Benicassim Festival 2016—nicknamed FIB, for Festival Internacionale de Benicassim—is one of Spain's more important music festivals showcasing commercial pop and rock music as well as electropop. It takes place over four days in mid-July, and is known for bands that play after 5:00 p.m. and until early morning. Acts that have performed here include Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Brian Wilson, Lou Reed, and Oasis. In 2008, Leonard Cohen performed his famous piece Hallelujah. This is not one of the larger festivals in Spain or in Europe, with only about 30,000 to 40,000 people in attendance.
Benicassim Festival History and Facts
The first Festival International de Benicassim Spain was held in 1995. In 2009, there was an issue with brush fires and high winds that affected the festival, including stopping it for a day and evacuating campers to a safe area. It has been sponsored by Heineken since 2001.
The town of Benicassim is sandwiched between the sparkling Mediterranean coast and the small but rugged Desert de les Palmes mountain range. On clear days, the Columbretes Islands Marine Reserve can been seen from these hills. The Benicassim Festival 2016 is held on the beaches here about 60 miles north of the beautiful city of Valencia. This section of the coastline is called the Costa del Azahar. Although it is not as visited as the more famous coasts to the south, which include the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca, it is fairly popular with residents of the UK and northern Europe. The resort town of Benicassim is known for its lovely artificial beaches.
Benicassim Festival Tickets
Those festival attendees who have purchased multi-day tickets are allowed into the Benicassim Festival camping areas for a full nine days, beginning on the Monday before the festival and ending on Tuesday afterwards. Multi-day tickets generally sell out several months in advance, so try to make your arrangements as far in advance as possible. Day tickets are generally available closer to the festival dates. Day tickets cost approximately $80 each.
Benicassim Festival Directions
The closest international airport to the Festival International de Benicassim Spain is Valencia; there is train service from both Barcelona and Valencia. Trains also need to be booked in advance to avoid disappointment. Roads are good if you choose to drive. You can also hop a ferry to Valencia from the Baelaeric Islands of Majorca, Formentera, and Ibiza.
Benicassim Festival Lodging
Because of this town's popularity with visitors from northern Europe, there are a fair number of self-catering Spain vacation rentals here, as well as some all inclusive resorts. The rentals generally run to cheap hostel type accommodations. However there are some more upscale villas, which can be economical for small groups.
A number of tour operators, especially in England, offer Festival International de Benicassim Spain vacation packages. These generally include flights to Spain, hotels, festival tickets, and often some meals and airport transfers. There is also fairly extensive festival camping available, accommodating about 30,000 people. There are plenty of showers in the camping area, a bonus as this region can be very hot in the summer.
Image: Speculum Mundi (flickr)