Benicassim is over for another year (sob). Set on the beautiful Spanish coastline by the beach in the middle of hot-hot-hot July, this festival is uh-mazing – and that’s without even mentioning the bands. We danced, we sun-basked, we drank and we got hung-the-frick-over. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Are we going back? Try and stop us. But not without these handy lessons learned…
1. It’s never too early for an ice cream.
Especially when it’s 30 degrees at 9am. And your tent is hotter than the sun because you arrived at the festival too late to get any shade.
2. The Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson is sort of surprisingly fit these days.
He’s no longer tubby, he has a beard – it still feels weird to fancy him a bit, but there’s no denying it. And he’s inexplicably energetic. So much so, that he felt it necessary to climb the height of the stage mid-way through the set on Beni’s Saturday night.
3. Napping is allowed anywhere.
This rule is derived from two factors: 1) when you can party until 9am, it’s essential. 2) The tent. If you camp and you sleep at night, don’t expect a lie-in. The sun hath no mercy.
4. Probably don’t camp.
Verdicts are varied, but we’re not buying it. Staying down the road in Benicassim town itself (a ten minute walk to the festival site), or in one of the beautiful surrounding towns (we stayed in Castellon) where showers, a pool, a bed (see napping) and a fridge make the festival so much more pleasant.
Hotels might be expensive, but using Airbnb, you can rent an entire flat from someone who lives over there. It's cheap, quick – and you get to hang with a few of the locals. They’re in almost every country around the globe and oh-so simple to book with. Get a room with a view!
5. Go to as many bands you don't know as possible.
When it's hot and all you really want to do before 10pm is drink sweet, cold beer with your mates, it's easy to get lazy. But making the effort to join smaller crowds too and hear new music is what festivals are all about - and it's worth it. Also note, funniest names are best.