It’s Christmas Day.
You’ve woken up at 12 pm to a flashback reel of being obliterated and stealing baubles from the tree at your hometown pub, much to the disgust of your old school friends you’ve not seen since the same time last year sat quietly in the corner likely discussing babies and houses.
Once the internal movie finishes and dispenses a hefty, but beautifully presented, serving of guilt to send you on your way, you crack your eyes open and list off what you’ve missed from being a drunken idiot yet again. Stockings? Bollocks. Bucks Fizz? Probably for the best. Grandma coming round? Shiiiitttt. Presents? They’ve likely waited, but that is NOT going to be fun.
You stand up, crack your back and stumble through your bedroom door like Anthony Joshua entering the ring knowing he’s about to get decked again.
No one’s downstairs yet. Santa’s been yet the presents are untouched.
You scurry upstairs, and to your sheer shock, see that everyone’s still asleep.
Your clock was correct though, it is 12 pm.
People start to stir, they congratulate you for being the first one awake and not missing anything this year. You’re completely baffled but ask no further questions and enjoy Christmas Day in a hazy blur.
“So how is this, in any way, related to Cala Mijas Festival?” I hear you ask. Let me tell you.
You can’t really imagine a festival anything close to Cala Mijas if all you’ve done is UK festivals, but I think the above analogy (completely theoretical and not based on any truth) will help the majority of you wrong’uns.
You see, Spanish festivals like Cala Mijas begin at 6 pm. Likely because of the incredibly intense daytime sun, but being a Brit I’m swayed toward the idea that it’s because it allows you to get trollied at the festival during the night and sweat out the hangover on the beach the next day, safe in the knowledge that you’re not missing any bands.
It gets better. The headliners are also halfway down the setlist (around midnight) so you’ve not had hours on your feet before seeing them.
If you’re like me (which I’m sure you’re hoping you’re not, but we all share some dark sides) then you’ve missed countless bands either by being tanked too soon and not being there mentally or you’ve been in a field somewhere making the excuse of “I can see them another time- pass me a tin, please”.
So, to link back to Christmas, you can go wild at Cala Mijas – maybe even too wild – but you have enough time leverage and sunshine to not mess up one of the best days of the year. And you can repeat the process for three days in a row. Bliss.
Well, if you’ve made it past that unbelievably long-winded intro, you’re in for a treat of more gold below – this time about the actual festival. Let’s begin.
It’s hard to imagine a festival in the setting, La Cala de Mijas. It’s just golf courses and mountains. The only way people get around is via buggy, and I’m pretty sure some of them even have a lad that just takes the swing for them. Whatever they do, it’s definitely the crowd that despises rowdy festival goers.
But let me tell you, it worked a treat.
One second you were downing Don Simon’s €1 Sangria from the balcony of your Airbnb overlooking luscious greens, the next you were making your head explode from shouting too loud along with Liam Gallagher.
The actual venue was small, and after wiggling through the absolutely non-threatening security and their machine guns, you could essentially stand in the middle and just swivel around to see all the stages. They just took it in turns for which one had a band on at the time.
After inhaling ten grams of La Cala Mijas’s notorious dust (not a euphemism), we were conveniently confronted by expensive mega pints to wash it down. A favourite activity of ours if you hadn’t guessed already.
Two mega pints in and the already unimaginable setting is elevated by an overall wooziness and a sunset you could feel the warmth from. Heaven.
We mainly took it easy in terms of rowdiness. Standing toward the back and observing most bands with a foot tap and some nods. Arctic Monkeys, Liam Gallagher and weird Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds(?) were the exceptions.
Yep, we were rowdy for these. And apparently British rowdy and Spanish rowdy aren’t on the same frequency.
Where we were pushing to the front and spinning our shirts around at full reach – the Spanish were politely telling me I’m about to get chinned if I don’t move. We may have done them dirty a little bit. We sent Laura in first who is 5’1” (I think), to which people gladly move out the way to let her through.
She’s then followed by three blokes one being me who’s 6’3”. So I kinda get their beef, but still – it’s Arctic Monkeys, man.
It gets worse. There were no mosh pits, only phones in the air. We had to resort to screaming along as loud as possible and dancing like Neo to avoid the punches in the back of my head. Success.
On a quick side note. A very funny thing about seeing Arctic Monkeys perform four years after releasing Tranquillity Base is the whole crowd screaming “MARK SPEAKING. PLEASE, TELL ME, HOW MAY I DIRECT YOUR CALL?”
The rowdiness, and lack of it, continued over the frenzied three days in a mirage of fantastic memories with a good gang. It was the simple ‘V’ bird you add to your painting of summer to give it that professional touch.
And I’ve been depressed ever since.
Catch you at some gigs soon x