Heady summers, long nights and time off from work allow us to indulge in all sorts of fun. No matter your age, life stage or persuasion there’s a music festival to suit everyone.

Souvenirs don’t always have to be physical things. Music is the soundtrack to our lives, so they say, and everyone takes home that special ‘holiday song’ as a lasting memory. Much easier to carry home than a straw donkey!

What better way to create a whole music memory album of your holiday, than by attending one of the upcoming festivals? Now these are not in the same league as Glastonbury or Coachella but that’s a good thing, why? Well tickets are often still available weeks before the festival date and they’re relatively small so no conflicting time slots.

There might be a festival close to your planned holiday destination, so browse our list of some of the hottest Spanish music festivals to hit the calendar each year.

Marbella Starlite

Starlite Marbella auditorium

When? Various dates from June to September each summer

This eagerly awaited annual event has celebrities, pop stars, and Marbella’s elite reaching for their Louboutins at the chance to see Lionel Ritchie, Norah Jones, Anastacia, Sara Baras, and more over the course of an event that runs well over a month in total. In true Marbella style, the Starlite’s a glamorous affair – no dust or porter loos here. Instead it’s very much a case of see and be seen, with the chance to rub shoulders with the rich and famous at an important annual social event for the town.

More information: Starlitemarbella.com or contact our Concierge to book your tickets or VIP entrance.

Arenal Sound – Arenal de Burriana

guitarist fiery background

When? Early August

The first beach-side Arenal Sound was in 2010, and with its location on the Costa del Azahar about 60km outside Valencia it’s proved very popular with a younger crowd, camping and hanging out on the beach. You’ll require energy for this one – it lasts for six days. Into its eighth year, and proving more and more popular with each passing year, it attracts fans of pop, indie, electronic, and rock with headliners of the calibre of Myke Towers, Duki and Carlos Sadness.

More information: Arenalsound.com.

Cala Mijas Festival

When? End of August
Brand new music festival bringing world-class bands and musicians to the Costa del Sol. The three day event has attracted Arcade Fire, Florence + The Machine, The Strokes, Foals and Metronomy plus many more.

A stellar summertime line-up for the 40 plus audience no doubt.

For more information and tickets: Calamijas.com

Nerja Cave Music Festival

Festival Cueva de Nerja 2023

When? July-August each year

Nerja Caves are worth a visit in themselves but every year during July they hold a selection of concerts and if you’re in the area it’s an experience not to be missed.
Concerts include music and dance, some are held inside the cave complex, others are held in the garden area both atmospheric. Last year Pablo Alborán, Israel Fernández, Víctor Manuel, Ana Mena and Rosario Flores are signed to perform. A real treat was the flamenco singer Miguel Poveda on 5th August and Sara Baras the flamenco dancer on 11th August.

More information: Cuevadenerja.es

Marenostrum Fuengirola

When? From April to September each year

One of the first festivals on the Costa del Sol with staying power is Marenostrum Festival. Its location is stellar next to the coast and castle Sohail. Never short of big name artists, during 2023 we enjoyed Robbie Williams, Morat and Pablo Alboran.
More information: Marenostrumfuengirola.com

Mad Cool Festival – Madrid

madrid festival

When? Early July

A relative newbie on the summer Spanish festival scene, Mad Cool Festival is only in its infancy. It means business, though, with big acts like Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Paolo Nutini, Sigur Ros, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Prodigy, Years & Years, Queens of the Stone Age, Sam Smith and The Black Keys. This rock/pop festival in Madrid with four stages is going from strength to strength, promising to be one of the best urban music festivals in Spain.

More information: Madcoolfestival.es.

Bilbao BBK Live

bbk festival

When? Early July

When it comes to festivals there aren’t many in Europe that beat the location of Bilbao BBK Live – the Arriaz Mountains as a backdrop, views over Bilbao city, nearby beaches and stunning sunsets at the end of the day. It’s simply stunning. The music starts late so it’s ideal for visitors as you can sunbathe during the afternoon or even see some sights in the city. If this year’s line-up – featuring the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Chemical Brothers, Jamie XX, Florence + The Machine – doesn’t tempt you, then we’re not sure what will.

More information: Bilbaobbklive.com.

Festival Internacional de Benicassim – Castellon

benicassim festival

When? Mid-July

FIB to its friends, with four days of non-stop rock, alternative, indie and electronic music in a beach setting, Benicassim has become a permanent fixture on the Spain festival circuit. Running for 24 years, tickets are quickly sold out, so if you still want one you’ll have to start hunting.

The most successful music festivals now offer more than just music and FIB, being something of a veteran now, is no different. We want more from our festival experience, and FIB delivers – expect to see a short film festival, fashion shows, art exhibition, and a festival of dance and choreography, with educational arts courses provided by a local university, too. If you’re bored by all of that there’s even a water park just down the road for a cooling respite. Headliners have been Tom Odell, Kaiser Chiefs, Clean Bandit and Orbital.

More information: Fiberfib.com.

Like our pick of the best summer music festivals in Spain? For more after dark activities, check out our guides to the best Marbella nightlife and beach clubs.

Ben Cooper

A head-over-heels hispanophile, Ben is a one-time travel editor at Rough Guides, DK Travel, ELLEuk and Red Online.

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