Torre del Mar's Weekend Beach festival has once again put the town firmly on the musical map of Spain with an event that continues to exceed expectations. Thousands of ‘Weekers’ descended on the town on Wednesday with high expectations for this the sixth year. Not even the clouds and odd drop of rain on Saturday night dampened anyone’s spirits. The weather was still warm and the music outstanding.
As ever the festival was not only popular with Spaniards, but a number of local foreign residents are regulars at the annual event. Some of them even had friends to stay who had travelled from their home countries especially. Joy Smith, who has lived in the area for over a decade, had four friends to stay and other foreign residents also uploaded photos onto social media with friends who had also chosen the festival as a good excuse to visit the Axarquía.
Maddie Hjort, who is originally from Denmark but has lived in the town for 17 years said, "This is my sixth festival, so I have been every year. I don’t think the line-up was as good this year, but with the turnout the festival seems to have hit a home run. Well done mi pueblo!"
As well as an eclectic mix of international acts, the festival is a great opportunity to hear Spanish groups, from rock to pop and flamenco fusion; something that Ean Downes, who has lived in Torre del Mar for three years and has gone to the festival every year since he arrived, really enjoys. He goes with a group of Spanish friends he has made since he’s been here and says that for him, along with The Black Eyed Peas, Spanish acts Vetusta Morla and Fuel Fandango "gave the concerts of their lives".
The largest crowds gathered for one of Reggaeton’s biggest names at the moment, Ozuna, who performed on Thursday while Friday night drew Bob Marley fans to listen to the Original Wailers on the Victoria stage and fans of Spanish band, SKA-P were the headliners on the Brugal stage.
Black Eyed Peas
Saturday’s epic performance by The Black Eyed Peas filled the festival ground from the beginning as Will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo, were joined by singer, Jessica Reynoso, winner of the Philippines version of The Voice. From their entrance onto the main stage, albeit 40 minutes late, with Let’s Get the party started, to the most well-known of their singles, I Gotta a Feeling, at least the whole of the west end of Torre del Mar was bouncing. The band appeared in fluorescent yellow and black outfits with iconic smiley faces reminiscent of when they started out in the 1990s and the hashtag #benice on their clothes.
The Sunrise stage lived up to expectations as ever, with big names from the world of dance music like Dubfire, Chris Leibling and Laurent Garnier. The latter was the final act of the festival, welcoming in the sunrise in the early hours of Sunday morning with those who were determined to see the Weekend Beach out until the very end.
No festival it seems would be complete with a good dose of glitter and face jewels and this year, British company based in the area, Mystic Soul, were on hand to supply the shimmer!
The relaxed atmosphere, as ever, made the event and improvements to the sound meant that the whole town didn’t have to listen to four days of music if it didn’t want to, which has been a complaint on the past.
Organisers said on Monday that 150,000 people, or "Weekers", attended the festival and that the income into the town will have surpassed the one-million-euro mark, although a local joke is that the Mercadona supermarket, which is located right next door to the camping area is always the real financial winner of the weekend.
The overall winners, however, have to be Torre del Mar and the festival organisers, including the seemingly ever-calm artistic director, Fátima Rodríguez and head of press, Enka Tripiana, who once again have pulled off an outstanding event.