Shot of the early morning sky before the sun blazes through in Benicassim. I love this picture, the light, the clouds, and the last of the dark night above the sleeping town. Only six weeks till we go back, I can’t wait!
Following on from my Last piece about Benicassim, this is an outline of our 2nd visit to the Festival International Benicassim (FIB). The aim is to give a flavour of the festival itself for anyone venturing to FIB for the first time or considering a visit.
Sun, Sea, Sand and Live Music is the mantra for FIB and has been since its first ever outing back in 1994. Since then the 4 day musical bonanza has blossomed, surviving financial issues and even a sand storm, bringing the brightest and best to the sun drenched Spanish town.
In terms of size FIB can probably be likened to that of the V Festival and takes place over 6 stages varying in size from the huge Maravillas (Marvelous Main Stage) right down to the silent disco; which serves as a lot of fun when you’re exploring the site after a few liveners.
Outside of the main site there is also a stage at Villacamp in addition to gigs and a party around the beach. The seaside town fully embraces the festival as the atmosphere stretches right through the bars, clubs restaurants and of course the beach.
In The Mixer
Benicassim offers the musos out there a real chance to get face to face with the performers rather than watching Subbuteo style from row Z. The beauty of the whole festival is not only the range and mix of performers but also your ability to get up front with many of the acts, feeling the bass drum and energy of the performance.
This is largely down to the majority of the younger contingent staying until the wee small hours and then heading off to the beach to sleep it off during the day. By the time they come round and head back into the festival it’s probably time for the headliners allowing plenty of time and room to soak up a wealth of music from an intimate vantage point (a precious rarity in festivals).
In all honesty, if you use your head when the headliners take to the stage, it’s easy enough find a sweet spot between the stage and the bar. Based on this being a four-day event with roughly 10/12 hours of music a night its worth doing your homework on the bands and artists that are playing to find the up and coming jewels.
Totting up the costs of the tickets (£150) Return Flights (£100 give or take) spending money (prob about £500) plus a hotel on top (if you want a bed and air con) this isn’t the cheapest of the festival options out there. The experience and location does however make for the perfect summer holiday; soaking up the sun and cooling off in the pool during the day, then strolling over to the festival and watching top bands and artists all night. Repeating this for four days and nights? worth every penny!
The full line up for the annual festival International Benicassim (FIB) has been announced. We’re almost finished booking all the particulars and as the sun makes a comeback I can’t wait.
We’ve been listening to as many of the lesser known acts as I can to make the most of this year. Roll on July is all I can say.
I will be following up later this week with a look back to last year and also a preview of some of the up and coming bands.
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!