Broken Music

Avila, ES
Finca Mesegosillowith Fiction Plane
At the Hoyo del Espino Sting offers the first performance of 'Musicians in Nature'...

At his 54 years, Sting displays a mature rock sound, strong but smooth, and his faithful and loyal fans came from the whole Spain to enjoy this concert in a prairie surrounded with pine groves at la Sierra de Gredos to listen to the impeccable sound of the music he has provided to them for decades. On Saturday night more than 11,000 fans enjoyed his songs in a performance lasting more than an hour and a half knowing that it was only one of two stops that the Broken music tour made in Spain.

The Castile and León councils inaugurated a project named ''Musicians in Nature'', about which presently there is no information about when and where there will be further concerts although the Commission of Environment already know that the ecologists will maintain a watchful eye for future concerts after the outcry that forced the location of the concert to be changed from Regional Park of the Sierra de Gredos and to move it half a kilometre from the original location to an acceptable place. Finally, there were no problems in the zone, where any more than 5,000 car parking spaces were made available and sixty buses used to move the fans up to the venue in the highway that rises to la Plataforma de Gredos, en Hoyos del Espino.

Sting excited the audience who sang along to his well-known songs without problem from the time the Briton appeared on the stage to the perform legendary songs like 'Message In A Bottle' and 'Synchronicity' from his old band The Police, and others from his solo career such as 'Englishman in New York' and 'Shape Of My Heart', which the audience appreciated.

'Fields Of Gold' provided one of the moments came that his fans will remember - including acoustic guitar - and 'A Day In The Life' provided the sound of the Beatles. The stage was sober and plain and in 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free' Sting invited the audience ''to sing with me'', shortly before performing an extended version of the mythical 'Roxanne' before leaving the stage.

Sting returned as requested to perofrm two encores, of four songs including 'Every Breath You Take' and 'Fragile, ''how fragile we are, how fragile we are''. Performing the set the Briton was accompanied by a small but effective band including the guitars of Dominic Miller and Lyle Workman (ex-Beck and Frank Black) and the powerful drumming of Abe Laborel Jr. (ex-Paul McCartney).

The Briton came to the heliport that was situated close to the stage in time to see Portugal defeat England in the footabll world cup, in the company of musicians, technicians and the support group. They were the rockers Fiction Plane, led by Joe Sumner, son of Sting, who when they took to the stage, shortly before the 9.30pm, were met by a half full arena. Around five hundred personnel of the Civil Guard, Civil Protection, private safety and fire fighters attended the concert to ensure that the zone where the concert took place remain unpolluted.

(c) El Pais by Carlos de Miguel (translated by Roberto Herrera)

Sting attracts 11,000 to his concert in the pine groves of Gredos...

The Briton Sting, attracted almost 11,000 people to la Sierra de Gredo in Avila at the second of his two concerts in Spain and they listened in excitement to the twenty songs he performed in the hour and a half show starting with the legendary 'Message In A Bottle' and finishing with the mythical 'Roxanne'.

In the ''Mesegosillo'', a big prairie in a surrounding of pine groves and close to the regional park of Gredos, the Sting fans enjoyed the concert - part of the Broken Music tour - and the former leader of The Police had them all singing along to his powerful and smooth music. After an extended version of 'Roxanne', Sting said goodbye although returned for two encores of four songs that the audience demanded, among them 'Every Breath You Take' and 'Fragile'

The Briton arrived at the heliport close to where the concert was situated and went to a local building nearby to watch the England-Portugal World cup football game in which his country was defeated. On stage Sting was accompanied by the guitars of Dominic Miller and Lyle Workman and by Abe Laboriel Jr on drums. In addition to the 11,000 audience, hundreds more people enjoyed the concert for free from the pine groves placed opposite the stage.

(c) Nueva Espana (Translated by Roberto Herrera)

Sting attracts 10,000 people to his concert in the Mountain range of Gredos...

Sting played to 10,000 people tonight in Hoyos del Espino (Avila) as part of his Broken Music tour as part of the programme 'Musicians in Nature which was established last March by the councils of the Environment and Family and Equality of Opportunities agreed by Castilla and Leon.

The concert began with the song 'Message In A Bottle' and ended with 'Fragile' after an hour and forty minutes of uninterrupted music provided by Gordon Matthew Sumner and his group.

