What’s on in Marbella in 2023
Marbella might be best known around the world for its glamorous lifestyle and luxurious properties, but there is also a deeper and more diverse side to the capital of Costa del Sol chic.
Away from the popular beach clubs, the elegant restaurants, the sophisticated boutiques, the sumptuous penthouses and the magnificent mansions, Marbella also offers homebuyers the opportunity of enjoying an extensive and diverse calendar of events throughout the year – including concerts by global stars, international sports events, art exhibitions and flamboyant fairs.
As it is still early in the year, many institutions and organisations have not yet finalised their schedules for 2023, but here you will find some of the key dates already scheduled and confirmed.
We hope they will whet your appetite and help you start making plans for your next trip to Marbella – if you haven’t already settled here permanently.
If the latter applies to you, why not combine the pleasures of your visit with some rewarding business, by contacting Promas Estates and asking us to arrange a personalised tour of our exceptional properties in Marbella and further afield?
That way, by 2024 you will have all these cultural delights and leisure options conveniently located right on your own new Spanish doorstep.
In recent years, Starlite has not only become the stellar entertainment event of Marbella’s summer season but also one of Europe’s premier music festivals.
Held in a one-time quarry converted into a spectacular amphitheatre on the outskirts of the exclusive Sierra Blanca residential area, Starlite Marbella includes more than two months of daily concerts, DJ sessions, gastronomy, fashion, shopping and other luxury events and presentations, as well as a charity gala co-hosted by Antonio Banderas.
Running from 23 June to 2 September, this year’s festival once again includes an impressive line-up of performers including Lionel Ritchie (6 July), Anastacia (12 July), Ludovico Einaudi (18 July), Rod Stewart (21 July) and Norah Jones (27 July).
Also in Marbella, after a major revamp of the old Puerto Banús bullring that concluded in 2021, concert-goers can enjoy another cutting-edge venue that offers “unique shows and singular experiences”.
The program of special events at Marbella Arena in 2023 is still to be confirmed, but in the meantime, visitors are able to enjoy an innovative combination of cultural and leisure-based activities and gourmet cuisine throughout the year.
Further down the highway, on the beach near Fuengirola’s majestic Sohail Castle, Marenostrum has become established as Costa del Sol’s second most important summer music festival. The main star this year is Robbie Williams, who on 15 June will be headlining an otherwise more Spanish-oriented program than that scheduled for Starlite, although in recent years Santana, Jennifer Lopez, Bob Dylan and Sting have also performed at the foot of the iconic castle.
Returning west back towards Marbella, the Cala Mijas festival will only be celebrating its second edition in 2023, but it has already captured the imagination of music lovers from around the continent. To be held from 31 August to 2 September in the Sonora Mijas venue, the festival offers another superb lineup of top bands and artists, headed by The Strokes, Florence + The Machine and Arcade Fire, with other confirmed acts including Foals, Amyl & The Sniffers, Delaporte, The Blaze, Cupido and Amaia.
Art & Culture
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death, and a program of cultural events is being held throughout the world to honour his memory. The focal point will be Málaga, where the artist was born in 1881. The city is home to the Museo Picasso Málaga, which is celebrating its own milestone in 2023 – the art museum was inaugurated 20 years ago, in October 2003.
The museum is planning two major exhibitions this year: “Picasso: Matter and Body”, from 9 May to 10 September; and “The Echo of Picasso”, from 3 October 2023 to 24 March 2024.
Gastronomy & Philanthropy
One of the less-heralded, but most endearing, aspects of Marbella’s lifestyle is the philanthropic generosity and empathy of the community, and one of the main events that highlight these admirable sentiments is ChefsForChildren.
Every year, Spain’s top chefs – many overseeing restaurants with multiple Michelin stars – come together to help underprivileged youngsters develop their cooking skills and passion for gastronomy, and stress the importance of healthy eating.
On 24 April, a series of workshops will be held for children from the Fundación Pequeño Deseo (Small Wish Foundation) and schoolchildren in Benahavís (this year’s host municipality). Then, the day’s events will conclude with a fund-raising gala dinner at the Hotel Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Benahavís Marbella Resort (where Michelle Obama and one of her daughters stayed during a private Spanish holiday in the summer of 2010). Reservations for the dinner will be available from March.
This is another pivotal year for golf on the Costa del Sol. The big news just before winter was that Royal Valderrama – Spain’s most renowned golf club – would be hosting a LIV Golf event in 2023. The rebel tour has revolutionised the global golfing landscape, signing up such top stars as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau and creating an attractive, less traditional team-based tournament format. The Valderrama event will be from 30 June to 2 July.
Then attention will be focused on the women’s game when Spain hosts its first Solheim Cup. The top players from Europe and the United States will do battle from 22 to 24 September at the Finca Cortesín course in Casares municipality. Last year marked 25 years since the first Ryder Cup was held in continental Europe, at Royal Valderrama just down the highway.
From 23 to 26 November, Marbella will be back in the international golfing spotlight when the
Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España (grand finale of the Ladies European Tour season) is held at Royal Las Brisas. Located in Marbella’s “Golf Valley” in Nueva Andalucía, the venerable club has hosted many top international events over the decades, including the 1973 and 1989 World Cups
Fun of the Fair
Every city and town has its own annual “feria” and many also host other themed fairs throughout the year – and the Costa del Sol is fortunate to host three of the most popular and fun-filled.
Running this year from 12 to 19 August, the Málaga Fair is – like most others around Spain – celebrated in two parts. During the day, revellers congregate around bars and restaurants in the city centre’s vibrantly decorated streets, before adjourning to the vast fairground site in the evening.
Celebrations take a similar dual form during Marbella’s own fair, from 5 to 11 June, extending until sunset when the hardiest party-goers who are still standing enjoy a breakfast of chocolate and churros before heading home.
The third fair is, arguably, an even more attractive must-visit for anyone wanting to savour the Costa del Sol’s renowned cosmopolitan lifestyle. The Feria Internacional de Los Países (formerly known as the Feria de los Pueblos) is a five-day showcase of culture, music and gastronomy from dozens of countries across the world (Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, Australia and Europe). This year’s 27th edition of the fair will be held from 27 April to 1 May at the Fuengirola fairgrounds, open from 1pm to 4am.
Hopefully that’s a useful starting point for your own 2023 diary of top Marbella and Costa activities. We will be adding other events throughout the year as they are confirmed, or you can contact us directly at Promas Estates to ask our local team what’s on during your visit.