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Deia 19 Festival de las artes: celebrating a success story and looking forward to the futureOctober 19, 2019

Deia 19, which took place between 11 and 13 October brought the village together to an extraordinary and heartwarming extent. It also attracted many visitors who came to celebrate the village’s unique art and culture. Now, the big question is where do we go from here? I spoke to Jackie Waldren and Oona Lind Napier, long-time village residents, who organized Deia 19 to find out how it went and what the future for the festival might look like.


It was marvellous. Worth the effort, every bit of it. We never expected the level of enjoyment people would get out of even simple things, from the local baker demonstrating how to make an ensaimada to the paella at Can Fusimany, in that gorgeous setting, which rounded everything off.

My two big projects within the whole event were the tertulia on the subject of Balearic literature, sponsored by Es Moli that took place at their restaurant Can Quet – Es Moli were wonderful throughout and we can’t thank them enough – and the fashion show at Belmond La Residencia on the Sunday.

The tertulia was kind of mind-stretching. Various poets and academics discussed Deià, the Balearics and identity. It was lovely. One of the poets talked about Ramon Llull’s love of God and the school he created at Miramar. At the end of the tertulia, Patricia, the daughter of poet Claríbel Alegría, who lived in Deià for many years, read her mother’s poetry.

We went from the love of God to the love of poetics to love of another, which is what it was all about. It was perfect.

The fashion show at Belmond La Residencia was partly inspired by Orsola de Castro, who’s had a house in Deià for many years. She’s a prime mover in the fashion industry when it comes to recycling and upcycling. We had a five-day workshop for the children with nine sewing machines and 20 mothers helping. We adapted clothes, found stuff in our wardrobes and scoured charity shops. It was such fun learning how to recreate the world and have fun, absolutely divine.

Designer Sybilla Serondo was able to give us a day of her time. She showed the kids how to drape fabrics and so on. A wonderful woman named Yasmin, a stylist from England, volunteered her time to help me organize the planning and everything.

The fashion show showed how art and environmental awareness can come together, which may have helped set the theme for next year.

We have to thank Nina Hudson, our amazing administrator, who entered into every aspect of the festival and can now organize events perfectly, I’m sure.

Jeannine Müller, Marketing and PR Manager, Es Moli hotel

I heard nothing but really positive feedback from our guests.  It would be a great pleasure for us to be part of the next festival.

Jane, AKA DJ Funk Boutique, musician, songwriter and sound engineer

I DJ’d at the fashion show on the lawn at Belmond La Residencia Hotel. I played a mixture of classic rock and funk from the 1960s through to present day classics because this was a multi-generational event. I feel that the event brought our community even closer together. At Can Fusimany on Sunday, I took part in the closing set. I performed my own music for an hour, produced in my recording studio in Deià. I also performed alongside some inspirational musicians. We got the whole crowd up dancing, which was the perfect ending to such a spectacular weekend. The ancient courtyard at Can Fusimany is the most spectacular setting for a live performance.

Hanna Bornebusch, PR Manager Belmond La Residencia

The fashion show really was a colourful event with a cheerful, happy atmosphere and many more people than we expected. I’m delighted that it was such a great success for Deia 19 which, of course, we were delighted to support.


It went brilliantly, consistently better than I’d expected. To give you just one example, we were only expecting 80 for the paella and 100 came. We simply underestimated the demand and enthusiasm. This made us struggle a bit sometimes, but Nina was amazing and friends came through and helped, which was great.

People loved the art shows. We sold four works of art at the exhibition in Can Fusimany and that doesn’t happen too often. The artists were delighted. I was surprised how much people also loved the poetry and prose. They were completely hypnotized and happy to see so much creativity.

The music was a great success. When my son Leo played the room was so jammed it was impossible to move. People ended up jumping up and down. Teresa Tudury, the comedian and vocalist, did some songs with Hugo as well as three or four with Tomás and Gus on the Sunday. She was brilliant.

Sadly, the much-anticipated Sex Beatles reunion didn’t happen for family reasons. But the other musicians pulled something great together and did their own music.

Looking forward to next year, we’d really like to do something that’s more science and sustainability based and not so much about arts and culture. We’re great at arts and culture but we’ve really got to learn how things are going to work without the community falling apart. So, it will be about how we solve our problems and save our village bit by bit. I asked for people to help us and 12 or so signed up right away. People were very enthused by seeing Deià as a community coming together.

This was another wonderful thing about Deia 19. I saw a bunch of new faces I’d never seen before, homeowners. They were all saying ‘Yes, we want to help but we didn’t know how to. The reason they come in the first place has a lot to do with the vibe, the lovely warm feeling they discover. So many want to be artists, open up their creative chakras. Our job is to embrace them but also educate them as to what the village really is all about.

Daniel, Deià musician

Deia 19 was magical for me because it gave me the opportunity to connect with the spirit of the village and the amazing people it attracts as well as enjoy other people’s music. I was able to share my passion for sound and light therapy by doing sound healing in a chapel and projecting my video art onto ancient architecture. It was wonderful to generate more interest in my creative passions, which people can appreciate here.

Maria Garde, Ida Carlsson and Andreas of Charles Marlow

Maria: We switched around all the artwork in the office, which felt really great and very refreshing. I’m excited to see what next year will bring.

Ida: A couple of people said that we had one of the most interesting exhibitions in the village. The overall reaction was that people loved that we were supporting the festival in such a direct way. Some of the artists popped in and they were extremely happy.

Andreas: In general, the feedback was very positive, and people seemed to enjoy the vibe. We had cava, rosé and snacks, and many came in to have a look due to our position on the main street.

The photos on this page are from the Deia 19 Facebook page and the Charles Marlow FB page, if you’d like to relive the experience or see what you missed.

It was marvellous. Worth the effort, every bit of it!

Jackie and Oona

David Holzer

A freelance writer for many years, David is the author of a number of books and magazine articles, mainly on the subjects of the Beat writers and yoga. He is fascinated by the remarkably rich cultural history of Deia, from Robert Graves to the present day.

David also teaches yoga for writers.

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