This article originally appeared on VICE Spain
Up until the 1950s, Benidorm was a quaint and quiet Spanish fishing village. With the decline of the fishing industry, the town council decided to focus on growing tourism instead. That was the birth of Benidorm as we know it 60 years later – concrete apartment towers, megahotels, mini golf courses, weird amusement parks, pimped out cars and 2-for-1 booze offers in clubs.
During the winter, sun-loving pensioners are lords and masters of the Benidorm streets and beaches – they ride around on their mobility scooters, work out in seaside gyms and go dancing in the ballrooms. In the summer, they're joined by families and party-hungry tourists from all over Europe. But there's one week in the year when pensioners need to share their domain with Spanish kids, and that's at the end of July, during Low Festival.
The three-day festival is held in a stadium just outside the centre of the town. Headliners in 2016 included Hot Chip, Belle & Sebastian and Peaches, and programming always lasts until 6 or 7 AM. That means that during the festival, night owls who partied well into the day share the sidewalk with early birds power-walking their way to a breakfast deal. While the pensioners are planting their parasols in the sand for a day at the beach, the festival-goers are still lying there, using their towels as mattresses.
Photographer Victor Hugo went to Benidorm during Low Festival this year, to capture these two groups peacefully co-existing.
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