The fifth Weekend Beach festival closed in the early hours of Sunday morning reporting record ticket sales with 140,000 people attending over the four days and 38,000 attendees on average per day. "It has been another successful, incident-free year," said organisers, who have already promised that the festival will be back next year.
The fifth anniversary got under way on Wednesday afternoon as thousands of 'Weekers' started to descend on Torre del Mar and pitched their tents on the campsite behind the main festival ground. The beach to the west of the town rapidly filled up with festival goers waiting for the opening night to start.
More arrived on Thursday, one of the biggest nights of the event, with American alternative rock band The Offspring headlining the main stage. While hits such as Pretty Fly and Get a Job may have been more memorable to people over the age of 35, the band attracted one of the biggest crowds of the festival, which is popular among all generations.
Jamaican reggae group, Inner Circle also proved popular – the first of a number of international reggae bands, a mainstay music genre of the festival, which in previous years has seen the likes of Damian Marley and Alborosie, the latter returning to the festival this year after appearances in previous years.
Friday night has always been the big one at the festival and this year was no exception, with David Guetta getting undoubtedly the biggest reaction of the weekend. He told revellers that this was “madder than Ibiza” as he mixed his own music including Titanium and When Love Takes Over with tracks such as The Cranberries’ Zombie and others.
Friday night’s other highlights included Macaco, who was performing for the second time in the festival’s history and best known for his hit, Moving, as well as popular Spanish singer, Izal, who mesmerised fans with his outstanding voice.
Another highlight for some on Friday was the appearance of Guatemalan DJ, Meneo, who stripped naked during his set on the Faro de Torre del Mar stage just outside the festival ground. According to festival organisers, Meneo has done so on a number of occasions before as part of his set and no complaints were filed after his ‘show’ on Friday, which led to videos going viral following his performance.
Saturday night was a more relaxed affair with Asian Dub Foundation mixing Bangra sounds with alternative rock. Enrique Bunbury headlined the main stage and Jimmy Cliff was the last big international name to perform, animating the crowd, already tired after four days of partying, but with just enough energy to join in with some of reggae’s most famous songs including Reggae Night, You Can Get it if You Really Want, Hakuna Matata from The Lion King and I Can See Clearly Now.
Françoise Rajewski (41) and her husband Jérôme Duquene (39), who are originally from France and Belgium respectively but live in Jaén province, were staying with friends in Torre del Mar specifically for the festival and particularly wanted to see The Offspring. “It was great to have the opportunity to have this kind of cultural experience and I especially wanted to see The Offspring as it reminded me of my youth,” said Jérôme, while Françoise said that she liked that the festival was on the beach and that there were different stages with a big variety of music.
Tom Hurst, 21, had travelled from England to visit his family who live in the Torre del Mar area and had timed his visit to coincide with the festival. “It’s great to come and see my sister and mum and be able to come to the Weekend Beach at the same time,” he said.
Despite different rumours circulating that this was to be the last Weekend Beach festival due to planned development on the site and that current organisers, Realidad Eventos S.L., would have to compete for the contract during a tender process for next year’s event, they have already issued a press release promising that the festival will be back in Torre del Mar in 2019.