February 28, 2021

The musical event that made Benidorm great in a time of tourist clamor

It remains in the collective imagination of many Spaniards with nostalgia and affection. The historical Festival of the Song of Benidorm this month celebrates 60 years since its first edition was held, back in 1959, at the very beginning of the so-called tourist "boom" and the so-called "development plans".

Summer, sea breeze, romantic nights, relaxed evenings, tanned skin and music not to forget, the contest of the skyscraper city bathed by the water of the Mediterranean was, especially in its heyday, "the most promotional vector important that any city in the world has never had ", in the words of its current mayor, Toni Pérez.

And he is right. It was a real "attraction pole" not only for tourists from different parts of Europe, but also for the emerging Spanish middle class – the generation of the six hundred and the vespa – who longed to tread in July and August the sand of the warm beaches of the capital of the Costa Blanca, where bikinis already emerged to scandal of the Franco dictatorship.

In times like the current ones where musical events of all kinds have proliferated throughout the national geography, with new formats adapted to a multitude of genres, Benidorm has opened a door to nostalgia by opening last night a great exhibition on this emblematic festival, 60 years after the first edition was held.

In this city, the covers are now covered by the Low Festival or the Reggaeton Beach Festival, which have nothing to do with that format of the 60s and 70s.

However, in Benidorm there are still many who remember with fondness a contest that generated a huge projection of the municipality and encumbed artists who are still a reference today.

In him triumphed songs like "A telegram", "To you woman", "Soledad" or "The life follows equal", and participated singers like Raphael, Julio Churches, Dyango, Dark Brown, Mochi, Donna Hightower or Torrebruno.

Benidorm, with 39 editions behind him (the last event took place in 2006. There were years when it was not held and then recovered until it stopped being organized), it was the first musical event in the country and also the longest of all those who were called.

His prestige came to such a point that among his guests have featured artists of the likes of Alejandro Sanz, Aretha Franklyn, Luis Eduardo Aute, Grace Jones, Miguel Rios, Estopa, Nek, Carlos Baute, Sergio Dalma and a long list of names that starred every weekend.

The exhibition about this event was inaugurated in the midst of great expectation among the attendees to return to see details or objects that evoke an era that has already gone and that made Benidorm great, under an ambience of the late 50's of the past century and with a great background photograph with the orchestra of the first edition of the festival in full performance.

Installed in the Boca del Calvari Museum, in it you can see all the posters of the contest, a replica of the original Little Mermaid that was given as a prize to the winners and the discs of the songs that competed.

In addition, visitors can download an app on their mobile that allows them to enjoy the best moments of each edition and listen and see the interpretations of the songs.

The opening of the exhibition, which can be visited in the evenings until next October, was also a time of reunion between people from Benidorm who lived that festival for many years and who took the opportunity to exchange anecdotes related to it.

One of them was told by the former mayor of this city, Agustín Navarro, whose father was an usher in the first edition.

"The first person he sat on his site gave him a tip-five pesetas-and he thought that tonight he was going to line up with what he took out, but that was all they gave him. all night, "he said.

(tagsToTranslate) event (t) musical (t) big (t) Benidorm (t) tourist

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