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Starlite Festival 2022

Starlite Festival - Marbella

by Chris Chaplow

The Starlite Festival is a month-long music and cultural event held in July / August at the Cantera de Nagüeles, in Marbella. It is now established as one of the important annual social and entertainment events in Spain.

Star-themed fashion at the Starlite Festival.

Star-themed fashion at the Starlite Festival.

The stage is surrounded by 60 metre-high rock walls, which creates an interesting, intimate atmosphere, like a secret, hidden venue beneath the stars for the 2,200 guests. (1.000 in 2020 and 2021). Access is slightly complicated, but worth the effort. Except for VIPs, cars need to be parked a mile away and minibuses shuttle guests up and down the hill.

The festival set is slightly different every year and has to be reconstructed each season. It is impressive, logistically, to appreciate that everything down to the last bottle of water, in this glamorous lounge and concert venue, has to be brought up the hill to the former quarry. In the main auditorium, VIP attendees sit in "Bubble Boxes" (eight-seater boxes) behind and elevated above the 15 rows of stalls and where waiters serve drinks during the concerts.

STARLITE FESTIVAL 2022

Starlite Festival 2022 will be held at the Cantera de Nagüeles, Marbella between 11th June and 3rd September 2022.

Lionel Richie postponed in 2020 was announced as recheduled in 2022 and was to be 26th July 2022 but this has been cancelled. Alan Parsons has been cancelled. Anastasia has been recheduled to 12 July 2023.

In 2022 the Starlite festival returns to its full capacity as a venue. Actually due to its nature as an open air all-seated venue, with appropriate social distancing measures, the festival was one of the few that was able to continue in Summer 2020 and 2021 although there were no international artists. 2022 some of the international artists have returned.

2022 Artists line up:

Artists Date
C Tangana 11th June 2022
God Save the Queen 17th June 2022
Jason Durelo 22nd June 2022
Sebastian Yatra 23rd June 2022
José Merce Sat 26th June 2022
Sergio Dalma Thur 30th June 2022
Vanesa Martín Fri 1st July 2022
Pica Pica Sat 2nd July 2022
Ozuna Mon 4th July 2022
Chucho valdés and friends Tue 5th July 2022
Diana Ross Wed 6th July 2022
Il Divo Fri 8th July 2022
Pablo Alborán Sat 9th July 2022
Placido Domingo and guests Mon 11th July 2022
C Tangana Tue 12th July 2022
Alan Parsons Live Project CANCELLED was 13-07-22
Myke Towers Thur 14th July 2022
Carlos Vives Fri 15th July 2022
Juanes Sat 16th July 2022
Carlos Baute & Chenoa Mon 18th July 2022
Nile Rodgers and Chic Tue 19th July 2022
Lional Richie CANCELLED
Maluma Wed 20th July 2022
Nicky Jam Thur 21st July 2022
Jessie J Fri 22nd July 2022
Serrat Sat 23th July 2022
Christina Aguilera Mon 25th July 2022
Ozuna Tue 26th July 2022
Andrés Calamaro Wed 27th July 2022
Ana Torroja Thur 28th July 2022
Simple Minds Fri 29th July 2022
Diana Krall Sat 30th July 2022
Camilo Sun 31st July 2022
C Tangana Mon 1st August 2022
Pasenger Thur 4th August 2022
Dvicio & Marlon 8th August 2022
Gloria Trevi & Mónica Naranjo 6th August 2022
Taburete 7th August 2022
Morat 8th August 2022
Hombres G 9th August 2022
Rafael 10th August 2022
Estrella Morente, Israel 11th August 2022
Diego Torres 12th August 2022
Jorge Drexler & Coque Malla 13th August 2022
Andrea Bocelli 15th August 2022
Sara Baras 16th August 2022
Leiva 17th August 2022
Antonio José 18th August 2022
Farruquito & Arcángel 19th August 2022
Carlos Rivera 20th August 2022
Café Quijano 21st August 2022
Luis Fonsi 22nd August 2022
Dani Martín 23rd and 24th August 2022
Vanesa Martín 25th August 2022
Siempre Äsi 26th August 2022
Miguel Poveda 27th August 2022
Morat 30th August 2022
Ara Malikian 31st August 2022
Bertin Osborne &anp; José Luis Rodríguez 1st September 2022
Due Dinámico 2nd September 2022
Estopa 3rd September 2022
   
   

History

The first use of the former quarry site, situated above Marbella, was in 1983. Alfonso Hohenlohe, who founded the Marbella Club Hotel, and singers Julio Iglesias and Plácido Domingo, decided to create the Auditorio de Marbella open-air auditorium, and to found an internationally-renowned music festival. They held a successful Tenors concert, however the annual festival didn't happen, and the venue was left abandoned for nearly 30 years. 

In 2012 the quarry site was cleaned up and a new auditorium constructed for the inaugural Starlite Festival. It has been held annually since and grown to become on of Spain's leading music festivals. Over the years Enrique Iglesias, Elton John, Lenny Kravitz, Lionel Richie, Andrea Bocelli, Ricky Martin, Tom Jones, Pet Shop Boys, Alejandro Sanz, Eros Ramazzotti, Luis Fonsi, Plácido Domingo and Anastacia have all played. The 2017 edition was overshadowed by a  late license dispute with the Marbella town Hall, and 'Marbella' was removed from the Starlite Festival name and logo. The Lounge concept was subsequently dropped in favour of Sessions stage and VIP areas to avoid alegations of unfair competing with Marbella nightclubs. Due to the nature of the open air all-seated venue the Starlite festival was able to continue in Summer 2020 and 2021 albeit with social distancing few international performers.

