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Two options…

Car/RV/Motorhome hire and cruise – 14 days (14/07 – 28/07?)
OUT: London, then France (via southern France), then Spain (via Zaragoza maybe) to Benicassim. RTN: Benicassim, then Barcelona, up through France (via Paris, then via Calais for booze run), to London.

or

Flight/Camp or hotel –  (17/07 – 24/07)
FLY: London Stansted to Valencia (Ryanair & Easyjet) or London Stansted to Reus + train (Ryanair) then vice versa.

What it’s like (quotes from people who’ve been):

– Benicassim is a sea-side town where many Spanish like to go on their holiday. Look on it as a sort of Spanish Weston-Super-Mare. Only with scorching hot heat and a major international music festival in it. As such it is well-endowed with bars and restaurants and the like.
Bars & Restaurants: A great cocktail bar is called Bar Tropical, about half way up the main street. Weve spent many a night there over the last 2 years weve been at the festy, the sangira is the best in benicassim.
Beaches: Beaches are pretty good; sandy, decent length and width; enough shops / bars down there; not *too far* from town although it is a wee bit of a walk. Whole place very Spanish – not surprisingly – in the sense that it is not at all oriented towards tourists from rest of Europe.
Oropesa – town about 7km north of Beni has lovely beach and spa (http://www.marinador.com) – bit quiter than beni and well worth the drive if you have a car for the day….
– went last year as my holiday and spent 11days with 2 nights in valencia in a hostel and it cost £600 incl tix flights and spending.
–  “I would never, ever camp again. The heat was unbearable. We had a night in Valencia after the festival, and really wished it had been a few more.”
–  “Oh, i agree about the campsite too…it´s much better to camp than getting a hotel room/apartment. I also stayed in Bonet, this year and last and met some awesome people. The 24h bar is fecking wikkid and a great place to carry on the party when you get back from the music. The best times i had were up at the bar chatting shit to loads of randoms..”
– “the heat is really really bad in the mornings but the atmosphere in Bonet this year was amazing, i hotel would sort of take the point away!”
– “Personally, having stayed in a lovely airconditioned hotel in 2006 (with a lovely pool, and within walking distance of both the festival site and the beach), I wouldn’t want to camp. The festival doesn’t get going till late every night, so if you’re camping then getting any sleep at all can be very difficult indeed. If there’s a lot of you then renting an apartment would probably be a good option.”
– “definitely camp! most of our memories of benicassim are from the campsite, such a quality time. the thought of a hotel at a festival seems sooo strange. ye it is hot, but god you don’t give a shit when you’re avin it large. if you want sleep, stay in a hotel, but thats the only reason i’d recommend stayin in a hotel.”
– “Between the Tuesday and the Sunday I think I spent about 10 hours in total in my tent. There was a nice shady spot of grass near Lidl to sleep in (ok you had to get there fairly early as it filled up quick). Failing that there’s palm trees at the beach. Yes I did live like a tramp.”
– It’s about a twenty five minute walk to the town if you go the quick way which does involve crossing a bit of busy road but most people seem to go that way. There are buses as well. You have to go to the town or close to to get to the best beach areas, or get a bus to some of the quiter parts I did this most days so I could hang out on the beach etc. A few people have said they would try and stay in a hotel although I understand this I would miss the campsite and the things that went on there. Maybe I would do one day at the start at end in a hotel to cool off etc.
Information/tips:

