A LOOKBACK AT THE BENIDORM INTERNATIONAL SOUL FIESTAS
The First Benidorm International Soul Fiesta took place in May 2016. Three rooms of soul music saw over 700 people descend on The Hotel Gran Bali when the ‘Jewel In The Crown’ of the event featured 3 legendary figures that have gained iconic status within Northern soul circles. Bunny Sigler, Dean Courtney and Ronnie walker treated us to a fantastic show in the Auditorio de Cristal on the Saturday Night. This very first Fiesta brought together DJs, Record Collectors and Dancers from a number of different International Soul scenes including Australia, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, and of course the United Kingdom. The plan was to have 3 rooms that could cater to both a classic Oldies crowd combined with the best of the International Soul scenes penchant for something different. We weren’t 100% sure that this blend of soul-fans would produce the numbers to sustain an Event like we planned but we needn’t have worried. The Soul Terrace clicked with the Classic fans and The Cotton Club became a firm favourite with our International crowd. Of course at Midnight on Saturday Night everyone appeared on the same dance floor when Bunny, Dean and Ronnie, ably backed by our resident band Al Supersonic and the Teenagers blew us away with their LIVE STAGE SHOW performance.
A year later and May 2017 soon came around and The Fiesta expanded into 4 rooms with the addition of The Underground, a room dedicated to delivering a Scooterist/Mod Allnighter on the Saturday Night. 2 Spanish bands, The Twisted Wheels and Paisley Express entertained us with their eclectic mix of Soul, RnB and 60s Beats and the room rocked to a number of DJs specially selected for the event. In conjunction with this room The Fiesta introduced a daytime Custom Scooter Show that proved popular and may well return again in future. In 2017 The Cotton Club went from strength to strength with a great mix of DJs from UK and Continental Europe delivering the perfect mix of classic sounds intermixed with records that wouldn’t have seen The Technics in the Main Room. (Soul Terrace). We also enjoyed an Opening Night Party on the Wednesday night that featured music from the soulful 70s genre. Dancefloor full, happy faces, job done! The Cotton Club has proved so popular that we extended the Friday and Saturday Nights to include back to back allnighters! Our LIVE STAGESHOW for 2017 featured the talents of Detroit’s Adorables and the girls went through the group’s back catalogue with great aplomb and of course the legendary Pat Lewis treated us to her own solo outings too. Detroit came to Benidorm at last! Once again the room allocation sold out!
In May 2018 The Fiesta enjoyed another sell out Event and a number of extra sessions were added. The Underground saw a wonderful performance from The Twisted Wheels on the Friday Night whilst daytime sessions from 1pm until 7pm took place at the Talk Of The Coast. Cabaret bar in Benidorm. Both these additions plus others will return for the 2019 Event. The Cotton Club continued to cement its growing reputation with a couple of guest DJs : France’s Bruno Jerez and UK’s Matt Sneath and both Friday and Saturday Allnighters in there were rammed. The highlight of the 2018 Fiesta though was undoubtably the performance of Eddie Holland who showed exactly why he is regarded as an icon of Philly Soul. Alongside his Northern Soul favourites he performed most of his Harthon related repertoire including the unreleased songs and really stole the show with his fantastic rendition of his international hit “Hey there Lonely Girl”.