A Tai Chi workshop is among events organised at the Festival Arte Sano. :: SUR
The organisers of the eighth ‘Festival Arte Sano’ are preparing for a weekend of activities, art, music and exhibitions on the beach in San Pedro, with street theatre performances added to the programme for the first time.
As well as music and dance stages, the festival venue alongside the main promenade in San Pedro will also offer a market of handmade, organic and natural products, in addition to features like a ten metre long kaleidoscope, a salsa dance area and a ‘chilled zone’ for refreshments and relaxing.
“The venue is perfect as we are right on the beach but the seafront gardens add a whole other element to some the activities,” says Phil Speirs from Coín, who arranges the festival with two friends from San Pedro.
Although the event is built around the market stalls and exhibition stands, Phil says that the festival is also known for its mixture of ecological ideas, holistic healing and promoting a healthy lifestyle, as well as the free concerts and shows that take place over the two days of the event.
Phil explains, “We have a mix of music, with an emphasis on World Music because it fits well with the festival atmosphere and we think there is not always enough of that kind of music available here on the coast.”
Another feature of the event is that the food and drinks on offer are almost entirely vegetarian. “It is important to me that we are running a successful festival that is almost 100 per cent vegetarian,” says Phil.
New to Arte Sano this year is the street theatre element. “We wanted to do this for a while so this year we have some performers coming along. It should add a ‘Covent Garden’ feel to the festival,” Phil tells SUR in English.
With around 6,000 people expected to attend the event over the 26th and 27th July, the organisers say visitors to the festival come from three main groups. Phil says, “We have our traditional festival supporters, many of whom come from inland areas of Andalucía for the event. Then there are the people who live and work in San Pedro and the surrounding areas. This is an important local event for the town and where we can, we try to promote local businesses and performers.” Finally, says Phil, there are the visitors and holiday makers who are drawn by the activities, the music, the dancing and the colourful market.
Apart from a few children’s workshops, most of the 150 plus activities, concerts, classes, salsa and other dance demonstrations and all of the entertainment over the course of the festival are free. “The festival is funded by the stallholders taking part in the market, although we are always looking for sponsors too,” says Phil.