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Guitar fest promises plenty of weekend fun

presentacio festivalToday at half past noon in the courtyard of Formentera's artistic centre, organisers unveiled details behind Guitarres de Formentera, a homegrown festival dedicated to all things guitars that turns eight this September. On hand at the Centre Gabrielet for the press conference were Ekkehard “Eki” Hoffman, chair of the event, Damian Soto, who sits on the festival's organising board, and Susana Labrador, the administration's councillor in charge of culture.

Guitarres de Formentera is a festival of blues, jazz and rock music that will take place this weekend in Sant Ferran. The event has become a mainstay on the island's musical calendar, and is put on by the association that Hoffman, himself a musician, founded and continues to front.

The event's 2016 programme of music-themed activities will unfold over two evenings, September 16-17, 10.00pm to 4.00am in the Sant Ferran square. Crowds will see performances from Blues Màfia i es Saligardos, Matthias Baumgarth Band, Kelly&The Jam Factory, Ras Smaïla, Chimichurri, Litus, Sirjo Cocchi Songbook and The Frigolos. Then, from 6.00 to 9.00pm on Sunday, September 18, the Sant Ferran restaurant Sa Panxa will be the scene of a special closing performance by Els Perillosos Gentlemen. Jam sessions will crown the programme all three days.

On cultural tour, a stop at Formentera

Foto visita actefIn an announcement issued this morning by the Office of Culture, the Formentera Council reported that participants of ACTEF, an Eivissa/Formentera gifted students programme, had made a cultural visit to the island as part of an initiative called Erasmus +. After a first stop at Formentera's ethnological museum, the students visited several other local heritage sites, like the dry docks of Es Caló de Sant Agustí and la Mola's “old windmill” (el Molí Vell). The Council contributed logistical support and coordinated transport for the group.

On the island and in concert: Manel

manel 1The Formentera Council Office of Culture has announced a fast-approaching concert from music group Manel. The band is scheduled to perform in the Sant Ferran square (plaça de l'Església) this Sunday September 4 at ten in the evening. Having topped the charts with hits penned in Catalan, Manel will plug their latest disc, Jo competeixo, and give a run-through of their most beloved songs from the past.

Unlike the group's first three albums, recorded in strict intimacy, the fourth offering from the Barcelona foursome marks their first experience working with a producer, North American Jake Aron. Besides collaborating with artists like Grizzly Bear, Jamie Lidell, tUnE-yArDs and Chairlift, Aron also produced rapper Le1f's debut effort.

When Guillem Gisbert, Roger Padilla, Martí Maymó and Arnau Vallvé take to the stage in Sant Ferran, there is little doubt about their ability to shake up the Formentera crowd. The show, from one of the most celebrated names in Catalan-language music in particular —and in Spanish music more generally—, will be free.

Formentera jumps on board push for sensible drinking

AF Infodrogues CARTELL 2016The Formentera Council has signed on to the campaign No siguis ase. Beu amb responsabilitat (Don't be dumb. Drink responsibly), part of the regional plan on addiction and drug dependency that is implemented by the Balearic Islands' bureau of public health and community involvement.

The bid is aimed at sending a preventive, risk-reducing message to 18-and-up youth who, now on summer holiday, might find themselves deciding whether or not to consume alcohol during the season's many festive occasions and holidays.

The CiF's Office of Culture and Local Holidays will push the No siguis ase campaign among associations that operate drink stands at the Sant Jaume patron saint festivities and other summertime events. The Council will also post information about the campaign on its website.

Another project, Formentera Marxa, which is being driven by the CiF youth services office, aims to educate young residents about the dangers associated with drug and alcohol abuse via information booths at the most well-attended local functions. Booths will also be stocked with graphic material created for the campaign.

Seniors get collective nod with Formentera's gold medal honour

ple distincions 2016Earlier today CiF councillors convened in a one-off plenary that was aimed at choosing recipients of the Council's series of honorary accolades. Councillors selected winners of the Medalla d'Or, Premis Sant Jaume 2016, and the Fill Adoptiu, a title awarded yearly to Formentera's so-called “adoptive child”. The prizes will be handed out next Sunday, July 24, as part of the city's commemorative act marking the Diada de Formentera. The ceremony gets under way at 8.00pm in the cinema.

Members of the plenary agreed unanimously to award Formentera's golden honour to elderly residents of the island. The Medalla d'Or is a commendation for Formentera seniors' actively disseminating and protecting intangible homegrown cultural traditions through participation in a year-long schedule of activities.

Premis Sant Jaume
The Sant Jaume prize this year goes to Ràdio Illa, and is a nod to the thirty years of work carried out by everyone who participated in creating the island's first radio station, in 1986. In a process where young people were the key players, Ràdio Illa become a trusted source for news, culture and entertainment.

An additional Premi Sant Jaume will be awarded to Can Jeroni bakery in recognition for more than eighty years of service. Passed down from generation to generation, the family business continues today, and workers use traditional craft methods to produce the bread, desserts and sweets that make up part of the island's gastronomy.

The third Premi Sant Jaume will go to Fòrum per la memòria d'Eivissa i Formentera, a forum to protect historical memory. An intensely dedicated and volunteer-based operation, the forum exists to defend the memory of all those that were violently persecuted for ideological, political or religious reasons and victims of the Spanish Civil War under Franco. It is aimed at working towards reconciliation, understanding and justice, as well as respecting pluralism and a peaceful defence of ideas.

Fill adoptiu
Plenary members agreed to bestow the honour of adoptive son (fill adoptiu) on Jacques Leon Laurent (Belgium, 1930). The distinction is a salute to Laurent's pioneering work, both bringing sailing and windsurfing to Formentera, and promoting the sports long term, by organising sporting events that are important still today, like the Volta a Formentera windsurf competition. Laurent is recognised as having planted the seed of dedicated practice among many of those that form the sport's local elite today.

The prizes the Council awards are meant to provide public recognition of noble acts that are an asset for the local community. The Council values individuals and groups that have endeavoured to protect the traditions, interests and identity of Formentera's people.

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