In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel
Spaniards get themselves all greased up for ancient festival
The odd-ball shenanigans of the Cascamorras festival, in the streets of Baza, near Granada, Spain see townsfolk from two rival cities douse themselves in oil before parading the streets in the name of protecting their beloved Virgin Mary statue.
The festival was inspired by a dispute between the villages of Baza and Guadix over the possession of the image of the Virgin of Piedad.
Dating back to the 15th Century the origins of the festival has always been somewhat messy.
Traditionally it’s said that as both towns wanted possession of the beloved icon they came up with a way to decide how it can be plucked from the hands of their rivals.
Every year some lucky residents- called The Cascamorras, representatives from Guadix – are sent to the town of Baza to recover the statue. But they can only do so if they get to the neighbouring town clean – something that has never happened in the five centuries of the ritual.
This is because the Baza residents attempt to make them as dirty as possible.
Africa Express in Hebden Bridge
A glimpse of the amazing, rolling round-the-UK music train as it stops off in Yorkshire’s Pennine Paradise. Jill Robinson joins the crowds and sees school holidays end on a high note.
There was obviously something unusual going on in Hebden Bridge. Why else would there be such a queue outside the Trades Club at 11.30 on a Monday morning?
It was clearly something special when those queuing were seen to be issued with wristbands, whereas normally audience members just wander in and have their hands stamped. And why was the bar serving only soft drinks? The occasion was a lunchtime concert by Africa Express, who are touring the country by chartered train, and had stopped off at Hebden Bridge en route for their evening concert in Middlesbrough.
The project, which comprises more than 80 performers, is part of thecultural Olympiad, raising awareness of African music, with western and African musicians playing together at both scheduled and pop-up venues. You can read rolling coverage in the Guardian here.
Half-a-dozen musicians from the collective, headed by Reeps One andAfrikan Boy, with Krar Collective, and Tamar Osborn on sax, jammed with members of the Hebden Bridge Junior Brass Band in a packed room. Luckily, the local schools had not yet returned for the autumn term, so it was an ideal and unique end-of-the-holidays treat.
Rock ‘n’ roll fantasy camp home in Vegas
After travelling the world and giving aspiring musicians a chance to jam with their favourite stars, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp announced Thursday it was setting up a permanent home in Las Vegas.
Starting in October, aspiring rockers who have dreamed of playing with their musical heroes can sign up for the camp’s courses at the MGM Grand hotel and casino. Upcoming camps will feature rock legends as Roger Daltrey, Jack Bruce, Alice Cooper, Dave Navarro, Sammy Hagar, Gene Simmons and Vince Neil.
Camp founder David Fishof, a former manager and tour producer for Ringo Starr and The Monkees, said he had been looking for a permanent location for some time to cope with growing demand.
“It gets bigger every year,” said Fishof. He estimated that since its start, over 7,000 rock star wannabes have attended the camps, which have been held six times a year in various locations including New York, Philadelphia and London.
Prices vary but a five-day camp with a star like Simmons is about $9,500 including hotel accommodation and meals, instruments and a performance at the MGM Grand hotel.
Fishof said the camps attract a cross-section of people.
“We get mothers, 15-year-old kids, top executives and music fans from all over the country, and the common denominator is their love for music – and many of them keep coming back, they love the experience so much,” he said.
Now, the faithful will have a permanent shrine at which to worship.
Michael O’Leary’s most memorable quotes
Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, has described passengers who forget to print out their boarding passes as “idiots”. Here we present a selection of other memorable quotes by the outspoken airline boss.
On passengers who forget to print their boarding pass: “We think [they] should pay 60 euros for being so stupid.”
On refunds: “You’re not getting a refund so **** off. We don’t want to hear your sob stories. What part of ‘no refund’ don’t you understand?”
On customer service: “People say the customer is always right, but you know what – they’re not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so.”
On overweight passengers: “Nobody wants to sit beside a really fat ****** on board. We have been frankly astonished at the number of customers who don’t only want to tax fat people but torture them.”
On beginning a press conference to announce the annual results: “I’m here with Howard Miller and Michael Cawley, our two deputy chief executives. But they’re presently making love in the gentleman’s toilets, such is their excitement at today’s results.”