Police have pulled the plug on ex-pats who spent years getting a small Costa Blanca beach bar rocking after complaint from neighbours who say they were missing out on their siestas.
Punta Prima, near Torravieja, was a relatively unknown resort used mainly by holidaying Spaniards from Madrid and Barcelona. Then a group of ex-pats began holding live music events at a small pop-up bar by the sea.
One ex-pat, from Edinburgh, who didn’t want to be named, said: “This is a wonderful place, the climate and weather are fabulous and the ex-pat and Spanish get along famously.
“But it was a bit dull, so a few years ago people got together with some ex-pat musicians and began playing live music on the beach. Almost immediately people began to come from all over to enjoy it and have a good time.”
And within months the once-scruffy Sunrise bar which normally only opened at the height of the summer season, was serving ice cold lager all year round and was being described as the new Cafe del Mar.
Even Trip Advisor was getting posts off tourists who had tuned in to the impromptu music scene. One said: “Rocky beach but all the best live music here at the moment. People travel from all over to listen. Don’t miss out!”
Then out of the blue this post appeared on social media: “Sorry folks, NO MUSIC tomorrow or the following days. One person rang the police 15 times complaining, so all beach bars are not allowed music at Punta Prima. Such a shame, there is always one. Please share to let everyone know. I shall keep you updated of any change.”
The sun-soaked music fans were furious, one said: “It’s ridiculous. The closest neighbours are a long way off and the winds usually blow the noise out to sea anyway. But now bar owners, staff and members of some of the bands have lost part of their incomes.
“It’s not like the music was going on into the early hours of the morning or anything, they were afternoon events… they brought a lot of trade into the area, what was wrong with that?”
From the bull-running in Pamplona to the tomato fight in Bunyol, Spain is renowned for its noisy fiestas and many bars and restaurants drum up trade with live music and flamenco dancing going on until the early hours.
Punta Prima itself is a 20 minute walk from Torrevieja which, until tourism took hold, eked a living from fishing and salt-mining history. It is now famous for its pink and green salt lakes.