The first ever Stoked In The Park just finished in El Molino campsite, a little to the south of Pamplona. The two-day music festival fulfilled its purpose of adding more to the city’s San Fermin celebrations, without detracting from the ancient traditions that annually draw 100s of 1000s of revellers from around Spain and the world. In an age where moral dilemmas turn us away from bull runs, Stoked In The Park sought to remind travellers that Pamplona is an amazing city and that San Fermin is one hell of a party.
This year’s Stoked in the park was headlined by Sydney’s Art Vs Science, as well as frontman Dan Mac’s side project The Swirly Train, and while reviews of those two acts are available on this website, it’s worthy while the memories are fresh to go over the events other goings on, to remind those present whose memories are understandably fuzzy, and to inspire interest in those who missed this year, but wouldn’t dream of doing the same next.
Over the two days Stoke in the park introduced travellers to upcoming acts from Australia, Spain, the UK, the USA, Brazil and New Zealand. The first day was rock heavy, starting off with the musical genius of Kiwi Pips, followed by the cocksure party swagger of Hiaground before Mesmeriser played into the late dusk with their psychedelic rock.
By the time Honey Hayze got onto stage the hot day had descended into a oftentimes violent rainstorm that had absolutely no effect on the crowds spirits. THe Hayze is a band of many members, and have a sound reminiscent of the Doors, mostly due to the frontman’s onstage mojo and Jim Morrison-esque roar. By the time he swilled an entire litre of beer the crowd was well and truly primed for Art Vs Science’s hit-and-banger laden set.
Day two started with the one man ska funk show that the fearless Paul The Kid brought to the Navarese fields, followed by Brazil’s The Filipes whose mastery of their craft got the afternoon crowd grooving with some truly international sounds. Following the bossa nova grooves the crowd enjoyed the technical wizardry of Barcelona’s Bonifrax, and the United States’ own David Read, two good friends who use samplers, instruments and their voices to create truly unique, highly appreciable sounds. Following the second days headliner in The Swirly Train we were treated to the tech house that floats DJ Semichub’s boat, with Maxy bringing it home for the animals who were able to go the distance.
We couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy Europe’s biggest cultural festivals than to be treated to world class music, for free, right where you sleep. This is a one-of-a-kind music festival within Europe’s biggest cultural festivals is a new way to travel, and nobody but Stoke goes to such lengths to make sure you have fun not only at the traditional event, but when you return to your campsite too.
Like always, Stoke Travel went the extra distance in providing more and charging less for the lucky travellers who took a chance on this new concept. For less than a stay anywhere else, travellers enjoyed twin share tents with mats and sleeping bags, or teepees for bigger groups, and glamping for those of us who are happy to splurge on something a little more comfortable.
All accommodation s were a simple stumble from the music stage, allowing revellers the unique opportunity to literally sleep where they party.
Included in the ticket price is a cooked breakfast and dinner, running the gamut from bacon and eggs and French toast, to paella and schnitzel burgers. In addition to the included food were homemade Aussie-style pies presented by Stoke Eats and Kontuz Manos, with all four flavours – beef, chicken, pork and vegetable – selling out within an hour of being presented on both days. Our Kitchen Party will be rolling onto all upcoming Stoke events, with Kontuz Manos pies available at La Tomatina and Oktoberfest, where they are expected to sell out just as swiftly.
The open and unlimited beer and sangria bar was absolutely taken advantage of between opening hours of 9am to 11pm. After dark and outside operating hours the campsite bars offered partiers the chance to buy something stronger well into the wee hours. One of the main points of difference with Stoked in the park is that for the majority of the day the bars flow freely, meaning that a major festival expense is avoided by taking the option of unlimited beer and sangria.
The Wheel Of Misfortune again confusingly proved to be a hit, with no shortage of victims queuing up for the chance to spin their way into public nudity, pouring beer on themselves or any of the other punishments that find their way on the wheel’s perimeter.
Yoga was popular, despite the oppressive Navarra heat, with many of the pretzel people opting for a splash in the river once their chakras were aligned. Tag rugby also went down on the sports fields, with the energetic competitors giving the hungover masses plenty to feel bad about.
Big Jakey from Stoke Eats gave a wonderful paella demonstration and wine tasting session, informing the assembled masses on Spanish cuisine and wines while pleasing their pallets and guts. The pool party was pretty chilled, but the beats and bar helped the dippers and foot danglers through what otherwise might have been a difficult few mornings. There was a wedding, although it probably wasn’t binding. Some punters took our air mattresses down the river. And Kanga the dog decided she didn’t like many people at all.
Stoked In The Park, London next May. Stoked In The Park, Pamplona, again, bigger and better. Stoked In The Park, Barcelona, for 2019. Can’t wait that long? We’ll be throwing elements of Stoked In The Park at our La Tomatina beachside camp, and Oktoberfest too, with most of the bands you loved at the first Stoked In The Park, Kontuz Manos pies, the Wheel of Misfortune, our legendary open bar, and every other thing we can do to get the party started before Europe’s biggest, best and most famous festivals.
See you everywhere!
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