Spain Explained

Music is big business in Spain

Last updated on September 13th, 2019 at 09:09 am.

Apparently, Spanish is becoming an increasingly popular language to learn. Why? Alongside Spain’s popularity as a holiday destination comes its attraction to young people as a ‘cool’ place with ‘cool’ people.  

Some of this undoubtedly comes down to the passion for party, late nights in the summer and a rampant love affair with music and dancing in Spain. It’s everywhere, from the beach party to the fiesta from the festival to the religious parade. And it’s everything from the traditional salsa, flamenco and guitar to amalgams of hip hop and dance music.

It might be everywhere and in a variety of forms, but it doesn’t always come cheap.

Clubbing – an expensive night out

My son recently went to Ibiza to celebrate his girlfriend’s 21st birthday. I was a little dumbfounded to be told that he expected to spend around €300 a night while he was out there.

For someone who hasn’t been clubbing for a few years this sounds rather steep. Not though when he explained that to enter one of the major clubs in Ibiza costs around €80 and that a drink once inside could set you back €30. Given that you have to enter the clubs by a certain time and must not be under the influence of alcohol when you do, you could end up with a pretty hefty bar bill.

It does seem to be out and out extortion and certainly makes clubbing in Ibiza a very exclusive event that’s not going to attract anyone with a tight budget. And it’s not just restricted to this fashionable holiday isle.

The Euro Weekly News has an article about Paris Hilton clubbing in Marbella. At the night club where she made an appearance as a DJ, the entry price was €70 and it is unlikely that the drinks would be much cheaper than those in Ibiza too.

All for the privilege of seeing socialite Paris Hilton put some records on. Allegedly a Paris Hilton appearance commands between €100,000 and €400,000 euros. At such a price it’s perhaps not surprising that you have to sell your soul to see her. 

Festivals are big business

During the summer, you could probably spend every day at a festival in some part of Europe. The number of festivals seems to have spiralled and so does the cost of entry. Admittedly, some come with the cost of camping included but, they are not a cheap option if you want to take part.

There are some, such as Aste Nagusia in Bilbao, that have a variety of ticket prices and some of the entertainment comes free. The Rototom festival in Bencàssim is free to the disabled, over 65s and those under 12 years old. However, to attract the line ups that some of these festivals now offer they’re not going to charge peanuts to let you in.

To be fair, it isn’t just the promoters who can do well out of it. It can be big business for the local area too. Following the success of the Dreambeach festival in Almeria, it is being reported that the event generated jobs for 800 people, the majority of whom were locals. The event brought €7 million euros to Villaricos where Dreambeach is located as a result of people spending on average €100 a day. Less than you can expect to spend on a night out in Ibiza at least.

Entertainment on the cheap

Fortunately not every musical event in Spain comes at such a high price. If you look around, there is still a strong tradition here of the arts and culture on the cheap. Most local areas host events for free if you look for them.

If you are short of cash but still want to enjoy yourself there are websites to help you. Free events in Barcelona, Girona and Tarragona are advertised by forfree:

If you don’t happen to live in one of these areas, if you search on the internet it is still likely that someone, somewhere locally has done your research for you.  Money Saver Spain has a web page specifically for leisure and time off. They have lots of ideas and information about obtaining tickets to events at a discount and how you can visit some of Spain’s major tourist attractions without raiding your piggy bank.

Of course, you can always attend a local fiesta. The religious parades in Spain and many entertainments are offered by the town hall for free. It costs nothing to go and watch and there is sometimes other free hospitality involved too.

The good news is, that with Spain’s favourable climate, there are plenty of opportunities for enjoying yourself in the open air without paying out a fortune. After all, walking on the beach with your earphones in costs you nothing at all.   

More information

EWN Gets it! With Paris Hilton:

Dreambeach festival brings in 7 million:

Top ten: summer music festivals in Spain 2014:

Some festivals in Spain

FestivalLocationMore information
Arenal SoundCastellón
Primavera SoundBarcelona
Low FestivalBenidorm
Aste NagusiaBilbao
See all

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