ManOfLondon special feature: Festival Internacional de Benicassim

Main Stage Beni

Escenario Verde- Main Stage at Benicassim

ManOflondon is going to let you in on a little secret. He is having a love affair. A love affair with the Spanish town of Benicassim. Every year, it plays host to FIB Benicassim, a four-day music festival that draws the best acts from all over the world.

As a British gentleman, my general idea of music festivals before 2009 was mud, rain, warm cider, no sleep and fried food. Benicassim blew that perception out of the water.

With a growing irritation of waking up in a sea of mud, in a tent sinking into a black abyss, I decided to make a swap.

Polar opposites

I swapped day for night, cold for warmth, rain for sun and wellingtons for plimsoles.

Free time that was once spent lying in a cold unwelcoming tent preparing oneself for the day ahead could now be spent basking in the warmth of the sun on a speech on the eastern coast of Spain.

FIB tends to have a great mix of acts in it’s line up. Over the past few years we have seen big name acts such as The Killers, Vampire weekend, Calvin harris and 2manydj’s grace it’s stages. The eclectic mix of indie, rock , soul and dance ensures the festival appeals to most people, and it won’t take too much of an effort to convince all of your fellow gents to go on a new adventure!

Strapped-for-cash

Times are tough. The economy is bad, which is bad for your wallet. Benicassim doesn’t have to be expensive however; the festival itself costs less than all of the major U.K festivals and includes eight days free camping so you can get a summer holiday too!

If you do decide to be economical with your money, ensure you have enough sunscreen to protect yourself during the long days in the Spanish sun and enough money to keep yourself hydrated. From personal experience ManOfLondon is all too aware of how difficult it is to sleep in a tent in the middle of the Spanish summer. Prepare yourself!

Find a way of securing your valuables either with a money belt or in a locker in a local train of bus station. Doing this makes sure you aren’t as easy target for those ruffians who pilfer and steal from the modern man. It is a sad fact, but this occurs at all festivals, but these precautions will reduce the likelihood of it happening to you.

Personal experience

ManOfLondon at FIB

We all like a little luxury. ManOfLondon couldn’t personally handle eight days in the Spanish sun without air conditioning. MOL (That’s me!) Is quite happy admitting this fact. This is how one does it :

Flights to Benicassim can be an absolute steal if purchased far enough in advance. Flights to Barcelona (two hours train ride, arguably the closest international airport to the destination) can be found for around £90 return.

Although this won’t be a business class seat with a champagne lounge, you will get these comfortably enough. Flights to Barcelona can be found from all of London’s airports as well as from various regional airports across the United Kingdom.

Apartments and hotels around the area book up well far in advance so it is advisable to organize that at the same time or not long after you secure your ticket. These come with a wide range of facilities to suit various budgets. ManOfLondon tends to go with something in the mid range.

Apartments in the town of Oropesa Del Mar (a town next to Benicassim) can hold around six guests with air-con, a balcony, a pool for the complex and a bubble spa bathtub.

Unfortunately, only a very few companies offer these apartments and have quite a monopoly on the prices. The experience however is worth more than the money you pay.

A good Idea is too book your apartment as early in advance as possible, as this is when the companies are most likely to entice customers to book through them by offering things such as free shuttle busses to the festival site, which can be essential as some apartments are located in the next town to Benicassim itself.

Drinks at Benicassim can be seen as it’s only downfall. The prices of drinks at the festival is enough to bankrupt even the wealthiest gentleman, so prepare now and start saving!

The bars on site do offer a good range of drinks however with a large selection of soft drinks to cater to the gentleman who may have been a bit liberal with the moonshine the night before.

With only one act announced for this year’s festival so far, it is too early to tell which gentleman next years festival will appeal to most. It might attract those who like to rave all night and sleep all day, or those who like to rock out all night…or sleep all day. Either way the best is yet to come. Watch this space for live updates from the festival come July 2012. ¡Viva La Benicassim!

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