A Guide to the Benicassim Festival Spain
This blog is intended as a guide for the frustrated British festival goers out there, those who have been to The Readings, The V’s, the Glasto’s and come back wishing that the festivals they know and love could be served without the huge side order of good old British Weather.
This was a predicament I found myself to face after two sodden back to back festivals prompted the need for an alternative option. A festival with the music I love minus the mud, the rain, the damp depressing gunmetal grey skies and the mud, did I mention the mud?
Well I was in luck, as it turned out there were a wide range of festivals out there for the rain battered tent owners out there: Sziget http://www.sziget.hu/festival_english, Hungary, Sonisphere (Europe Wide) http://www.sonispherefestivals.com, EuroSonic Holland http://www.festival.eurosonic-noorderslag.nl/ etc.
It was following this search that I spoke to a few friends who had visited a festival in a Spanish town called Benicassim. There was nothing but praise for a festival apparently blessed with the great and the good in terms of established and emerging musical talent and also sunshine.
The name Benicassim meant nothing to me and following a quick Google search (other search engines are available) I found pictures of a sun drenched festival on the eastern coast of Spain between Alicante and Barcelona. The images portrayed a fantastic looking event graced with the acts we all love and I think the decision to give Benicassim more than a passing search on Google was already made.
The next step came over a few beers with my mate Chris (a fellow 30 something and music lover) where we decided to do Benicassim http://www.fiberfib.com 2011. Within a day or two the festival tickets had been booked and we were arranging flights, accommodation and car hire for the two of us and the wives.
Over the weeks and months that followed the line up for the festival started to unravel with The Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Primal Scream, Elbow to name but a few. The musical programme starts on the Thursday and goes right through to the early hours of Monday morning, the first bands are on at half 6 in the evening, the main headliners finish around 2am and the festival finishes at about 6am. In fact we had to catch an early flight on the Monday morning and drove past the festival at 6ish and it was still going on, needless to say that moment depressed the shit out of us.
Tickets for the festival are around the 150 mark which includes 4 days and nights of music and 1 whole week of camping. For a few extra Euros (roughly £75/80) you can camp at the Villa Camp http://www.benifest.co.uk which boasts better facilities and live music.
Travelling to the Festival
Generally people fly to Alicante, Barcelona or Valencia (good luck with the latter as flights sell out fast). There are special buses put on for the festival in all of the above airports with details on the main FIB Website.
Or you can forego the camping and stay at one of the many hotels and apartments in and around the town, you will get anything from 1-5 star, either in town or a few miles away. In 2011 we stayed in an apartment in Oropesa which was absolutely stunning with its own pool. It proved to be a couple of miles away from the festival but there are a boat load of buses and Taxi’s to ferry you around with both running well into the wee small hours.
Needless to say that the festival is massive and totally consumes the town, the bars and restaurants are buzzing in the day, the beach (also massive) transforms itself into a huge sandy bed for the late, late night revelers and a great place to chill and tan up. The sea also offers a nice cooling off option as its boiling there in the summer (clearly).
Whether you’re going to camp or glamp, one thing is for sure, this is a fantastic way to do a festival, waking up to spend the day in the sunshine and then spend the night listening to top drawer music, repeating for the four days and nights until done.
Needless to say I was hooked after my first FIB experience and after going again in 2012 have just booked tickets for this year (2013).
More To Come
I will follow this blog up with a more in depth look at the festival itself (2012) and will also be previewing the acts booked so far this year. You all know the big names (Killers, Queens of the Stone Age etc) and what they are about so my focus will be on the lesser known acts. Were planning a longer trip this year and will also be travelling around Spain a bit, in addition to reviewing the festival and the bands that play. Bring it On!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!