Castlepark: a rehearsal for the real thing

Dancing in front of the stage.
Dancing in front of the stage. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • Marenostrum Fuengirola organised a festival for up to 2,000 people, with singer and DJ Nina Kraviz among the performers

Everyone feels like partying, and last Sunday Marenostrum carried out an experiment to help some people do just that with a major electronic music concert where up to 2,000 people could dance without having to maintain social distancing. It was called Castlepark and was the only festival approved in Andalucía at this time. It was like a rehearsal for the real thing.

Everyone attending had to be tested and were given appointments earlier in the day in marquees set up near the river. Over 1,700 tests were carried out and 33 people tested positive and were sent home or to their hotel. Their details were notified to the health authorities. Those who tested negative were given a green wristband to wear, to prove it. I was one of them.

Inside the castle area there were two different entrances, one to a space with room for 1,300 people and the other for 700. That was the best one, because it had a free bar. On the dance floor, nobody was allowed to drink, smoke or eat, and an army of security guards were on hand to keep control. They must have endless patience. In just half an hour I saw two people being thrown out for reasons that had nothing to do with the pandemic but was due to their behaviour.

It was all very well organised, with no queues or crowding. We went backstage and talked to Carlos Bernabé, the CEO of AINA Group, a company that controls numbers of people attending events. It has had to adapt to he new circumstances and is very much in demand. It also provides data to the organisers: the most popular drinks, how much each person spends, where queues built up and the results of the Covid screening tests.

The festival programme was headed by Russian singer and DJ Nina Kraviz, who performed for two hours. Those present really did dance the night away, as the event continued until 2am. And a great time was had by all.