Gibraltar’s two-day music spectacular returned this weekend in a revamped format that proved to be as popular as ever. MTV Presents Gibraltar Calling welcomed a host of international stars to the Rock to entertain thousands of festival goers alongside a slate of local bands.
International pop icon Ricky Martin dazzled with a lively display of some of his greatest hits as he headlined Day One of the festival. Taking time out from his residency in Las Vegas, the star put on an incredibly energetic display as he batted out hits such as ‘Livin la vida loca’, almost as frequently as he changed his outfit.
Earlier in the day, Years & Years, Jonas Blue, Charli XCX and The Amazons had duly impressed with their respective sets.
Steve Aoki rounded off Day One with a typically outlandish performance and his trademark cake-throwing into the crowd of predominantly youngsters who lapped the spectacle up.
The atmosphere was undeniably different to previous years with the MTV event attracting a younger more dance-based crowd of enthusiasts.
The event had plenty of detractors and in the lead up to it social media was a frenzy with criticisms of everything from the line-up to the organisation. But the naysayers were proved wrong and festival
goers left feeling incredibly satisfied with the overall experience. Regarding attendance at the festival, a Government spokesman said that “It is too early to give a final figure but the stadium certainly seemed to be as full as it was for last year’s festival.”
The organisers stuck to the format we have become used to over the years with only a few tweaks here and there. The classic stage again brought with it long-established names such as Midge Ure, Village People and Bananarama but the emphasis was also on dance with Black Box and Go West.
The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: “Wow, it was a fantastic Festival and it’s clearly going from strength to strength. We will no doubt learn lessons this year as we do each year to make the Festival even better next year.”
“I really want to thank everyone who worked so hard to produce and deliver such a brilliant event,” he added.
Sunday saw the return of Gibraltar-favourites Kaiser Chiefs. The band is a firm favourite of the Gibraltar festival scene having performed here in 2015 and subsequently voted as the favourite act by the public. They did not disappoint with their set of the usual classics ‘Ruby’, ‘Everything is average nowadays’ and ‘I predict a riot’.
UK groups The Vaccines, Clean Bandit and Bastille also impressed with polished and highly satisfying sets.
Tinie Tempah put on one of the sleekest most impressive performances we have seen at a Gibraltar Music Festival thus far. Proving exactly why he is one of the UK’s most successful rappers with his ability to fuse musical styles seamlessly. For his first ever time on the Rock he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand as he dropped hit-after-hit including ‘Written in the stars’, ‘Mamacita’ and the eponymous ‘Pass out’.
Craig David usually ‘chills’ on Sunday’s but he made an exception for MTV Gibraltar Calling and put on an impressively flawless headline performance.
The atmosphere was electric as he launched into hit after hit followed by an impressive DJ set and wicked-quick rapping.
It was no surprise that tracks like ‘Fill me in’ and ‘Seven days’ sent the crowds into a frenzy and en-mass sing-a-long.
A nice touch was just how genuinely appreciative he seemed to be there as he constantly thanked the crowd for sticking with him over the past 17 years.
One of dance music’s biggest legends Fatboy Slim rounded off the entire event delivering a huge set with outstanding visuals to match.
Main photo by David Parody