16 Aug 2009

Alicante Summers

Música maestro!
Summer is a very musical time in Alicante. Didn't used to be, but about 10 years ago City Hall started promoting various cultural activities over the summer. The first was an annual Jazz Festival, 5 concerts over two consecutive weekends by some pretty well-known artists (for example Maceo Parker last year). They used to construct a stage and seating areas in a plaza in the Alicante Harbour but for the past couple years have switched it to an area amongst the ruins of the original Roman town of Lucentum (about 10' from where I live).

This stage in the archaeological site gets quite a bit more action over the summer as there are a series of 3-5 shows along the various themes: "Voces en Lucentum" (singing), "Danza en Lucentum" (dancing, this year mainly Flamenco, last year I saw the National Dance Company, amazing!), "Teatro Clásico en Lucentum" (so classical -i.e. 16th - 17th century etc- theatre) and "Zarzuela en Lucentum" (I don't quite know how to describe Zarzuela, I've never been to one. I believe an apt description would be the Spanish equivalent to Opera?). And whereas the Jazz Festival is quite expensive, these are either cheap (5-10€ depending on seats) or even free! If my mom is up for it I'll be taking her to see a Zarzuela this coming week...

(esplanade where the stage is set up)

What else? Oh yes! Last year they started up a new music festival: "Festival de Músicas del Mundo" (so world music). I wasn't too caught up in it this year, but last year I had trouble choosing just the one (also expensive), but I enjoyed a glorious two hour concert, listening to Loreena Mckennit sing her beautiful songs and explain the inspiration behind several of them. Open air concerts last year, this year they moved it indoors to the main theatre.

There's also a stage set up along the long sandy beach Playa de San Juan where various orchestras come and play some Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. PLus you'll hear music from all the bar terraces, and frequently groups set up shop at the beach "chiringuitos" (kiosks?) to just play the night away! Kind of like these guys:

Here's a look with the lights (flash) on:

Summers are definitely a lot livelier than when I first moved here! :o)


  1. Great setting, I love the whole idea of watching a concert while seated in the ruins.

    Here in Florida we have the annual Clearwater Jazz Festival in October. This year is the 30th year and I've been to many of them. They set up at Coachman Park and the backdrop is the Gulf of Mexico. Goes for four days and nights and it's free!

    They are announcing the lineup tomorrow, but in the past I've seen Stan Getz, Buddy Rich,Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, David Sandborn, Peabo Bryson and the list goes on forever.

    Up until about ten years ago you could take your cooler and everyone tried to show others up by packing the best picnic. Now they have the beer and wine stands, garbage food, and no coolers allowed. The only thing still good is the music and the sunsets!

  2. Gulf of Mexico as a backdrop? sweet! :o)

    Hmm, perhaps you can sneak your picnic in with a backpack? That's how I get my drinks and snacks into the movie theatres (concession stands are too ridiculously high priced) ;o)

  3. I wish, now they have put a temporary fence all around and check your bags as you go in!


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