“We should go,” says Maria, “It’s 10.30pm and it will take us half an hour to walk there.”
We mix G&Ts and vodka and Red Bulls for the journey and set off from the Benidorm Plaza Hotel to walk to the Sports City Guillermo Amor.
For the uninitiated, Benidorm possesses yin and yang by the bucket and spade load, and the up-side to the density of the town is the fact that everywhere is in relatively easy walking distance, including the Sports City which is our destination. But somehow, the walk turns into a mini party and we chat, drink, smoke and giggle our way to completely lost land.
After several wrong turns and numerous direction enquiries from people who appear to be at least as lost as we are, we finally arrive around midnight at the festival site where Vinila Von Bismark is lighting up the Stereo stage and Lori Meyers has just taken to the Blue. The air is hot, the crowd is bouncing, the music is loud and the night is yet young. Low Cost Festival 2011 has only just begun.
If, like me, when the word Benidorm is mentioned your head fills with images of retired people with skin the colour of old leather cruising in their electric wheelchairs, swerving to avoid the drunken Brits…then think again. From July 21st to 23rd the Low Cost Festival once again rolled into town attracting in the region of 40,000 people over its three day course, very few of them over the age of 35 years, except maybe some of the musicians themselves… and me.
I head straight to the Stereo stage to catch the last half hour of Vinila Von Bismark’s set. Like Dolly Parton on speed, the diminutive singer dominates the stage with her big, blonde hair and her rockabilly rhythms. Anyone who can finish their set with a stomping version of Johnny B Goode while dressed in spangled hot pants, a low cut leotard, stockings and garters gets my respect.
With my head still singing “Go, Johnny, Go Go Go!” I make my way back to the Blue stage where Lori Meyers have whipped the crowd up into a frenzy with My Reality and thousands of arms are silhouetted against the neon lights of the stage, voices unified in lyrics that are foreign to my ears. Having begun the night looking crisp and cool, vocalist Antonio Lomas is grabbing hands from the crowd who are surging at the front of the stage, bare-chested and sweating as the band take their final bows.
It’s almost 2am and I’m beginning to flag. This is just the opening night and I’ve got bands asterisked on the programme for tomorrow that will take me well into Saturday morning. I decide a little pacing wouldn’t be a bad idea. As the first strains of Fangoria’s trance set strike up and Alaska flounces onto the stage to the tumultuous welcome of the crowd, I slink out into the night and a taxi – I’m taking no chances on another impromptu tour of Benidorm.
Andrea (Andy) Montgomery is a freelance travel writer and co-owner of Buzz Trips and The Real Tenerife series of travel websites. Published in The Telegraph, The Independent, Wexas Traveller, Thomas Cook Travel Magazine, EasyJet Traveller Magazine, you can read her latest content on Google+