An international festival brings together urban sport and culture in Bilbao

Alberto Larrucea, Iratxe Erroteta and Lorea Bilbao present the festival accompanied by artists and athletes. / Jordi Alemany

The Pil Pil will take place at the end of June in Etxebarria Park supported by O Marisquiño, the largest event in southern Europe

Alba Carcamo

A rope 130 meters long and 20 meters high. A person tests their balance by stepping on it. It’s slacklining. And you can see it at the Pil Pil Urban Culture & Action Sports Festival, the first large-format international event that brings together urban sports, culture and gastronomy in Bilbao. The event, organized by Innevento with the support of Bilbao City Council, the Provincial Council, the Water Consortium and the Hazi Foundation, will open in Etxebarria Park on the weekend of June 24, 25 and 26 and is based on O Marisquiño, which has established itself over the past two decades as the biggest event of its kind in southern Europe.

The organizers wanted to keep the essence of the Vigo festival in the name and that is why something that identifies us as “the pil pil and its movement” was highlighted, explained Alberto Larrucea, head of Innevento, in the presentation of the program, in which he was accompanied by the councilor for youth and sports, Itxaso Erroteta; the Deputy for Basque, Culture and Sports, Lorea Bilbao; and some of the athletes and musicians who participated in the preparation of the festival.

Larrucea highlighted basketball as one of the two “priority” disciplines in the sport. Hand in hand with the Vizcaya federation will be held the Bizkaia 3×3 Pil Pil Cup, betting on “street basketball” and whose qualifications will take place throughout the month of May in Bilbao, Barakaldo, Amorebieta and Getxo. There will also be an international version of the championship, organized by FIBA, and another for children. The other modality that will be highlighted will be skateboarding, with a Basque tournament and foreign personalities.

A breakdance area, which will be an Olympic sport in Paris 2024, another area dedicated to parkour and a calisthenics area concentrate sports activities, which will be distributed in different parts of the park where, in addition to tournaments and exhibitions, there are will have to be workshops. “It’s an ideal place for an innovative, young and healthy event. Sport is synonymous with health and Bilbao is an open-air gymnasium,” Erroteta commented.

Concerts and gastronomy

But urban culture goes beyond physical exercise. Art will be present through a space dedicated to graffiti and a market for creators. In parallel, there will be a Heineken terrace on the ground, and different samples of local gastronomy by Hazi, a Basque government foundation that works on food development.

The nights from the 24th to the 25th will sound urban rhythms behind the hearth. The first night will feature rapper Ben Santana and Nikotina, a Basque reggae and dancehall band. On Saturday, Laina, the group Silitia and Kulto Kultibo, a group with a solid track record on the national rap scene, will take over. The Innevento manager clarified that “these are artists who stand out on the local scene”, some of them taking part in the Villa Sound Bilbao Fest and the Gaztea demo contest.

The event, which is committed to “sustainable growth over the next few years”, has advanced since the organization, is aimed at all audiences despite the fact that the weight will be borne by young people. “It’s for them. But not just for young people, also for those who feel young and for those who like to enjoy what young people are doing, ”said Lorea Bilbao, who insisted that he s are activities that contribute to “having a good quality of life, cohesion, coexistence and something that we now need as much as generating pleasure and fun”.


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