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Cala Mijas: the secrets to the success of a music festival

Cala Mijas: the secrets to the success of a music festival

More than 110,000 people attended the three-day event, making it one of the biggest international festivals in Spain. As 2024 dates are announced, Mijas says the area has benefited to the tune of 22 million euros

Cristina Pinto

Friday, 8 September 2023, 13:52

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Music fans flocked to Mijas last weekend for the second Cala Mijas festival. Even the rain couldn't stay away from the event, appearing in the early hours of Sunday morning, but it failed to interrupt any of the major concerts. And the visit of Spain's acting prime minister Pedro Sánchez last Friday night put Mijas firmly in the spotlight around the country.

The first key to the success of this year's festival was, without a doubt, the quality of the bands in the lineup. The event on the Sonora Mijas festival ground attracted some 110,000 festival-goers, according to the organisers (well over last year's 100,000), all eager to dance, sing and jump up and down to the music of the more than 70 bands and solo artists who took to the festival's stages, with international names such as Arcade Fire, Florence + The Machine and The Strokes as the headliners.

The lineup continued with Siouxsie, Foals, Amyl & The Sniffers, Lori Meyers, Idles, Delaporte, Belle & Sebastian, Metronomy, Helena Hauff, Alvva, Moderat, Underworld, M83, Duki, La Plazuela, Arca, The Blaze... This mixture of bands, singers and DJs taking to the four stages has led to another important factor in the Cala Mijas success story: an international audience. According to Last Tour, the organiser of the festival, this year 28 per cent of festival-goers came from abroad. "Visitors came from several countries, but mainly the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France," said sources.

The Spanish public came mainly from Madrid, Andalucía, Catalonia, Murcia and Valencia, explained the Last Tour team.

The diversity of the audience did not stop at their regions and countries of origin. There was also a wide range of ages at the Cala Mijas concerts, as well as musical tastes, attracted by the varied lineup. The crowds included everything from groups of teenagers, to veteran festival-goers and even families with small children attracted by the friendly atmosphere. "There have been no incidents reported during the three days of the festival," said the organisers.

Mijas town hall also stressed the success of Cala Mijas this week, estimating the economic impact for the town to be as much as 22 million euros.

"As it did in 2022 the festival has been a boost to the economy of Mijas and the entire province of Malaga; with the increase in visitors our town and its neighbours have filled with life and colour, with restaurants, terraces and shops full of customers wearing their festival wristbands," said mayor Josele González.

The 100,000-square-metre festival space at Sonora Mijas included four main stages: Sunrise, Victoria, Sunset and La Caleta, as well as two concert areas on the beach. A large number of toilets meant there was virtually no waiting time and drinking water fountains to refill glasses added to the positive festival experience.

The variety of foodtrucks was also an attraction - although the prices were not so popular - and the convenience of lockers available to store valuables from nine euros a day and well as the large camping area, were other features that have helped ensure that the festival will live on for another year at least. In fact the dates have been announced for 2024: 29, 30 and 31 August and special tickets were already on sale last weekend.

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