Last weekend Cap Cana, Dominican Republic hosted more than 30,000 fans who came to revel for two days of music, food and art in an experience now called The Paradise Music Festival. Since seemingly everyone waited last minute to flock through the gates, let us tell you about all the great things you missed on if you were one of the late-arriving attendees, or if you missed out on the festival completely.
The Sunset 😎
Since you spent so much time putting two sets of outfits together, copped that new generation smartphone with razor sharp cameras and convinced that friend of yours who takes 90% of your Instagram photos to drive down to Cap-Cana, you might have missed out on two essential things. You didn’t come early enough to scout the best locations for photo taking opportunities and completely missed golden hour. Amateur and professional photogs often shoot at the first or last hour of sunlight when light is warmer and the skies glows beautifully, and Cap-Cana’s golden hours are hard to beat.
Don’t forget at night it’s hard to tell whether those are Reeboks o son Nike.
The Beloved Indie Acts ✌
If you only came to see the headlining acts, you probably missed out on impressive performances by local hosts Mula, Solo Fernandez and Leton Pé, whose live band featured Diego Raposo on the keyboard. The Paradise also featured live performances by some of Remezcla’s fave Latin-American acts Javiera Mena, Rawayanna, Monsieur Periné, Caleb Calloway, Trending Tropics and Los Walters who gave all their best to the modest crowds in front of them.
Indie acts are the stars of tomorrow, and also demand the same amount of fan-support as the well established acts up on stage. Your support is greatly appreciated by these artists who are out there giving it their all.
Vicente García reassured us with his performance that bachata and merengue will forever be a National Treasure of the Dominican Republic. The Live Stage turned into a dance floor where our bodies danced to the rhythm of la güira y la tambora in “Lomas de Cayenas,” “Candela,” “La Tambora,” “Ahi Ahi” and other fan favorites from his album repertoire.
The Food 🍔
Although it’s easy to get lost in the free food and drinks included in your resort package, one of the crowning achievements of the festival was the opportunity to sample some of the dishes from the people behind the Dominican Republic’s thriving food scene.
The Paradise brought together an impressive line up of food joints to satisfy pretty much any food craving by festival goers. Among our favorites was Chef Erik Malmsten’s latest venture into Nordic Japanese cuisine Okazu, where we had a couple of savory plates while taking shield from a sudden downpour. Other local favorites at the festival were Yokomo, O.Livia, Oveja Negra, Shaggys Shawarma and El Camion with their rendition of Dominican Chimi.
Compared to other festivals, the wait time at any given spot was minimal.
Elected Officials / Government Involvement
The big absentee throughout the weekend was the much-needed support from our local authorities in the development of DR’s local music festival industry. The ground work to build world class festivals has been done, but now it’s time for authorities to invest in the development of local festival properties. Festivals can help spark the economy by diversifying tourism offerings, creating more jobs, exposing local musicians to new audience and by helping the Dominican Republic build a reputation as the premiere cultural destination in the Caribbean. This effort of building a cultural hub could go hand in hand with the rebuilding of the nation’s branding.