Audiences – especially those of a certain age – are in for a treat when the Starlite festival begins again in Marbella this Summer; the Beach Boys are coming to town.
Although it’s the Rolling Stones who get all the plaudits for longevity, the Beach Boys have been going a year longer, which makes them the true elder statesmen of the musical world. They’ve been through a few lineup changes over the years, but the version of the band coming to Marbella includes Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and Mike Love, all of whom have been with the band since they began.
Famous for timeless and classic hits such as ‘Surfin’ USA’, ‘Good Vibrations’ and ‘God Only Knows’ among many, many more, they’ve found new fans as the years have gone by. There will be families within Costa del Sol where the children, parents and grandparents all know and love the band.
For those of you who do remember them the first time around from the 1960s, this is a chance to reconnect with the wonder and innocence of your childhood. When the Beach Boys first hit the scene, you probably used to watch them on Top of the Pops on a black and white television, playing with your cuddly toys.
That wonder and innocence may have given way to age and experience now, and you may have left your old stuffed toy friends behind, but there’s still good news. Firstly, you can still play with cuddly toys online on the famous Fluffy Favourites slots.
You may have grown up, but so have the toys you played with as a child. Now they’re all back to join you at the reels to help you win jackpot payouts! Secondly, and speaking of jackpots, the Beach Boys are still bang on the money musically. Time has passed, and they don’t have the youthful good looks they once did, they still make wonderful (pet) sounds.
If you’re new to Costa del Sol and haven’t encountered the Starlite festival before, then here’s what you need to know.
Starlite claims to be the best of all the boutique festivals in Europe, and it has a track record to back that claim up. The 2019 festival will be the eighth, and also the longest ever as it covers 46 days of concerts and performances. Primarily a music festival, it also promises to bring audiences excellent food and a touch of culture, with comedy, art, poetry and drama among the festival’s non-musical offerings.
The food at Starlite isn’t standard festival fare; think higher-class. There’s a full sized restaurant within the footprint of the festival, including ‘gastro spaces’ for group or family bookings, and an open kitchen where you can watch food being prepared for you in real time.
What makes it different to a ‘regular’ music festival is the intimacy of the setting, and the proximity of the audience to the entertainers. The festival takes place in the open space of Nagules quarry, 8 minutes drive from the middle of Marbella. The quarry is surrounded with high walls decked out in lights and illumination, providing an open-air festival with safety on all sides, and an incredible view of the stars – both figuratively and literally.
The quarry was selected as the host location for the Starlite festival purely because of its shape; it has the form of a natural amphitheatre, with incredible natural acoustics. Previous headline performers Julio Iglesias and Placido Domingo both referred to the natural sound quality as being among the best they’d ever heard.
The deliberately restricted capacity guarantees the intimate atmosphere between the performers and the audience. Only three thousand ticket holders will be granted access to the Starlite, meaning its never crowded or uncomfortable. It also allows for more interaction between artist and performer. Those on the front row will be a mere two meters away from the stars, with the furthest possible distance being 39 meters. You may even find the performers watching each other’s shows, standing next to you in the audience.
If the action on the main stage isn’t doing it for you, you might be more interested in the festival’s ‘Sessions Stage’ which hosts late-night performances from leading DJs. There are top DJs from the national level playing every night, but every Monday evening the festival steps it up a gear and brings in one of the leading global names from the electronic dance music field. Entertainment is available on the sessions stage both before, during and after performances on the auditorium stage.
Aside from Iglesias and Domingo, previous headline acts who have known and loved Starlite include Elton John, Lionel Richie, the Pet Shop Boys, Tom Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Sting, Anastasia and many more. The Beach Boys, with their rich history of record sales both in the US and the UK, have to be considered the star attraction of this year’s festival.
Making their second appearance at the festival (they were here in 2014, too), they’re getting things started on Starlite’s first night, July 11th.
The full line up is still being decided, and there will be more star names added as the bill is finalized, but other highlights at this early stage are pop-opera stars Il Divo the following night on July 12th, Roger Hodgson of 1970’s rock band Supertramp on July 20th, and God Save The Queen on August 22nd.
Rather than being a Sex Pistols tribute act, God Save the Queen are the official Queen tribute act associated with the recent hit movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. They’ll be performing a ‘greatest hits’ style set of all the band’s best-known work.
Starlite is rapidly becoming one of the most ‘must-see’ entertainment events that happen in Marbella on an annual basis, and demand for tickets is sure to be high.
If you want to see the Beach Boys, or one of the other acts on the bill (or if you just want to go to an exclusive festival in an unusual location), you’d be best advised to reserve your ticket sooner rather than later. The festival has an official app which can be downloaded, with access to ticket reservations, but you can also visit the festival’s official website and make bookings that way.