The singer's many fans joined in with many of the songs and forced him to play several further songs in two encores. Sting appeared on stage, situated in the ''Mesegosillo'' as predicted at 10.30pm after the performance of the group Fiction Plane who were led by one of his children, Joe Sumner.

The location which has a population of around 500 inhabitants and is situated in the socio-economic zone controlled by Gredos saw the crowd start to arrive throughout the day mainly from Madrid, Castilla and Leon although the majority of the audience arrived at around 6pm. In order to avoid incidents the central administrators put together a team of around 500 people of whom around 200 were employees of the concert organisers. In addition, sixty buses were laid on to transfer the fans of the ex-Police leader to the concert venue and parking was made available for almost 6,000 vehicles. The available camping capacity was doubled as hotels and other rural lodgings ran out of rooms once the concert was publicly announced.

Although the concert was originally intended to take place in ''La Solana'', protests from ecological groups and some political parties led to the the concert being relocated to the ''Mesegosillo''. Three hectares were used for the concert and the various services and stalls.

In spite of the fencing that was erected by the organisers a good number of people witnessed the performance from outside the enclosure as the concert was visible from numerous points from a distances of some 500 square metres.

Sting arrived at the Hoyos del Espino a few minutes before 5pm in a helicopter which allowed him to watch the quarter final of the World Cup in Germany between England and Portugal that finally ended in victory for the Portuguese. After landing he greeted the hundred people who met him on arrival backstage. It was not possible for the musician to attend some of the activities that had been arranged by the organisers from Castilla and Leon. The regional administration try with these type of acts to promote the natural areas of the region of Gredos to which a third of the concert proceeds will be donated.

(c) La Voz De Galicia (Translated by Roberto Herrera)

Sting deep in the Hoyos del Espino...

Finally the battles were over and celebrated in favour of the environment. The Musicians in Nature initiative accepted that the concert could not take place in the Parque de Gredos but that it could take place in the Hoyos del Espino, and so Sting was set to touch the stars. The ecologists argued that it was not worth a concert that promoted singing in nature that would which would make the Gredos regional park dirty later. It made little sense for the treeless park to be sown with cigarette butts, beer tins and other garbage. So an area outside of the nature reserve at La Solana was chosen as the location for the musical feast and the former front man of the Police was in good form.

By bringing us to the centre of the country, as he had with his concert in Albacete during the the first of two Spanish appearances during his Broken Music tour, it was a way of commemmorating the fourth centenary of the ''Quijote para los albaceteños'', of which José Carreras is also part.

The four piece band Fiction Plane (voice, guitar, keyboards and drums) that opened the musical proceedings yesterday evening were led by Joe Sumner, the eldest son of Gordon Matthew Sumner, alias Sting. Like his father, Joe vocalised his grungy songs with a seraphic voice with some daring choral changes before the sun dimmed and the ex-leader of the Police blessed the audience with his voice.

As expected, Sting also appeared as part of a quartet with his right-hand lieutenant Dominic Miller on guitar, and also with Lyle Workman bringing his six string experience that had previously been called upon by Beck, and with Abe Laboriel Jr on drums, now providing the rhythms for Sting that he has previously provided to Paul McCartney.

Sting invoked the the reggae spirit of The Police as he opened with 'Message In A Bottle'. The ethical principles of the Rainforest Foundation which he himself presides over at first sight seemed in sympathy with the protectionist intentions of the Enviroment Council of Castilla and Leon and in any case the audience at the Hoyos del Espino seemed more sympathetic with those ideals than those attending the show in Albacete 24 hours earlier. College students, backpackers, ageless children and 'freaks' arrived at the Gredos Nature Reserve to enjoy the concert.

As precise as a swiss watch, Sting performed the same set as in Albacete. 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You', 'Every Little Things She Does Is Magic' and 'Walking On The Moon' brought back memories of The Police, and were heard by both those that had paid to attend the concert and those that listened for free in the nearby hillsides.

Halfway through the concert Sting raised his foot from the accelerator to perform some classics from his own song book, like 'Shape Of My Heart' and 'Driven To Tears'. In spite of the glorious acoustics that graced his performance the more romantic members of the audience devoted themsleves to detecting shooting stars in the sky and the thirsty ones sacrified decibels in order to drink beer.

The atmosphere became animated towards the last few songs of the concert, before the encores when Sting soulfully stretched 'Roxanne' and performed his anthem 'Fragile'.

Finally, Sting made his exit just as he had arrived, leaving us with the memory of a performer beyond the records that he has made and display his name.

