“This festival... is the meaning of life,” was how Benicassim was sold to me. I’m a sucker for hyperbole so I thought I’d tag along and write up reviews of whatever I see. On top of that, I’m becoming Adrian Mole for a few days and keeping a diary.
Remember, as well as the big acts, Supajam sometimes likes to give you stories from festivals that other media outlets are far too cool to cover. So even if you read every review we post up, I’ll still be adding great things in here too. Well, that’s the plan.
Day 1 was actually two days. The magic of showbiz... Long story short, four of us left Supajam HQ (England) in my little car at about 5pm Tuesday and arrived at Benicassim (Spain) at about 4pm on Wednesday. Along the way there was a ferry crossing, 17 hours of driving, a couple of pit-stops and a very close-call with no petrol in the middle of rural France. Day turned to night, night turned into day and France suddenly became Spain. As we drove into Spain I sung this...
Then I found out that Spain was still a couple of miles away and what I thought was the border was actualy a French toll booth. Easy mistake. Once we got to Spain the speed limit immediately dropped by 10kmph. Come on Spain, don’t be buzzkill. Luckily, the service station food changed from rubbery croissants to rubbery paella and Lemon Fanta. Small victory, I can now order meals by pointing at things in two different languages. Anyway, we all arrived eventually and here we are shortly after.
The festival doesn’t properly start until Thursday evening, but people have been steadily streaming in since Sunday to go to the beach, party and generally bum around. We hit up a local supermarket shortly before setting up camp and got ourselves drink, baguettes and anything that wouldn’t become rotten in the Spanish Summer heat. Turns out it’s hot at this time of year. We also tried OH MY WORD THERE WERE PEOPLE WEARING “BEACH CLOTHES” IN THE SUPERMARKET.
Disgusting. Bare, sandy bodies are touching the very air that I also occupy. There is absolutely nothing but gaseous particles separating the fresh fruit aisle from uncovered naval regions. Is this allowed? What sort of depraved pit of immorality have I travelled into? Waitrose would never put up with this. I swear we were banned from showing midriff on school trips, how hard is it to follow the rules? Next time I’ll bring a packed lunch.
We set up camp and wandered around. There were tonnes of things to do: bands were playing in one of the campsites, Peter Hook was playing a DJ set just over the road from us, merriment was happening down on the beach. So of course, I just decided to drink Whiskey and sing Meat Loaf in a friend’s tent. I’m a man of simple pleasures.
Unlike British festivals, it’s so hot during the day that the desire to see bands is pretty minimal. The festival organisers realise this, thus the acts play from roughly 6pm to 6am and the headliners usually pitch up at about 1am. I’m going to have to call my parents and ask for permission to stay up that late. For goodness sake Spain, some of us have curfews to abide by!
It’s too hot to sleep in tents during the day, so most people can be found sprawled out in the shade on lilos. And with that, I think I’m going to join them. Siesta.