Starlite Festival boost to Marbella’s economy

With just over a month to go Marbella is getting ready for its celebrity studded social event of the year—the Starlite Festival.

Starlite Marbella

This year—as always—a host of big name special guests will be performing concerts at the Nagüeles auditorium set within an old quarry. The Corrs, Sir Tom Jones, Carlos Santana, Charles Aznavour, Julio Iglesias and Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant are just some of the big names appearing this year. They bring more than a sprinkling of stardust to the music festival—as with them comes worldwide publicity to Marbella, as well as the cream of Spanish society.

But what is not quite so evident is the work and effort that goes on behind the scenes to ensure the glamorous series of events runs smoothly. While there is a small team that works year round on the annual event, more than 300 staff are taken on for the month-long festival, earning between €1,480 and €4,860 each during the event. The positions offered are hostess, dancer, bar tender and manager, driver, cleaner, plumber, carpenter, gardener, public relations staff, ‘runners’ and ushers, among others.11759377_995004567200452_389715198_n

Work has already started on preparing the stage and auditorium, which will take about six weeks, with another 30 days needed to pack up after the festival’s closure. While directly employing these people (some 6,000 applied) provides a direct cash injection to the local economy, the wider effects of increased visitor numbers are even more significant. Apart from the additional 500 people estimated to be indirectly employed by suppliers, hotels restaurants and top end leisure services all benefit from the impact of high spending attendees. On top of that, Marbella is known to make year-round gains from the publicity and higher profile it receives via the festival. In fact, organisers of the Starlite commissioned a study that revealed Marbella’s GDP is boosted by €80 million a year through factors associated to the festival.

This is the fifth year the event has been staged and in just a short time it has become one of the most important social events to be held in Spain, and through the Antonio Banderas-inspired Starlite Gala it has raised hundreds of thousands of euros for good causes too.

Spanish dance musician Juan Magán will be opening the festival with a concert on July 14th, with a string of acts entertaining the crowds until the closing night on August 20th. More information on the Starlite Festival 2016 can be found on the official website.


Should you wish to visit Marbella during the Starlite Festival, FM Consulting manages the prestigious Cortijo del Mar Resort between Marbella and Estepona. It is the perfect place to enjoy a beach holiday at just a short drive to the attractions of Marbella and the Starlite Festival.