(c) El Mundo by Maurilio de Miguel (Translated by Roberto Herrera)

British singer sees 11,000 gather below the Abulense mountains as part of his Broken Music tour...

The Briton Sting did not short change anyone. 11,000 people came to the ''Mesegosillo'' at the feet of the Gredos mountain range and danced to familiar songs such as those from his time in The Police like 'Roxanne', 'Every Breath You Take' and 'Message In A Bottle' and songs from his solo career like 'Englishman In New York' and 'Fields Of Gold' which his fans cheered on one after the other.

Accompanied by Dominic Miller and Lyle Workman on guitars and Abe Laboriel Jr on drums, and with Sting on bass he demonstrated in the mountains that he still has what it takes. He did not come to present new material but sang instead for the memory of the audience - an audience of all ages - that came hear to him play without any conditions. Before him, Fiction Plane, the group led by his son Joe Sumner performed a set that ranged from pop rock to grunge.

Sting came to Hoyos del Espino after taking his mini tour of Spain to Albacete on Friday. This concert was part of the programme ''Music in the Nature'' developed by the the councils of Environment and Family and Equality of Opportunity who try and promote the Gredos regional base. For that reason half of the ticket proceeds will go to help preserve the natural surroundings. Parallel to the Sting concert the people of Valle del Tiétar could also enjoy two days of spectacle at Arenas de San Pedro. Last Friday the street entertainer Great Rufus demonstrated his circus skills to the children. Saturday was kept for a concert of the Invisible Dance and Stupid Cat where a large number of people went to the bullring to attend a concert that lasted several hours.

(c) Diario de Avila (Translated by Roberto Herrera)

Sting, in the heart of the Gredos mountain range...

The first chords of 'Message In A Bottle' started the Saturday night concert that Sting performed to more than 10,000 people as part of his European 'Broken Music Tour', at the ''Mesegosillo'' of Hoyos del Espino.

The concert at the Gredos mountain range closed Sting's stay in Spain after a one hour and forty minutes performance during which the British singer intrepreted some of his most well known songs from his Police days and his solo career such as 'Roxanne', 'Next To You', 'Walking On The Moon' and 'Englishman In New York' among others.

Sting - along with the rest of his band - arrived at Hoyos del Espino on a helicopter, like a co-pilot, and greeted his fans as they celebrated the landing near to the scene of the concert. After greeting his assistants the singer went by car with his equipment to the rural tourism centre within the grounds of the ''Mesegosillo'' so that he could watch the England-Portugal World Cup game.

Throughout the day the spectators arrived for the concert at Hoyos del Espino and at the nearby localities. In the area of the concert numerous bars and toilets were located, as well as stalls of Broken Music tour merchandising. It was also possible to obtain Casa del Parque products with the logo of the Gredos mountain range.

The hotels, rural houses and camping Hoyos del Espino were completely busy, and most were booked shortly after making the concert date was announced. The arrival of the tourists has benefited the peoples of the area. The organization, who unveiled a control system and security of more than a thousand people, also arranged an additional 5,000 car park spaces at parking Hoyos del Espino, Navarredonda and Navacepeda from which the fans went to the concert in 60 specially arranged buses.

Before Sting took to the stage, the group Fiction Plane which is led by the singer's son, Joe Sumner, acted as support. At 10.30pm, Sting appeared on the darkened stage dressed in jacket, t-shirt and trousers and started the concert with the song 'Message In A Bottle'. The English singer's set comprised of twenty songs many of them from his days on stage with The Police and included two encores before closing the performance with 'Fragile'.

Of the 10,000 audience around 4,000 came from Madrid, about 2,500 from Castilla and Leon and the rest from all the corners of Spain. Attending the concert was the secretary of the Environment Council, Jose Manuel Jiménez; the president of the Provincial Delegation, Agustín González and the mayor of Avila, Miguel Angel Garcia.

In the nearby pine groves, many people congregated to watch the concert from outside of the fenced enclosure since the erected fences did not hide the enormous and sober stage - decorated only with nine luminous panels and enormous tubes of light.

The Sting concert inaugurated the cycle of ''Music in Nature'' concerts, organized by the councils of Environment and Family of the Meeting of Castilla and Leon, with the purpose of promoting the natural spaces of the Independent Community. In fact, a third of the proceeds from the concert will go to the Mountain range of Gredos.

(c) AvilaDigital by Patricia García Robledo (Translated by Roberto Herrera)