The town is in a complete tizzy at the moment. Alejandro Sánchez Pizarro, or Alejandro Sanz as he is better known, is giving a concert on Saturday at the football ground, as part of his latest tour. It is generating almost as much excitement as the Pope´s visit to Santiago later this year. Eight thousand tickets have been sold, and every hotel room and holiday let for miles around has been booked. The Mayor has assured us that there will be parking for 4000 vehicles, and 150 people have been conscripted to undertake security and traffic management. Special events are being laid on to entertain the crowds over the rest of the weekend, including a horse-riding display, an art exhibition and a medieval market. The bars and restaurants are looking forward to a windfall weekend to make up for the fall in tourist numbers caused by the recession.
Not being a great fan of pop music, I had never heard of this fellow before I moved here, but he is definitely the Robbie Williams of the Spanish-speaking world (which includes 45 million people in the USA). Since his recording career began in 1989 he has sold 21 million records, clocked up 200 platinum discs and topped the charts in 18 countries. He has won countless accolades including 15 Latin Grammy awards - more than any other artist. He has recorded and performed on stage with Shakira, Alicia Keys, the Corrs and many others.
Sanz is a scion of one of Alcalá´s most prominent families, the Pizarros. He was actually born in Madrid, but he spent a couple of school holidays here and to all Alcalainos he is an "hijo adoptivo" - an adopted son - and they are deeply proud of him. The boy done good, as they say. The council (half of whom are members of the Pizarro clan) have been trying to get him to give a concert here for six years, and their dream has finally come true. It is by far the smallest venue on his tour, and at €30 it is also the cheapest - to see him at the Palacio de Deportes in Madrid the following Wednesday would set you back €70.
Nevertheless, I shan't be joining the crowds of swooning females down on the football ground on Saturday. I get twitchy in big crowds, and we will probably hear it from our roof terrace anyway.