Rock and roll fans from all over Europe, the USA and Latin America came together in Torremolinos last weekend to celebrate the coveted Rockin Race Jamboree, the most important rockabilly gathering in Europe. The festival was celebrating its 25th edition and organisers had pulled out all the stops to ensure that the silver anniversary was an extra special occasion.
Nominated for ‘best music festival’ at last year’s Ameripolitan Music Awards in Memphis, the four-day event presented 30 bands and solo performers from 11 countries. This year’s line-up included The Planet Rockers (Nashville), Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang (UK) and Mike Bell and the Belltones (Finland).
More than 5,000 people visited the festival, which presented rock and roll, swing, rockabilly and beat music. The concerts were held in various locations in Torremolinos, including the Municipal Auditorium and the Hotel Barracuda.
The highlight of the festival took place on the beach front in Bajondillo on Saturday, when revellers enjoyed an afternoon of live music, and ‘The Dash’, a vintage car parade. The 200 metre dash showcased around 20 classic cars, which included Buicks, Cobras, Cadillacs and station wagons, all of which, predated 1965. There was also a collection of 1920s Ford T Roadsters from the Malaga Automobile Museum.
Hundreds of music fans, many dressed in classic '50s style attire, demonstrated their skill with the bop and the jitterbug to the sounds of the Spanish rockers, Los Torontos, and the celebrated American singer, Mitch Polzak. Polzak is renowned for his southern style rock and roll and he had travelled to Spain especially for the gig, his first in the country. He told SUR in English of his joy at performing at the festival, saying, “I feel fortunate and so grateful to be in a town where people respond so well to music that is played from the heart: it’s been a wonderful experience and I will definitely return.”
The music moved to the main auditorium on Saturday night, where the party continued until 5am. The festival finished on Sunday, with an open air concert staged in the Plaza del Remo, followed by a poolside party in the Hotel Barracuda.