For the past two years I have been a traitor to British festivals and jetted over to sunny Spain for Benicassim Festival. I mean, you can’t blame me, as much as I love hiking my backpack through 2 miles of muddy field, constant downpours and arctic temperatures, I couldn’t resist the idea of basking up the sun whilst watching some of my favourite bands in a beautiful location.
Admittedly, this time round I did wimp out of camping full time and booked a hotel to occasionally get a good nights sleep and cold shower (have you ever been in a tent in 30 degree temperatures? Honestly, It’s like hell on earth) but the experience of a european festival was none the less enjoyable. Although previous years line-ups were considerably more my music taste (Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses, Beady Eye etc) there were still huge names headlining, and for the ridiculously cheap ticket price of £90 compared to Leeds £215, and the almost impossible task of securing Glasto tickets, my bags were already packed before you could say the word go.
Thursday night kicked off the festival with a mind-blowing performance from Florence & The Machine. I’d seen her before at Reading Festival in 2011, but this performance completely exceeded my expectations. The combination of the beautiful night time heat and Flo’s entrancing presence on stage, meant that the whole experience was incredibly beautiful to watch, and was the perfect start to the magical weekend ahead. There were also an impressive list of other acts performing throughout the day including Clean Bandit, Swim Deep and Crystal Fighters, but unfortunately I got completely over excited with the prospect of exploring the town of Benicassim that I didn’t actually manage to make it to anyone in the day – A poor start, I know!
Determined to see every act I had planned on seeing on the Friday I slugged my way through the hangover (which was admittedly made easier through lots of sunbathing) and headed off to the arena. Friday daytime was full of mainly Spanish acts that I hadn’t heard of, however it made for good relaxation music and we just chilled with a few drinks whilst taking in the atmosphere, waiting in anticipation for Jamie T later that evening (if you’ve read my blog you’ll be able to imagine my excitement!). Slowly but surely the crowds started pouring in, and I felt myself getting pushed closer and closer to the barrier until London born Jamie T took to the stage. Dressed as though he’d just walked onto the stage at Leeds Fest, Jamie sported his usual black skinny jeans, which only added to his allure, everyone loves someone who appears unfazed, right? (well, I know I do). I’ll keep it short but sweet as I seem to have a habit of rambling on when I’m talking about him, but his performance was A M A Z I N G. Besides almost dying in a million mosh pits, it was definitely the best performance of the weekend for me.
The night proceeded with another of my favourite bands, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. As always, Noel didn’t disappoint, and his performance suggested that unlike his brother Liam, he has no plans in slowing down any time soon. Opening with ‘Everybody’s on the run’ off his self titled debut album, the crowd were singing back the lyrics from the offset. Not only did he impress with his own songs from NGHFB, but also treated the crowd to several Oasis covers, including an extremely touching version of Talk Tonight and Half the World Away. Closing on an Oasis cover of Don’t look back in anger, the indescribable feeling that was circulating round the crowd was one that none other than a former Oasis member could create – If you’re an Oasis fan you’ll know the exact feeling I mean, and if you’re not, get listening!
Saturday continued the festivities with performances from international artists such as Mark Ronson, Reverend & the Makers and Blur, and after spending my days relaxing in the sun, swimming in the pool and enjoying extremely cheap pints of Estrella I hadn’t even realised that the final day of the festival was here, and it was almost time to leave the sun behind and jet back to the UK.
However, before I was allowed to sulk about the rainy weather I was no doubt about to encounter as I landed in Manchester Airport, I still got to enjoy another amazing day of music, with bands such as The cribs (incredible as always) and a hypnotising performance from the incredible Portishead.
As I packed away my tent (which had been used for a total of 1 night as we couldn’t resist the air conned hotel room) I couldn’t help but feel sad that it was over for another year. However, reflecting back on all the incredible music I had heard the past four days, I felt extremely grateful that in-between all the commercial ‘One Direction-like’ music, there is still incredibly talented musicians that put on the most impressive shows, and for the amazing price of £90, I know it won’t be long till I’m back on the Benicassim beaches!
Benicassim 2016 tickets are already available for the initial price of £90, so if you’re looking for a festival to go to next Summer, I would definitely recommend snapping one up! – http://www.fiberfib.com/en/
Check out the photos from FIB 2015 below: