JEST Barcelona – a Joyous Entertaining Sensory Theatrical launch
I knew we had made it when I saw a 6ft4 stunning drag queen dressed to the nines in vintage circus standing in our window holding an umbrella next to an equally magnificent reincarnation of Groucho Marx’s famous character, Captain Spaulding.
The name of the game was JEST. A theme chosen purposely to give a platform for all of the creativity, colour and fantasy originating from Barcelona. Once again, we were overly ambitious in our choice of theme but it paid off. We worked our tails off but managed to pull off an incredible event with some of the best contributors Generator has yet to work with, not to mention the opportunity for the incredible crew of Generator Barcelona to show what they are made of. Made of awesomeness that’s what.
Let us begin…..
As this was the opening event of our newest design-led hostel we wanted to ensure we didn’t mask the design with decoration so we chose to create the vibe of a circus through mapping. Working with a company called Blowfactory who used many high powered projectors to map animated visuals across our whole lobby. Examples included vintage circus patterns and illustrations, including one reindeer-headed trapeze artist. Thanks Paula and your lovely team!
In addition to Blowfactory we worked with another local company, Twisted Circus who brought in a number of original circus installations. Including giant clown heads, two motorised puppets and a full lit sideshow booth. Cheers Matt – we finally found the right place for the clowns!
Then, of course, we had our incredible performers. We were honoured by performers from both London and Barcelona. Chivaree Circus came from London town to grace us with an aerial hoop performance by Lilly Raptor and giant clown antics from Ed Goslingo. They were followed by the absolutely unforgettable performance by Barcelona locals Proyecto Otradnoie which involved an 8 minute routine where Ingrid suspended by only her hair captivated us with a beautiful performance to a live electric guitar.
THE MUSIC was absolutely unbelievable. We had two main areas, Cagliari’s Bar which saw DJ Cabaret solidly pump out an incredible selection of Balkan beats, electro swing, be bop, funk and even some soul. He was followed up by Spanish street artist, producer and DJ, Roberto (aka DJ Imperial) who finished the night with some hip hop, chillstep, electro and grime.
At 10 we were beckoned down to the black cat basement by the animalistic swagger of the brass section of our first band, The Gentle Mystics. Truly a combination of genius and lunacy these cats are like no ensemble you have ever seen before. A 9-PIECE strong band mixing dub, hip-hop and every instrument and inspiration under the sun to create their own special bounctastic sound. Including Noémie as singer / keyboard, Eliane as MC, Harky causing mischief on his tomato tin drums add one massive brass section and you have a killer sound with one mighty bouncing bassline! Admittedly I do feel sorry for their sound guy Greg – 9 piece band – holy moley!
Next up was our truly unique sounding headline act, Molotov Jukebox. Super high energy with loads personality Molotov Jukebox have been tearing apart the festival scene for the past couple years. They are completely mad but wow have they defined an awesome style, a mixture between ska, dub, dubstep, samba and more, you are never short of some skanking beats and a high tempo performance. They even debuted one of their new songs and announced the release of their debut album next year! We love you Molotov. Come back soon.
Admittedly when I got the chance to meet our first DJ the day before I turned into the equivalent of a teenage twilight fan. Having spent the past couple months prowling through Pablo Bolivars back catalogue I was so excited to meet the man who produced such deep tunes! He didn’t let us down, he managed the transition from gypsy mayhem to sexy house like a boss. Beautiful set! Thank you.
Last but certainly not least was Barcelona legend Iñaqui Marin. Presenting a style different from his usual signature he blew us away with some electro funk, soul and more to create one heady heady mix. What a way to end the night! To find out more, check out our JEST line-up and our Facebook gallery.