The Love Festival has it all. Gorgeous location, island paradise, friendly denizens and five perfect days of play that culminate nightly in musical bliss. If you are blessed with wanderlust, you’ll need to add Aruba to your upcoming tour diary. Filled with sights and experiences that only an island can provide, now Aruba brings forth The Love Festival for year five of this growing brand.
Taking place November 1-5, you’ll find the promoters have absolutely rammed both day and night with festivities ranging from island excursions by 4×4, to pirate ship sailings into the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean and did I hear someone say pool parties? Hell yes there are, and with the idyllic backdrop of Aruba, how can you possibly go wrong? Simple. You can’t. Finally, after you have been kissed by the sun and danced on the sand by day, night will fall and the real fun will begin.
We recently caught up with Love Festival founder Omar Steve Lejeuz to get his take on this rising festival experience and the importance of destination travel for dance music.
What was your inspiration to start the Love Festival?
Many Festivals start with a plan. We did not; we were basically a beach party that kept on growing. Suddenly it became a serious Festival. But as they say, do what you love. We feel that it just happened and we are happy it did.
What makes Love festival unique?
We should adapt that question a bit… What makes Love Festival on Aruba unique? We are a European island in Latin America. We are Latin, American, European and Caribbean flavored. And we are authentic Aruban organizers. We have art, music and culture involved. For example, we even have Aruban Carnival Music and Reggae. We have many international DJ’s whom we love, but we also have many local artists and like I said, not because it is a business plan, this is who we are. Coming to Love Festival is a music vacation; if you don’t enjoy this vacay, you may personally slap me in my face. Hahaha
The festival is seems to have a heavy techno slant can you speak to this decision?
We love/are Electronic music but we have it all, Techno, Tech House, House, Carnival Music, Reggae Music, Aruban rap, Steelband, brassband and a House of Dolls stage. This stage is very artistic with shows. In other word a bit for everybody. We are very Coachella inspired but in a Caribbean way.
Aruba is known for its friendly people and clear waters. What else would you like people to know about the island?
Fun fact what many people don’t know is we are Dutch, which is why Electronic music is so popular on our island. Arubans are super laid back, nobody is in a hurry and being on time is unheard of. All this, and at the same time very modern. We call it small Miami.
What is the music scene like in Aruba?
Let me explain it like this: When we go to the supermarket, we have products in 4 languages; now imagine the music! Hahaha Like I said, the Aruban combo of Dutch/European, American, Latin, Caribbean and Aruban is very unique. This gives us a music advantage. Come to love and we will showcase this.
Are there any local artists that you think people should check out?
Absolutely! From the get go we have made it one of our objectives to showcase the local talent. Not just out of patriotism, but because we know what we’ve got here and how much people elsewhere would like it if they got a chance to hear them. I invite you to go by the Caribbean Stage and pay attention to the local legend ‘Ataniro’, super talented ‘Jeon’ or dance to the tropical rhythms from Tsunami or Le Groove. Our local heroes behind the mixers are all over the other stages, so check them out too. Think about it, really think about it. Love gives you a chance to really experience a super combo of super artist and Aruba.
You and your brother have put this festival together for 4 years; can you tell us how it has progressed over time?
Other than more people and companies more willing to work with us, it is the interest we are getting from abroad that stands out. From your average Joe, the lover of good music; to the renowned industry big names that also want to live the ‘Love’ experience and see for themselves what the buzz is all about. We are happy to see that despite the fact that the festival has grown exponentially, the same sweet positive feeling of love from the first year lingers. Once you go through the ‘Love’ gates, life is great, smiles abound and you are going to have an unforgettable time.
Anything you wish you had done differently?
Nah. No regrets. I just take the lessons and the positive out of everything.
How important is it that the island supports this festival?
It is not only crucial, but we would not do it if we did not have the support of the locals! Love is very simple, we have 2 missions. Good Music and showcase Aruba and Aruba is the people. We always try to work with as most local companies, professionals and talents as possible and it has worked just great. We also have a very important partner in the Aruba Tourism Authority that helps us to promote the festival and Aruba, as a destination, in the best way possible with a big reach. Ultimately, it is the whole island that carries the event and also benefits from it. Not only in the economic front from all the visitors we welcome from all continents, but also because the festival is an excellent platform to showcase to the world what this tiny island in the Caribbean is capable of.
Why should people travel in for Love Festival and what can they expect if they do?
People should travel, period. It is scientifically prove that wanderlust keeps us happier, more humble and productive. People should travel to Aruba for the Love Festival because 1. It is super easy, with direct flights from almost all over the world, 2. It is amazing (just go to any travel website or blog to see what others, who have already been here, have to say), 3. You are going to have the time of your life with no worries, no regrets; just a load of memories to take with you and enjoy for a lifetime. Expect a five days journey where music is the tie that bonds us all; with free minds and spirits with whom you can be who you want to be, at least at that moment; and a total feast for all the senses. I would absolutely go if i were you.
Any final thoughts?
Hope to see you all soon in Aruba for the warm up parties, the pool parties, and of course the festival nights at the Love Festival.
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