Quote: ‘If I knew who had organised the party I would hire them to plan our village fiesta’ – mayor Fernando Àlvarez
An illegal music festival that lasted for six days in fields overlooked by the backdrop of Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains saw 5,000 people set up camp.
Revellers danced – with others setting up stalls selling homemade soap, doing piercings and selling pizza from a makeshift mud oven.
The illegal rave began on December 30, with music blasting over the nearby village of La Peza.
“It was 24 hours a day of chin chin boom!,” said Fernando Álvarez, mayor of the municipality.
Residents watched in amazement as a plethora of tents, caravans and seven stages were erected within a mile away from the village centre.
An estimated 5,000 people from Spain, Italy and the Netherlands descended on the site, amongst other nationalities:”There was 1,200 people here initially, rising to over 5,000,” said Álvarez.
“Truthfully, it was a bit chaotic,” he said.
After six days of festivities, partygoers began dismantling tents and stages on January 5: “It’s was a relief. I was super happy,” said the mayor.
Municipal officials were taken aback as to how an international event had managed to materialise on municipal lands, without any warning: “We have no idea,” said Álvarez.
“Truthfully, if I knew who had organised it, I would hire them to plan our village fiesta,” he said.
No permits or licences were given for the event: “Frankly it was magnificently organised,” said Álvarez.
“It was like a small town. They had a bakery, pizzeria, clothing shops, people who would braid your hair, absolutely everything. I’m amazed that they managed to set that all up in the span of a few hours,” said Alvarez.
The municipality lodged a complaint with police, who decided it would be safer to keep watch over the fiesta, rather than forcefully evict thousands of revellers.
Barricades were set up to block vehicles from the site, with a helicopter monitoring revellers. The partying had been peaceful, with just a handful of people arrested for drugs or resisting authority, police said.
The distant throbbing of music sparked curiosity among some of the residents, with young people and an 80-year-old villager joining the party! Other residents welcomed the partygoers and scores of Spanish media who turned up in the village, injecting a bit of cash into the local economy: “We got six days of entertainment out of it,” said Álvarez.
“But we also recognise that this incident has given us a bit of publicity and put us on the map. We’re here if anyone wants to visit us – but maybe not 5,000 people all at once.”