At one time there were doubts about whether the Marbella music festival would take place this year. However, the organisation has been name-dropping its 2018 lineup on an almost weekly basis. The list is characterised by its size (with 33 more DJ sets) and by the noticeable number of Latino artists among the list of main acts. Still, big international names like Sting, Jamiroquai, Charles Aznavour and Pet Shop Boys come together with the Spanish offering to form a lineup that caters for everyone.
Although deciding on a headline act proved difficult, Luis Miguel, one of the most famous names in Latin music, will open the festival on Wednesday 11 July. The Mexican artist has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and he's won six Grammies and four Latin Grammies. Among the Latin stars performing at the festival will be Maná (25 July); Luis Fonsi (26 July); Romeo Santos (31 July) and Juanes (10 August).
English-speaking artists will also arrive in force on the costa during July and August. Heading up the list is Sting (19 July), who returns to the Costa del Sol after playing at Fuengirola's Mare Nostrum Festival in 2017. Composer, performer, actor and activist, Sting has 16 Grammy awards and a Golden Globe.
Jamiroquai (22 July) is another of the groups that will delight audiences in the Nagüeles Quarry. Formed in 1992 by Jay Kay, the pioneers of 'future funk' have revolutionised the world of sound, establishing themselves as one of the most successful groups on the planet.
With more than 50 million albums sold, four Grammy awards, four Billboard awards and one Emmy, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith will also take to the stage on 2 August. To add, James Blunt will perform on 3 August and crowds can expect to hear his world-famous single, 'You're Beautiful'.
Spain is top in sales
If the festival has learnt anything since it started, it's that it does not necessarily need international artists in order to achieve commercial success. In fact, the Spanish performers are those that have sold the most tickets.
So far, the only sold-out date is that of the Fuengirola-born Pablo López (4 August). The artist is returning home after his Santa Libertad tour to sing songs from his latest album, 'Camino, fuego y libertad' ('Road, fire and freedom'). “In this recording I go through everything,” he says. “My life, my story, even my home”. López describes song writing as “a journey through emotions”.
Another local artist, Pablo Alborán, will play his third concert in the province since the year began. Tickets for his performance can be found on the Starlite web page, but few remain. The artist returns to the stage with his fourth studio album 'Prometo' ('I promise'). Alborán is one of Spain's most prominent artists, at just 28 years old he's had 42 Platinum records.
Hailing from Madrid, Taburete (15 August) is one of the artists with most tickets sold, together with Rozalén, Estopa, Melendi, Rosario, Miguel Poveda and surprising addition C. Tángana, a 'trap' artist who will perform on the Lounge stage. There's something for everyone here and only 45 days to go.