The DAU Festival director is Barcelona's Oriol Comas, creator and expert in board games. Passionate about games, since 1999 he’s professionally dedicated to convince us that playing is an advanced form of culture.
What’s new in this fourth edition of the festival?
This year we want to grow even a little more. In fact, last year we went from making a board game festival to one which accommodated all kinds of games. We incorporate, for example, traditional games or role. Following this line, we have decided that this year the festival should extend outside the walls of Fabra i Coats. We’ll have also the Neighborhood’s Manor, The Bota room and outdoor tents. In addition to this, there’ll be traditional game activities in different places of the district of Sant Andreu. We’ll also use the Canódromo and its square for more activities. In fact, we’lll install a gaming machine there called Guixot 8, which is one of the most creative and fun proposals we have in the country. It’s an initiative of a group of Manlleu that make gaming machines from waste material. And finally, the DAU will also travel this year to the Born Cultural Centre, where we’ll install historical and miniature games.
What is the reason for this space expansion?
DAU Barcelona has its heart in Fabra i Coats but we have always been clear that it’s a festival to make the whole city play.
For the citizens who have never been to the DAU, what are the dynamics and functioning of the festival?
It's very simple. Come in, sit and play. This isn’t a fair. Therefore, there’s no stands, only very large spaces filled with tables and in each one with people who will explain the rules. There’ll be over 200 games. The objective of DAU is to bring the games and citizens and families of Barcelona closer together.
So, the festival wants to reclaim the pleasure of playing.
Yes. Playing games is an activity that mankind has been doing for 5,000 years, but it’s true that we live in an era in which we’re always working, we always ran everywhere and sometimes we forget to play. But we think that games is very different from other cultural activity and that we must reclaim it. In games you are the protagonist. The only barrier is that first you have to study the rules and that can seem hard to us because we are used to doing things instantly. Thus, the DAU festival is an ideal place to lose that "laziness".
But that's not all, there’s also more activities at DAU.
Yes. For example, the night of 12th to the 13th we’ll open Fabra i Coats all night so that people can play all they want. Last year this initiative was a big success. In addition, we’ve organized a chess championship, we celebrate a big game of role, there is a space for Scrabble and one of football buttons, a stage for Escape Rooms, an area specifically for children’s games, an african games area, an asian one and much more else.
And also you have the presence of authors.
In fact, there’s an area for games that don’t yet exist. We invite authors to present their projects to all the great catalan and spanish publishing companies. And obviously we will have great authors presenting their games at the festival, for example, Roberto Fraga and Alessio Cavatore.
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