Cala Mijas – the hot finale to festival season 2022


The first edition of Cala Mijas festival took place over the first weekend of September, offering a hot finale to festival season 2022. La Cala de Mijas is one of the original fishing villages situated on the Costa del Sol, in the province of Malaga. The region has a rich culture and a strong Spanish identity. 

Surrounded by the Malaga mountains to the North, and by the Mediterranean sea to the South, glamping is the best way to experience Cala Mijas festival. At the famous ‘Hippodromo’, up in the mountains, the thunder of horses’ hooves is replaced by festival go-ers setting up camp. Flood-lit for night racing, the sandy terrain makes for an idyllic campground for those who can stand the heat. 

Cala Mijas tempted the sun-loving Brits with a line-up dominated by Northern indie guitar bands, including Blossoms, Liam Gallagher, Crawlers, and The Lathams. Of course it was Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys who drew the biggest crowd of the 3-dayer. 

Arctic Monkeys have hardcore fans all around the world and in Spain is no exception. The crowd was a mesh between anxious Spanish fans, and Brits who had been drinking all day in the sun. They chant ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire’ over ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’. Alex Turner had the subdued energy of a front-man who has seen it all before. Arctic Monkeys opened with ‘Do I Wanna Know’, and ran through the game-changing classics ‘Mardy Bum’, ‘Snap Out of It’ and ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’. The crowd belted back every line with gusto. Turner closed with ‘505’, before returning for the encore with ‘One Point Perspective’, taken from their last album ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’.

Such beautiful photography, it’s worth it for the opening scene

I’ve been driving ’round, listening to the score

Or maybe, I just imagined it all

Arctic Monkeys – One Point Perspective

Representing up-and-coming bands from the North were new Polydor signing, Crawlers, from Liverpool. Lead singer Holly Minto reflected on relationships, sexuality and body image. Fuelled by crunching riffs, spiky hooks and pummelling drums, the quartet put on a powerful show.

On Saturday night, an assured and jubilant James Blake felt in safe hands to test out a new song. His stage presence was relaxed and confident as he slipped between albums, throwing it back to CMYK – a staple in his festival set. 

I can find my way with no superpowers

I can take my place without becoming sour

I might not make all those psychopaths proud

At least I can see the faces of the smaller crowds

And I’m okay, no, I can drive myself

I’ve been sobered by my time on the shelf

And I’ve been normal

And I’ve been ostracised like a comet

Blazing through an empty sky

James Blake – Say What You Will

In the magic hour, Alice Phoebe Lou looked radiant. She opened her set with ‘Only When I’, a relatable song about sometimes lusting after someone you don’t love anymore. The Spanish crowd warmed up nicely and Alice looked at home on the stage. 

Only when it’s late at night

Only when it don’t feel right

Only when I touch my body

Only when I’m feeling naughty

Only when you’re far away

Far away, far away

Alice Phoebe Lou – Only When I

Another festival highlight was Róisín Murphy. A boss. A legend. An icon. She strided onto the Cala Mijas Victoria Stage wearing a colourful outfit made by LICONG GONG.

Friday’s headline slot was the turn of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Turning from orange, to pink, to purple, to black, the sky became a part of Cave’s transcendent show. A backdrop, adding to the drama. For a fleeting moment, as Nick embraced his adorning fans, the heavens break and light rain started to fall. The grief-stricken singer bared his soul. Live music at its most powerful.


Unlike Barcelona’s Primavera Sound, Cala Mijas is non commercialised. It’s a true escape from reality. The site is smaller, and everything is more considered. It’s pretty, with a 360° view of mountains and tall palm trees wrapped around the site. 

Sun-soaked days, dancing from dusk until sunrise. Indie festival anthems and colourful dance beats. Clean toilets, attention to detail and a happy vibe. Cala Mijas is Spain’s new best festival.  

The dates for Cala Mijas 2023 have been confirmed as 31 Aug – 2 Sep. Tickets will be available soon, you can sign-up via the link below. Add this one to your bucket list immediately!