biggest stars of the world, playing their gigs on a beautiful beach. Why do you think Portugal is becoming a hot spot for the modern day festival? We think the modern festival is not ‘just’ a musical attraction, it’s more like an opportunity of leaving the everyday life behind for a few days, looking for new experiences in as many aspects as possible. So, there’s a close connection with tourism. More and more fans are ready to travel hundreds (even thousands) of kilometres for a new festival experience and Portugal is definitely an exciting destination. It is one of the most sought after countries in Europe nowadays. Beautiful landscape, easy to reach, cities full of history, while there’s plenty of sun, fair prices and a generally relaxed and welcoming host nation. We are aware of all these comparative advantages and try to build upon them with RFM SOMNII. What are the challenges putting on a beach festival? It is always a challenge to build facilities Partying in Portugal Access meets Pedro Abelha the festival director of RFM SOMNII, which takes place 5-7 July, in Praia do Relógio, Figueira da Foz on sand, especially with the massive size of RFM SOMNII. Our main stages are on a beach with a direct sea connection, so this brings lots of challenges for our infrastructure, but that’s also the price of being a special event. We are hosting hundreds of thousands of people for three full days and our primary concern is that they are safe, while enjoying themselves as much as possible. And of course we want to make sure we preserve our natural location as much as possible. Luckily we have lots of experience doing this, so we’re confident that we can do a good job also this year. How are you improving your methods? We’re specialists in building these kind of events and we improve year-by-year. The idea is simple: we want to provide more and more attractions on site to make people have an enjoyable stay. Of course this is not easy, but 2019 will see already the 7th edition of RFM SOMNII, while our company also runs other events across Portugal. This year we’ve added new stages and program venues both at the beach and in our host city, Figueira da Foz. We’ve also introduced our new beach camping with pre-pitched and very eco- friendly cardboard tents. RFM SOMNII is definitely improving and now – more than ever – it also reaches out towards the international fans. What particular challenges do beach festivals face? Maybe the first idea you would 34 normally get when talking about a beach festival is the potential challenge created by the changeable weather. Like all event organisers, of course we’re keeping our fingers crossed, but our experience so far is very positive also in this sense. We have the luck of having the best weather in Europe in those days and this year we’re also counting on a great edition, also weather-wise. Are there different environmental impacts or concerns? This is all about learning and improving steadily. We have, every year, a great campaign of environmental awareness during the days of the event. This year we are switching to reusable cups, used exclusively at the whole event. In our case this is quite a challenge, since our 2019 program venues range from the beach all the way to the whole city of Figueira da Foz. But we will make a great job, I can promise that. Do they require a lot more planning and staging? I’d imagine it’s difficult to get a lot of trucks and vehicles in and out It’s a complex project of logistics but at the same time very clean. The day we finish one edition we start working in the next one, to improve and to give the fans the best experience of their lives. We work closely with our host city and this has been a really happy ‘marriage’ so far, so we’re confident that it will last long. Read the full article at accessaa.co.uk