Underground scene: music festival kicks off in Nerja caves

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amata_es on Flickr

NERJA is more than just world-class beaches, it’s also a hot spot for spelunkers and music lovers! Amidst a backdrop of stalactites and stalagmites, the caves of Nerja will host its 56th annual International Festival of Music and Dance starting this week.
Performances are held in the Ballet Room, a particularly expansive cavern with impressive acoustics, thus serving as a natural amphitheatre. With a budget of €430,000, the 56th annual festival kicks off this weekend and will feature eight concerts, four inside the caves and four in Nerja’s Plaza de España.
Concerts in the plaza are free, but tickets to the cave performances – which include a ballet, flamenco show and symphony orchestra – run between €30 and €40. The festival begins July 2 and ends August 15.
The caves of Nerja, discovered in 1959 and declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1985, provide a cool alternative to roasting in the Andalucian sun. Listed twice in the Guinness Book of Records, the caves are home to the world’s largest column – towering 32 metres high with a base of 13 metres by seven metres – and the world’s oldest Neanderthal cave painting, at least 42,000 years old.
The caves are a site of geological and archaeological interest, attracting some 500,000 visitors each year.

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