Throughout the past few weeks, celebrities, millionaires and tourists have been flocking to the Costa del Sol for the iconic Starlite Festival.
The Starlite Festival, hosted at the Cantera de Nagüeles, is a month-long, or in this year's case, almost six week long, cultural and musical event. It is regarded as one of the most important annual entertainment and social events throughout Spain.
History Behind the Starlite Festival and its Venue, Cantera de Nagüeles
The Cantera de Nagüeles, the hosting venue of the event, is a former quarry site situated above the Costa de Solean town of Marbella. The site was first used in 1983 when the idea of Starlite Festival was created by Alfonso Hohenlohe, the founder of the famous Marbella Club Hotel on the Golden Mile. Hohenlohe, along with famed Spanish singers Plácido Domingo and Julio Iglesias, created the an open-air auditorium, el Auditorio de Marbella.
Whilst they held a successful concert, the annual music festival wasn't yet born, and the Auditorio de Marbella was left abandoned for some three decades. In 2012, the site was cleaned up and a new auditorium was constructed so the internationally-renowned Starlite Festival could be reborn.
The Cantera de Nagüeles is distinguished by the 60 metre (197 foot) rock walls surrounding the stage, creating an intimate venue for 2200 people.
Accessing the venue can be somewhat complex, but is certainly worth the effort. With the exception of important guests, all cars are to be parked a mile away. Worry not, as minibuses are provided to shuttle guests from the parking lot, up the hill and to the venue.
A Complete Redesign of the Month-Long Event Every Year
Aside from the entertaining concerts, there is also a star-studded charity gala and dinner. The Starlite Gala takes place on the second Saturday in August and is lead by Málaga native and international superstar, Antonio Banderas.
With every passing year, the Starlite Festival is completely redesigned to provide a new experience to common festival-goers. What's even more impressive is that every last detail has to be brought up the hill to the auditorium for the event.
Performances at the 2017 Starlite Festival in Marbella
The concerts are especially exceptional for VIP guests, who sit in the so-called Bubble Boxes. They consist of exclusive eight-seater elevated boxes, where guests are served drinks during the concerts.
This year’s Starlite Festival began on Thursday, 13th July and has, until now, included performances by Anastasia, Elton John, the Pretenders and Luis Fonsi, to name a few of the big artists.
In the coming month of August, there will be spectacular concerts by Andrea Bocelli on the 15th, and American singer Jason Derulo on the 24th. Please visit the Starlite Festival Website for the full upcoming line-up complete with dates.
While famous for the concerts, the Starlite Festival also features fashion shows, film premieres and nightclub events.
The Starlite Lounge: The Go-To Place Throughout the Festival
The Starlite Lounge is always a popular destination throughout the month-long event, offering several cocktail bars serving drinks before the concerts. The Lounge opens at 8pm and offers free entry before midnight, except on the evenings when artists are performing on the Lounge Stage. The Starlite Lounge is distinguished by its stunning lighting as the sun sets over Marbella.
The Lounge fills quickly on concert evenings prior to the beginning of performances at 10pm. Within the area, there are several bars and stalls offering a variety of products.
Parking and Accessing the Venue
When reaching the Starlite Festival destination, you will be directed to the unmade car park. First is the VIP parking, followed by the public car park. It's advised to carry a second pair of shoes (not the ones you're wearing to the event) to make your way through the parking area. It's also a good idea to have a torch handy, as you'll need it when returning to your car in the dark, as the area doesn't have lighting.
You'll walk slightly uphill to the entrance where minibuses will be prepared to take guests a mile up the hill to the venue. The VIP Parking outside of the venue is only available to those who have reserved one of the coveted Bubble Boxes or a table at the Lounge. After midnight, this parking area is available to the public through valet parking at the cost of €10.
There is also a bus service for the 2017 Starlite Festival from San Pedro Boulevard, stopping at Puerto Banús, and Farmacia Berdaguer and Edificio Portillo (both in Marbella), before reaching the Starlite Venue.
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