Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Paris. That is the normal route in Europe for international bands on tour. “It is really difficult to get them to come to other places,” say Javier Arnaiz and Farruco Castromán, who run the Mad Cool promotions company, but they decided to set themselves a challenge: “We want them to come to Malaga every year,” they explain.
Their idea is to bring big names to Andalucía Big Festival, a macro-event which is expected to attract over 100,000 people to Sacaba Beach in Malaga city from 8 to 10 September this year. Two international stars have already signed up: Muse and Jamiroquai, for what will be their only date in Europe.
Years & Years, Biffy Clyro, Nova Twins, Michael Kiwanuka, Paolo Nutini, Stereophonics, Run the Jewels, Vetusta Morla, Los Planetas, Sylvie Kreusch, Morgan, 091… there will be 52 bands altogether, but so far the names of only half of them have been released. “The rest won’t disappoint,” say the organisers. They will play on three stages in the 50,000 square metre arena next to the beach. Tickets will be put on sale once the programme is complete.
The macrofestival is one of three components of Andalucía Big, a cultural project whose main sponsor is the Junta’s Ministry of Tourism, which will be paying four million euros of its EU funds for the event. They justify this by highlighting the need to bring tourism to the area outside the normal peak season, and say the festival will generate employment and wealth. The organisers estimate that the event will have an economic impact of around 25 million euros in Andalucía.
They are not aiming to attract the normal type of tourist who would come to Malaga in the summer, but a specific visitor: someone who is a fan of festivals and will be attracted by “the spectacular communications and the climate” on the Costa del Sol. Of the 100,000 people expected to come to Sacaba Beach (more than 30,000 a day), around 30 per cent will be foreigners from more than 40 countries.
The promotors of Mad Cool, who have 20 years’ experience in the sector and are based in Madrid, say they are planning an international publicity campaign for the festival, and this will raise awareness of “the Andalucía brand” far and wide.