Believe it. The stars’ arrivals have been confirmed, and at noon on April 1, the gates of Autódromo La Guácima racetrack in Alajuela, northwest of San José, will open to let in a flood of 40,000 qualityentertainment-starved spectators for a show unlike any that has ever lit up national stages.
And Festival Imperial will have plenty of lights to shine on the stages that for two days, from noon to midnight Saturday and from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, will shake under the feet of 10 big-name national and international bands.
Jamiroquai fans, take a deep breath. As part of a Latin American tour that will also take him to Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia, feather-footed space cowboy Jay Kay and his band will make a final stopover in San José to perform in the country for the very first time. Jamiroquai, known for its out-of-this-world shows, wrote and recorded a portion of its last album “Dynamite,” released in September 2005, in Costa Rica.
To crown the festival, British icon Sting will perform for the final concert Sunday night. The 52-year-old artist and activist, formerly lead singer of The Police, will perform again in Costa Rica, where he recently took a yoga vacation in the Southern Zone (TT, March 10). His last performance in the country was in 1994.
Other stars at the festival will include the popular Finnish rock band The Rasmus, famous for its hit song “In the Shadows,” and Mexican electronic sensation Belanova.
National rock bands Malpaís and Gandhi will also perform at the festival organized by Cervecería Costa Rica’s beer brand Imperial, according to Imperial trademark manager and festival spokesman Alejandro Vera.
“We’ve been working with this idea since last year, to introduce a type of festival that will set a new standard (in Costa Rica). It will be the highest standard of the 21st century,” he told The Tico Times.
The festival will certainly set a standard for nonstop action, with fire jugglers, acrobats, arts and crafts, and auto and fashion shows in between performances, according to a statement from Porter Novelli communications firm, media coordinator for the event.
Entrance fees range from ¢12,500 ($25) for general admission to ¢45,000 ($90) for “Deck Imperial,” though the latter has already sold out.
While every age group is welcome at the festival, only adults will have access to alcohol, and will be given bracelets upon entrance to identify them as legal consumers.
Each type of ticket will give festival goers access to an allotted parking area. In the interest of saving space, organizers recommend that people fill their cars to maximum capacity or take advantage of public transportation to La Guácima.
Firearms, knives, photo and video cameras, firecrackers, tents, barbecue grills, pets and long pointy umbrellas are banned from the festival, as are food and drink from outside (plenty will be offered at the event).
Tickets can be purchased online at www.specialticket.net, over the phone by calling 206-7776, or at 21 authorized points of sale throughout the country, including Häagen-Dazs ice cream shops, Bansbach music stores, and several Servimás service points.