The Weekend Beach music festival, which will be celebrating its fifth anniversary next year, finished in the early hours of last Sunday morning. Organisers and town councillors said in a press conference on Tuesday that an estimated 130,000 people came to Torre del Mar over the course of the four-day festival and according to Antiono Sebastián Pastor, president of the local business association ACET, sales, including the hospitality service,s were “up 200 per cent” on last year.
The event was almost sold out, pitching the Weekend Beach as one of Spain’s most popular summer music festivals and giving it “national importance". Estimates suggest that 20 per cent of ticket sales were from foreigners, while people from all over Spain also travelled to the seaside town. Deputy mayor and councillor for Tourism and Beaches, Jesús Pérez Atencia, praised revellers’ “good behaviour” leading to a “good atmosphere” in the town.
Some 93 artists performed from Wednesday evening to Sunday morning across four stages, three of which were inside the festival ground and one was located outside, meaning that those who didn’t have tickets could take part while DJs played in the afternoon.
Highlights included French dub/reggae act, Dub Inc, and Brazilian heavy metal band, Sepultura, who took to the stage on Thursday night, while Friday night was billed as “the big one” with England’s The Prodigy attracting one of the biggest crowds on the centre stage. The dance-music group, fronted by Keith Flint, burst onto the stage with the famous Firestarter, before alternating newer tracks with 90s classics such as Smack my Bitch Up and Breathe.
Saturday’s main event was Spanish pop-flamenco band, Estopa, who followed the ever-popular Chambao, a flamenco-fusion group originally from El Palo in Malaga.
Helen Wiggins from Somerset in England came to Torre del Mar especially for the event, having been two years ago. She said, "I love the variety of music and the attitude of festival-goers here - there’s a totally different vibe from festivals in the UK." However she added that "organisers should do more to encourage people to pick up their own rubbish and recycle".
Some local people were left disappointed on Wednesday night, when they went along, assuming that the first night would be free as in previous years. They hadn’t heard that the policy had changed and only those who had tickets were able to enter. Organisers have not commented on the change of policy.
National police sources confirmed that tighter security was in place throughout the festival, including more police officers and road blocks, largely due to recent terrorist attacks in other parts of Europe.
Next year’s event will take place from 4 to 7 July and artistic director, Fátima Rodríguez said on Tuesday that the organisers were "already working on it".