See your favourite bands… In Spain!

Heineken FIB @ Benacassim (4-8 August, 2004)

I think I must be a bit stubborn. It is certainly something that is not good for me. Once upon a time, many years ago, I had a Spanish girlfriend who was always telling me about this amazing festival by a small village just outside Valencia that year after year had the kind of line up that was pure fantasy. I just went “yeah yeah that sounds great whatever” and ignored her noble advice in trying to tear me away from freezing cold mud-fests in England.

A few years later I reached into the deepest, darkest depths of my memory and thought about going to a festival abroad and tapped into Google something about festivals and Spain. I discovered the Festival International de Benicassim. I went to it. I had the time of my life. You could too.

Benicassim offers the discerning punter the chance to see far more of their favourite British acts under one roof, and a lovely sunny one it is too, than you could back in blighty, at a very reasonable price. Don’t forget that your Spanish festival experience is so much more than that.

There is no chance of any mud. The only way you are going to get wet is by swimming in the beautiful clear blue sea. You won’t come away with trench foot or bronchitis like you would at Glastonbury, instead you’ll get a healthy glow (tanning is so last year) and a very cheap holiday. Perfect.

This year’s Heineken FIB line up is as strong as ever, featuring headline slots from Beach Boy Brian Wilson, krautrock pioneers Kraftwerk and the legendary Lou Reed. And with performances from the likes of Morrissey, Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, Primal Scream, Spiritualized and Soulwax – who are to perform a live set as well as spinning records as alter-egos 2manydjs – there is more talent here than at any British festival this summer.

This being Spain, there is an extremely relaxed atmosphere to proceedings. The best bands start appearing close to midnight and don’t finish until 5 or 6 in the morning. There are no long waits between bands, usually just a short half hour break so your legs don’t die in anticipation of the next act.

The festival is extremely well organised, which in the hot weather proves a god-send. Showers you don’t have to queue for and shaded camping areas are in easy reach, as is the pretty town of Benicassim itself. There you can stock up on all your food and drink on the way back from the beach.

Benicassim is an unforgettable experience for any music fan and is an unbeatable holiday. Just think of the sun, sea, sand and bands!


Tickets are reasonably priced at €140 for the whole weekend, including camping for 9 whole days (which means you can go to the fantastic beach party on Monday 9th). You can get them from link or call 08701 663 663 or get them from the official site link.

Getting There

Getting to the festival is arguably easier than getting to Glastonbury, especially for those living near airports. You can fly to Valencia which is an hour away from the site (from Gatwick) or, as most will, to Barcelona. It is a reasonably priced train journey from Barcelona to Benicassim or nearby Castelleon. You are well advised to book an express if you can (link) as beats the stopping service.


Official site: link
Tickets: link
08701 663 663
Air travel: link
Trains to Benicassim: link
Tourist Information: link

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