It isn't yet certain who will be playing at what time, but it is more than possible that Malaga will manage to bring together under the same musical sky Matt Bellamy singing Uprising, and María José Llergo performing Ay Pena, Penita, Pena, at the same time and in the same place, proving that festivals are not just for rockers but are a meeting place where all urban music tribes can coexist without fear that any will sound outdated.
That, anyway, is what is expected from the first edition of a festival that suffered a major blow when one of the most popular acts, Rage Against the Machine, dropped out because of the lead singer's injury barely two weeks before the big day, and the organisers had to offer a refund to disappointed fans who decided they no longer wanted to attend.
The loss of this headline act posed a huge problem, as all other major artists were scheduled to appear elsewhere for the next few months, but the Andalucía Big Festival pulled it off: they managed to persuade Suede, Franz Ferdinand and C. Tangana to step in: three artists who - personal tastes apart - are synonymous with success.
The biggest music event in the city's history is now a reality and these are some of the most relevant names who will be performing in the fairground in Malaga during three intensive days.
It's true that there is no accounting for taste, but the statement that Muse is the most important band in this festival is rather objective. Matt Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard have been considered the best band to see live in the past decade, and every one of their concerts in Spain has sold out. Muse released a new album on 26 August, so their concert at the fairground - the second since the release - will be a test as to whether this return to their origins appeals or not to their diehard followers, who will also want to hear their greatest hits such as Supermassive Black Hole, Starlight and Hysteria.
More and more years go by, but Jamiroquai always stay on the crest of the wave with their personal and unmistakable style based on funk and acid jazz, leaving a trail of fans who will follow Jay Kay and the rest of the band wherever they go. They performed in Malaga in 2011 and 2018, but the Andalucía Big Festival has signed them up as the headline act on the Friday, their only performance in Europe this summer, making this one of the most important events on the whole Malaga music scene.
C. Tangana's appearance on the Andalucía Big Festival programme is one of the consequences of Rage Against the Machine having to drop out. The announcement of the former rap artist - now a popular musician - has surprised many, although he is one of the most listened-to artists of the moment. His latest disc is really a celebration of life in the setting of a bar, and although he has been in the province several times this summer his presence adds a lot to the festival. Going from Franz Ferdinand to C. Tangana (and almost certainly on the same stage) will be one of the highlights of the Andalucía Big Festival, and the perfect opportunity for foreign visitors to learn the words to 'Tú me dejaste de querer' while La Húngara does her thing among the tables and tobacco smoke.
Andalucía Big Festival has listed Jamiroquai as the headline act on Friday but Vetusta Morla already have the credentials to top any festival programme in Spain. In 2021 the band released 'Cable a tierra', their fifth studio album with which they have filled football stadiums with fans, a huge success for a group of lads who have come from the independent music scene with a very personal rock sound and songs as moving as Al Respirar, Baldosas Amarillas and Puñalada Trapera.
Scottish singer-songwriter Paolo Nutino is one of the big surprises in the line-up for the Andalucía Big Festival. He has had several successful discs, has five million listeners on Spotify and has written well-known numbers such as Candy, New Shoes and, especially, Last Request, an indie hit from the last decade. His influences include David Bowie, Damien Rice, Oasis, The Beatles, U2, Van Morrison, Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac. His fans will be there, but anyone who doesn't know him is advised to listen to at least part of his concert, which can be very exciting if this Scottish artist of Italian origin is feeling inspired.
Malaga can boast of hosting almost a decade of concerts by international artists, and much of what we will be seeing in a few days' time stems from the success of the 101 Sun Festival in 2014, an event which took place in the Olympic Stadium and surpassed all expectations. Then, Scottish band Franz Ferdinand was the headline act and now, eight years later, they are once again leading the lineup after Rage Against the Machine cancelled their appearance at this festival.
Once again, Malaga will be able to enjoy hearing Take me Out, a song which indisputably forms part of the soundtrack to the first decade of the 21st century. The Archduke has returned.
Stereophonics may not be one of the bands with the biggest number of fans at the Andalucía Big Festival, but when they start to play Maybe Tomorrow, Dakota and Have a Nice Day, everyone will enjoy them. This pure British rock band has some strong competition on the Thursday, though, which might make it difficult to plan where to be and when in order to enjoy the most interesting performances.
Suede is one of the three replacements to fill the gap left by Rage Against the Machine, together with C. Tangana and Franz Ferdinand. The band, with its distinctly alternative British rock sound, was founded in 1989 and has made an important comeback in the past few years. This will be the perfect night to listen to some of their real classics, such as Beautiful Ones and Trash.
We mentioned at the beginning of this review that fate would bring Matt Bellamy and María José Llergo together: two impressive artists with the same ability to thrill an audience.
Flamenco has its place at the Andalucía Big Festival thanks to the singer from Cordoba, who has emerged as a unique voice in an ecosystem in which it seemed that only Rosalía existed. In 2020 she released Sanación, an astonishing album featuring songs such as Me Miras Pero No Me Ves, whose style seems perfect for a festival of this type.
It is certain that she will be performing her own version of Ay Pena, Penita, Pena and Te Espera El Mar, which won her the best song award at the Goyas a few months ago after being used for Marcial Barrena' film Mediterráneo. María JoséLlergo will, it goes without saying, be one of the biggest attractions at this festival.
Big festivals would be nothing without a good handful of artists performing electronic music so the audiences can dance until they drop, and Years&Years will fulfil that role to perfection as their most famous tracks are already known worldwide. Sounds such as King, and above all Desire, will fill the night air in Malaga among others while the dancing goes on until dawn.