– One piece of advice I’d give is to get there early and definitely go to the Efest meet (happened on the Wednesday night this year).
– Keep an eye out for drugs alley on the way into the arena, it’s easier to score there than in the Green fields.
– There are two ways in which you can travel by car, the first is to use the old Euro-tunnel and go through France, and the second is to get a ferry from Plymouth or Portsmouth to Santander and Bilbao respectively. The rest of the journey you need to plot on a map!
– Fly to Valencia or Barcelona. (Pref Valencia as it’s closer). Ryainair also fly on the cheap to Reus, which is just south of Barcelona and is on the main train line to Benicassim! Loads make it a full 2 week holiday by stopping off in Barcelona, Valencia or another city there.
– What I did each day was after things had finished for the night thead to the camp have a drink and a quick rest before sun up if possible and then head inot town (a really quick walk) I would then have breakfast in town and head to the beach. Most people would rest under the trees next to the beach in a park area that was really cool and next to the sea. We buried the beers in thye sand to keep them cool and all was hunky dpry.
–  There’s a ticket exchange on all camp sites (until Tuesday afternoon), plus one at the main festival site. VERY important is that youll need some form of ID (e.g. passport) and desirably the credit card you bought the tickets with for them to exchange your tickets for a wristband.
– Campsites: Bonet – Recommended as the place to be for shade etc. but is the furthest from the festival site (30 minutes walk). There are busses which run about every half hour between Bonet and the site. Bonet is however the closest to the beach and town, and is a propper campsite with real segregated (cold) showerblock facilities. Also has a bar serving the same drinks as the festival site (i.e. Heineken etc) and a takeaway serving pizza, toasted sandwiches and waffles.
Fills up first so get there by Wednesday to ensure a place, They do stop people arriving onsiter after its full from entering, not a free for all like a UK fest.
Recinto – Right next to the festival site, hence it is the noisiest!
“it’s a big site though and this depends really whereabouts you are on it. Imagine it as an L where you enter at a corner. AT ALL COSTS avoid turning left on entering and going too far towards the hill. See posts in forums about Dutch / German crusty techno sound system that plays non-stop at this end and will literally drive you insane.
Mercato – wasn’t opened last year, despite pressure on space in other 2 sites. We stayed in Mercat last year (2005) and it was actually very good. Showers were enclosed with hot or cold water, toilets were bearable. It’s about a 15 minute walk to the festival site, 5-10 minutes to town, and 15 minutes to the beach. Wasn’t overcrowded, and not too noisy for people who like sleep!
– I bought a hammock and it is proving to be very good.

Full on reviews:
– Benicassim was, well the best word to describe it would have to be hot. It was hotter than hell to the point where people still here in Edinburgh have probably got better tans. You just had to siesta from waking up until about 6pm at night.
Another description? Think of it as a club 18 to 30 holiday for indie kids. Everyone was beautiful, and walked around in tiny bikinis all the time. You could smell the hormones when down wind from the campsite as lots of boys, just left school, sat spellbound watching their lady counterparts wandering around in no clothes.
Which brings me onto the Californians. I will bet that anyone who was camped at Bonet will know who I am talking about. We were camped next to Lauren and Kelly, a pair of Californian blondes who were just coming to the end of travelling Europe. They were hot. Absolutely stunning. But you could never hate them as they were the most hilariously funny, crazy ladies. It would not have been the same festival without them and the new drinking game “Edward 40 Hands” will stick in my mind for a long time. Thanks girls!
It all passed by in a bot of a blur to be honest, and although I am glad to be home, a few more nights in the Valencia Hotel would have been nice. Last night was spent having showers, eating Cheetos and watching Charlie Chaplin films and hardcore porn (both readily available on Spanish television in the evening).

So, perhaps a little survival guide? Ok, twist my arm.

1. Be prepared to walk for half an hour to get to anything and then to queue for an hour to use it..

2. Get a hotel.

3. Leave your inhibitions and insecurities at home. Everyone is beautiful and flaunts it.

4. There is electricity in the showers – bring hairdrier and straightners. Make them as mandatory as your tent.

5. There are big HUGE black ants with big HUGE chompers. Avoid at all costs.

6. There are big HUGE black spiders. Biggest I ever seen . Avoid at all costs.

7. Don’t bother with free buses. They are always packed.

8. Book your last night in a hotel. Its luxury, and takes the hassle out of getting to the airport. You also get free porn. Is that it? Probably not. would I go back? Definately. Next fallow year, anyway…
– It’s a fantastic festival. When we went in 04 we got to the festival by hiring a car at Valencia airport (about �30 per head between four of us,had it for eight days) . I think it took under an hour to get there and we had somewhere to keep valuables locked up.

