beach party and outro

XII Festival Internacional de Benicassim review

published: Thu 27th Jul 2006

Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd July 2006
near Valencia, Spain, Spain
£105 (plus fees) for a 4 day pass or £97 (plus fees) for a 3 day pass
last updated: Wed 19th Apr 2006

We were not at all sure what to expect from FIB's closing beach party on the Monday night. Reviews from veterans seemed to be split between the must-see event of the weekend and a total wash out of a night. Arriving at 12 midnight in time for Queens of Noize's eclectic party set, we found a place near the sea and got ready to party. The audience dancing on the beach and in the sea was already going mad and London's Mairaid & Tabitha hyped them up further with music from Queen, Rage Against The Machine and - again - Justice. I wasn't over impressed by this set, however. If you're going to take the stick it on/anti-turntablism approach to DJing then you at least need to have the tunes to make up for what you lack in technical skill, but the Queens had none of this. Their set seemed to be made up of tunes that they just threw on entirely at random without the slightest hint of a mix or even continuity of mood during their 2 hour set. However I was in the minority as the crowd loved it.

Miss Kittin was on next, playing a minimal electro house set that was accompanied by the most stunning laser show I have ever witnessed. Lasers spelt out "Miss Kittin" across the crashing waves as she began before, turning into drills, dancing men and even the FIB face. Although I couldn't name a single track she played, Miss Kittin subtle set of bassy build-ups and stripped down crescendos had even a house-hater like me bopping. An excellent finish to our festival.

Getting back to the airport on Tuesday was not so straight forward. Where the bus from Valencia airport had dropped us at the Bonet campsite, it seemed the bus back would not do the same and we had a 20-30minute hike ahead of us to Benicassim train station, close to the Mercat campsite, with all our bags in the daytime heat. The festival had run a bus from Bonet to the train station on the Monday according to the programme, so why not the Tuesday we had to wonder? At Benicassim train station it seemed to be utter chaos as people who had not booked tickets prior to coming were told that they would not be able to get a seat on the sold out trains back to Barcalona, Alicante, Reus or wherever else they had flown into. These scenes were heartbreaking to watch, so save yourself a lot of stress and make sure you book any train travel you need well ahead of your trip if you attend next year or you could be in for a nasty shock. Even though we had a relatively straight forward journey from Benicassim back to Valencia airport ahead of us, we were still grateful we had thought ahead and got there a couple of hours earlier than we needed as the queues for the bus were enormous. There was also no shade and nowhere to buy water nearby, so we were also glad we hadn't ditched our beach umbrellas before the airport as we'd planned.

Overall, this was a superb festival with many good points like great sound quality, amazing tent decorations, late night music and a brilliant atmosphere, but there are many points that bothered me such as the disorganised arrangements for camping if you weren't lucky enough to get into Bonet on the Tuesday, the insufficient bus service from Bonet to the arena (it was always far quicker to walk than to queue), the mission from the campsite to the train station on the Tuesday in baking heat to get to the airport, the expensive drinks tokens, the poor ladies' toilet facilities in the arena, the lack of any free water supplies whatsoever. However, I know when I remember my first Festival Internacional de Benicassim (or FIB to its friends) these problems will fade away into the background and what I will remember is the wonderful atmosphere, the great bands, the beautiful weather and the fabulous beach.

Book a plane ticket, think about booking accomodation (especially if you're not an experienced camper) and get over to Benicassim next July. It's a festival experience like no other and one you won't forget in a hurry. A festival by the beach with guarenteed sunshine. What more could a festival gal ask for?!
review by: Lynsey Haire

Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd July 2006
near Valencia, Spain, Spain
£105 (plus fees) for a 4 day pass or £97 (plus fees) for a 3 day pass
last updated: Wed 19th Apr 2006


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