A parallel event, the Starlite Gala, a star-studded charity concert and dinner which started in 2010 at villa Padierna Hotel and moved to the present venue, usually takes place on second Saturday in August, and is led by Antonio Banderas.

Buena Vista Social Club at Starlite Festival 2013. ©Michelle Chaplow
Buena Vista Social Club at Starlite Festival 2013.

Starlite Sessioins

Starlite Sessions (called Starlite Nights in 2017 and prior to 2016 called Starlite Disco) starts in the lounge area at 22.30. Entrance was free before 24:00, 12€ from 24:00 to 03:00, and 20€ after 03:00 and included one drink. Entrance is free to those exiting the concert shortly after midnight; stopping at the disco is encouraged to disperse the 'rush hour' queue for the buses back down the hill to the car parking area. The lounge can be a good place to meet up with friends who have been to the concert. The Starlite Sesions (Nights) has its own events, and top DJs. Starlite Sessions closes at 05.00. 

Starlite Auditorium Concerts

The 'Under the Stars' auditorium is divided into three areas: the Stalls (plateas), the six seat Boxes (palcos) and the Podium (tribunas) which used to be called Granstand. Each of these is sub-divided; the stalls have a Super Premium area (centre front), Premium (centre), General (centre/side) and Lateral Stalls (sides). The boxes have Platinum, Starlite (was Gold) and Gold (at the sides) and Silver (further sides), and in the rear Podium or grandstand there are Podium Club (front rows centre), Podium A (front), Podium B (centre) and Podium C (back).

Starlite Restaurants

In 2018 the unbranded restaurant featured a gourmet market concept. Previous years reatured up to four different restaurants, one in each of the VIP areas around the Starlite Lounge, and each giving access to the VIP area of the same name for the five persons dining.  Table reservations varied in price according to the night but ranged from 250€ to 3500€.

In 2022 dining in the one unbranded restaurant is in two sittings one before the concert (20.00 to 22.00 hrs) and one after (23.00 to 01.30 hrs). There are two menus;  Menu Starlite 4 course for 70€ per person and Menú Glut a complete selection from the munu for 100 € per person.  

In earlier previous years the restaurants were run by famous restaurateurs such as MIL LUNAS BY MILLESIME (2015 & 2016) or Danni Garcia.

VIP AREAS

There were VIP areas adjoining the lounge introduced in 2015. Since then these have been expanded into areas previouslly open to concert ticket holders and visitors. Names and locations have also changed   LE PRIVEE, is the liveliest VIP area and where the celebrities tend to go. Mezanine area within Le Privee is called Up le Privèe.  Tables can be reserved for 4-6-8 people with a minimum consumption of 150-300-400€ respectively. Le Plus and Le Plus Up is more select and located on the quieter side of the session stage.La Reserve has 6 people tables for 300€. Le Club is the most exclusive VIP zone infront of the sessions stage, and it where the clients of the concert boxes meet after the concert. Tables can be reserved for 8 persons with a 400€ minimum consumption. In 2016 Le Club was called The Stage where one could share the space with the DJs on the moonbeds where no sunshade was required.

Starlite Lounge

The impressive lounge concept had a mix of general seating and several drinks brand-sponsored cocktail bar areas serving pre-concert drinks. The Starlite Lounge was replaced in name after 2017 with the Sessions dance floor and the VIP areas. It opened at 20.00. The carefully-designed lighting comes into maximum effect as the sun sets.

On concert nights, this area fills quickly to standing room only until the concert starts at 22.30. There are several outlets, bars and other stalls selling sweets and costume jewelry, this has increased to 21 stands is now called Starlite Shopping and Starlite Gourmet. Access to Starlite Lounge was free from 20:00 to 24:00, except the nights when named artists are performing on the Starlite Sessions stage. Since the 2017 licensing dispute the lounge has not been promoted on the website.

The Starlite Festival had also included fashion shows, open-air film premier's, art exhibitions and nightclub style events on nights when there was no concert. The lounge had come a long way since 2012 when the catering was provided of shipping containers, albeit chicly decorated ones. There has been less focus on the parallel events since 2017.

Starlite Festival is a major event in the Marbella cultural and social calendar. ©Michelle Chaplow
Starlite Festival is a major event in the Marbella cultural and social calendar.

ACCESS AND PARKING

From centre of Marbella, at Plaza Bocanegra near the Palacio de Congresos (Exhibition Centre), take Avenida Don Jaime de Mora, cross the motorway and turn into Avenida Buchinger, which becomes Avenida Albinoni. Keep going up, following the other cars, and look out for Starlite signs. On reaching the checkpoint you will be directed left into an unmade car park - the VIP area is first, and then the public car park. Don't wear your best shoes and have your mobile phone light or a torch ready, as you'll need them when you return to the unlit car park. Here is the location map of the car park that you have to drive to.

After parking the car, walk back (gently uphill) to the AstroTurf corridor entrance where a fleet of minibuses ferry the visitors one mile up the steep hill to about 50 steps which you have to climb to reach the Starlite entrance. There is a VIP car park near the venue and this is only available to those with Gold and Silver box for the concerts. The entrance area is much enlarged and improved since the early years.  Valet parking is for Platinum box ticket holders. After midnight (Starlite Night guests), valet parking is available for 10€ which saves you getting the bus. Pay cash, card or online.

BUS SERVICE

Since 2016 Starlite have provided a free shuttle bus service from Marbella. The bus is from Marbella Alameda, Farmacia Berdaguer, Edificio Portillo,  Porcelanosa near Plaza Bocanegra to Starlite. It runs about every half hour from 22.30 hrs to 05.30 hrs.   

All this sounds complicated to first-timers, but once in the venue you will see it was worth the effort.

 

All editions of Starlite festival

Line up and notes about the other editions of the Starlite festival:

Booking.com

Destinations

See and Do