The speed at which developing countries adopt global tastes for certain cultural, musical or artistic movements has become a recent intrigue of mine. The Internet, despite its unmatched power in creating collective knowledge and despite its role in the gradual democratization of both music and education, is still no match for people and their cultural traditions in certain villages of the world.
Fortunately for Nicaraguans, electronic music has proven over the past few years that it is here to stay, and it will continue to grow as the preferred form of musical expression in the post-1984 generations.
Magma Fest, the first two-day electronic music festival in Nicaragua, was created by DJs for music fans. The festival, which will be held Dec. 21-22 with the beautiful backdrop of Ometepe’s Hotel Charco Verde, looks to showcase the best of Central America’s electronic music scene, including the top cast of Nicaraguan DJs and Producers.
The beginnings of a movement
When compared to the global electronic music scene, Nicaragua can be considered a relative newcomer.
The movement started in Chicago and Detroit during the early ‘80s, and then exploded in the U.K. during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and became a global phenomenon by the turn of the century. Scenes develop and evolve at different rates in each country, even in Central America.
Tiësto, considered the electronic music scene’s most commercial and economically successful DJ, first played in Costa Rica in 2005. He went on to become the first big name to ever play in Nicaragua in March of 2011. Paul van Dyk, considered a Trance legend and another one of the most commercially successful artists in the scene, visited Costa Rica in January of 2006. It took him another six years to finally come to Nicaragua, in December of 2011.
Nowadays, electronic music reaches the masses through intermittent music concerts featuring internationally known, mainstream artists and also through radio stations constantly sounding diluted versions of electro pop. The effect of this approach leaves a commercially guided interest in electronic music, yet no sense of substance or meaning.
Fortunately, as some of the best things in life, quality electronic music is an acquired taste. It takes experienced ears to kick start enough of an interest in the different genres and possibilities found within electronic music.
This is where Magma Music comes into the picture.
The sonic explosion of volcanic beats
Magma Music was born out of creative need to move forward and evolve as local DJs in a small and fragmented yet slowly growing music scene.
A year ago, I had the unfortunate mishap of having my complete DJ setup stolen hours before the last event I had scheduled for 2011. Needless to say, it took more than a few months to recuperate, save up and start piecing together a comeback. While recovering from the setback, I began to meditate and rethink what should be the right approach to organically growing the electronic music scene through the collective effort of the most experienced, professional electronic music DJs in Nicaragua.
The ultimate vision was to share the music we all enjoy with as many electronically inclined listeners in the country as possible. Founding Magma Music seemed like a natural progression. As a collective of 22 DJs, Magma’s members were brought together by a passion for diverse, eclectic, forward-thinking electronic music. The collective has generated new energy in the form of collaborative creation: unique events, music productions, art designs and in this case, pioneering festivals.
As a collective, Magma DJs and Producers have opened up for Nica’s own DJ Craze as well as Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Armin Van Buuren, Steve Aoki, Chuckie, Steve Lawler, Dash Berlin, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Manuel de la Mare, Ministry of Sound and EMPO.
Magma Music currently has members living, studying, and working in Barcelona, Los Angeles, and Miami. But our roots are unequivocally traced to the land of volcanoes, and our musical tastes are manifestations of our different personalities. Our music is about connecting people and sharing forward-thinking concepts.
We aim to create positive energy that can motivate unity and respect among ourselves. We also believe that the positive energy of music can change things for the better. The mind’s capacity to grow evolves from curiosity and a genuine sense of adventure.
For many first-time locals and foreigners, Magma Fest offers an intriguing opportunity to explore one of the natural gems our country while partaking in a fun musical gathering. The festival represents an opportunity to explore a beautiful island, to rethink the future, and to re-ignite our ability as humans to come together and make some positive changes during uncertain times.
Magma Fest Essentials
Our Central American lineup pulls together Esteban Howell and Eric Prestinary from Costa Rica. They are both resident DJs at Club Vertigo, one of the leading clubs in Central America. Collectively they have opened for John Digweed, Carl Cox, Nic Fanciulli, Sander Kleinenberg, Hernan Cattaneo, Dubfire, Danny Howells, Steve Lawler, James Zabiela, Mauro Picotto, Felix da Housecat, Junkie XL, Jim Rivers, Nick Warren, Alex Niggemann, Alex Gaudino, Sandra Collins, Paul Oakenfold, Steve Lawler, James Lavelle from UNKLE and Gustavo Cerati’s side project Roken.
From Honduras, we have Ramon Pineda and Rafa Verdial. Part of the Legendary Sun Jam Festival crew, they have collectively shared the stage with Marco Carola, Paco Osuna, Troy Pierce, Lee Van Dowski, Ambivalent, Lee Burridge, Tony Rohr, Joseph Capriati, Francis Dávila, Luis Maier, Alexi Delano, Xpansul, Alex Under, Tim Xavier, Balto Pinto, Andrés Castaño,and Erik Prestinary.
Rounding up the Central America lineup, we have Chiru from Guatemala as well as Hector Moran and Klef from El Salvador. Collectively they have opened up for Benny Benassi, Soulclap, Paul Rich, Tom Sawyer, Andy Martin, Xpansul, Loud Neighbour, Kriss O´neil, Laurent Wolf, and Luis Maier.
The date Dec. 21 carries certain mysticism. Personally, I believe it is a symbolic opportunity to refresh our thinking and to start living in a more conscious way, mindful of our environment and of our fellow beings. Magma Fest represents a new way to celebrate life, its mysteries, its nature, its people and its music. You will get the chance to explore all of the island’s natural treasures and charms during the day, while enjoying some of Central America’s best electronic music through the night. There is just something special when you combine nature and electronic music.
Ometepe is the embodiment of a natural paradise with volcanoes, cascades, and beaches. All the elements have lined up. It is time to grow as a culture, to absorb new ideas, and open up to forward thinking music. See you at the Island of Ometepe!
- Thursday Dec. 20 Magma Fest Pre Party ( Free –No cover)
- Friday Dec. 21 Magma Fest Day 1
- Saturday Dec. 22 Magma Fest Day 2
- Sunday Dec. 23 Magma Fest After Party (Free –No cover)
The presale price for a two-day ticket is $20. You can camp at the event grounds all four days for a total of $5 per person. You can also find rooms ranging from $8-$40 a night. If you purchase your ticket at Tuya, you get free transportation from Managua to Ometepe.
For more information please visit our website
So live life like tomorrow is the end of the world. Be free, Be yourself.
ALFY is a Nicaraguan DJ who works on shifting mindsets through forward thinking music. He also works on finding ways to bring abouut positive changes through technology