Forget lockdown, forget stay-at-home… for a few months this summer we can look forward to letting our hair down. We report on the top music festivals across Andalucía.
Article by Anastasia Sukhanova
Getting out of our quarantine bubbles and narrowed comfort zones might feel extremely anxiety-inducing this summer. Thankfully, we can take the edge off the anxiety by opting for outdoor events and open-air festivals.
Spain in general, and Andalucía in particular, offers a great selection of festivals that can fill up your summer schedule to the brim, without the need to ever be trapped within four walls. We report on the top 5 festivals across Andalucía, all of which have passed our crowd-anxiety-free test.
Starlite Music Festival, Marbella
July 11 – August 24
Starlite is the longest running boutique festival in Marbella. Every summer it offers almost two months of concerts, disco, music and gastronomy. The setting is beyond magical: the Starlite stage is carved into the slopes of Marbella’s La Concha mountain, creating a magical atmosphere under the stars and very special acoustics. This year, this also means it’s a perfect occasion to put your concert shoes back on while enjoying all the safety of an outdoor setting. While new performances are being constantly added to the line-up, you can already purchase your tickets to see the British folk rock band Passenger, Spanish sweetheart David Bisbal, the legends of local pop La Oreja de Van Gogh, eccentric violinist Art Malikian and an astonishing dance performance of “Swan Lake” by Irina Kolesnikova & St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre.
Chiclana de la Frontera Festival
July 9 – August 16
The Chiclana de la Frontera festival in Sancti Petri (Cádiz) is now in its fourth and biggest edition. Held in a seaside outdoor location, it offers a diverse line-up of mostly Spanish artists. If you’re a Freddie Mercury fan, the festival is your chance to catch God Save the Queen, an Argentine tribute band which turned into an international phenomenon after performances using the precise setlist, clothing, and stage antics Queen used in 1981. You can also turn the experience into a small adventure by adding a night away in Sancti Petri and waking up to its stunning beaches and delicious fresh tuna served at every chiringuito.
Granada Festival of Music and Dance
June 17 – July 18
This year the legendary festival, which has brought some of the world’s best musicians and dance performers to Granada, celebrates its 70th anniversary. Transforming the entire city into a feast of dance, chamber music and flamenco, the festival features performances hosted in churches, museums and a range of famous Granada landmarks. This event is a unique cultural feast! This year, the Carlos V Palace will welcome the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Paris Orchestra and the Granada City Orchestra. There will also be performances by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía at the Generalife Theatre, which is situated in the palace’s stunning gardens.
Flamenco Festival Trocadero, Sotogrande
June 11 – August 27
The festival presents a series of concerts in the popular Trocadero Beach Club and Restaurant, Sotogrande, showcasing such celebrated dancers, singers and guitarists as Diego El Cigala, Remedios Amaya and the legendary Malaga-born La Mari, the soloist of Chambao. Flamenco Festival Trocadero is an exceptional opportunity to see the award-winning Granada singer Estrella Morente, who is one of the leading singers of her generation. It will close on Friday, August 27 with a spectacular gypsy-style fiesta. Tickets are selling out fast so get yours soon!
Festival Cabo de Plata, Barbate
July 21 – July 24
With a short duration and a designated camping area, Cabo de Plata is a perfect occasion for a full-on festival experience. Held in the picturesque fishing village of Barbate (Cadiz), it spills out onto Playa de la Hierbabuena with a selection of over 60 artists that play reggae, flamenco fusion, rock and hip hop. Definitely on the less glamorous and more hippie end of the spectrum, the festival has held up its superb musical reputation for five years, making it a “good time guaranteed” kind of gathering.
Sister Sledge at the Marbella Arena
Not strictly a festival, but certainly a glittering all-star event you don’t want to miss! On July 30, the legendary Sister Sledge will bring back 70s disco like never before performing their most famous hits: Lost in Music, He’s the Greatest Dancer, Thinking of You, and the anthem We Are Family which was entered into the prestigious Library of Congress in 2017. Since they formed in 1971, the group has sold over 200 million discs, collected a few Grammys, performed for Pope Francis and at amazing venues the world over including Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, London’s Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury’s iconic Pyramid Stage.
Head over to the Rock Lounge website and book your tickets now!