If camping, I would recommend the ‘Bonet’ campsite which is furthest away from the festival. It has more shade than the other campsites and as it opens and fills up first, tends to be where the ‘hardcore’ festival goers camp.It has a permanent toilet block (cleaned daily),takeaway,information point and 24 hour bar selling Heineken for 5 euros a litre (a litre !). There is a fairly well stocked little supermarket within walking distance.

If I were to go back, I would probably try to get hotel accommodation as the heat and resultant lack of sleep is a killer by the end of the festival if camping. The festival has moved from August to July this year (when the Spanish aren’t on holiday), so more rooms should be available.

I think the lack of a Glastonbury this year and word of mouth from people who have been will result in an even bigger number of Brits there this year.Tickets might evens ell out beforehand this year for the first time ? When we went we met French,Spanish,Austrians,Belgians,Irish,Dutch,Italians etc. It’s not too big (about 35,000 each day) and based around about 5 stages / tents.

The town is compact and easy to get around, the beach is beautiful and very clean.There is also a really good waterpark right opposite the festival site.

I’d definitely recommend going.
– I went the year before last … it was great having bands playing in the early hours of the morning. It’s worth having a look at the Fib website and looking at their photos. Easier to get tickets through NME site though I found

There isn’t that much organised going on other than the bands really, the market area is not too good certainly is was rather small when I was there but this didn’t seem to matter at all.

You are close to the town and certainly on each day I was there which was something like nine days I spent the days resting on the beach and the town which is a short walk from the campsite. Having the beach so close was good considering the temps were in the 90s every day and being in a tent would have destroyed me, Benicassim is also not a bad place to hang out as people in the toen seem to be ready for the explosion of people with stalls etc.

The campsites were quite crowded but well organised with tarpaulin covers to keep the sun off and large open air unisex communal shower areas and urinals that smelt of flowers. A shop was open all night on the campsite sellingcrap toasted sandwiches drinks beer Benicassim special juice free phone charging and various other people wandering round selling other things.
On the downside there was an annoying queue through turnstiles each ealy evening to get into the arena (it was closed until then you are asked to leave the arena at six in the morning) you are then loosely searched for having anything more than a litre bottle of water or stopeed from taking other drinks into the arena with you which was annoying but I found it quite easy to sneak in wine and other things. Because of the hot weather, the beach to go to during the day and an ace atmosphere at the camping sites and copius amounts of substances known to the world the mimor irritants I mention here were not so much of a problem. Beware of big black ants and biting centipeded crawling into your tent! I didn’t spend much time in my tent though slept under a tree next to the sea where it was cool.

SO, now we need conclusions – driving or flight? Camping or hotel? Mail or put it in comments but need to know!

Finally…  you must come Geoffrey! You must!

P.S. I nicked all of this off websites so if somebody stumbles onto this page that I don’t know, ask if you want it deleted.

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6 Responses to “benicassim ’07”

  1. Sergio Resines said

    I went in 2007 with a bunch of friends, we left from madrid with a car (a day before the festival started to get a nice spot in the camping)
    My other friends came after with the bus.
    We stayed in the Recinto camping and it was hot and noisy and I loved it. We slept 2 hours tops and then in the morning we went to the shouwers (1 hour at least every morning) and after freshing up we went down to the beach where you could chill out, drink and sleep a little bit more and stayed there untill 5 or so. So we had time enough to get back to the camping, change clothes and get a bit drunk.
    The best thing about the ‘recinto’ camping is that you’re soo close to the festival site, so between concerts we ran back to the camping and drink even more.
    One tip for you people that like to drink. One stays outside with some drinks (in plastic bottles, like for ‘calimocho’) the other one is in the festival site to catch the drinks that the guy outside is going to throw in. Then you run like hell so the security guys don’t get you. (it’s to hot and they’re 2 lazzy, they wont run much xD)
    This was probably the best time I had in my life. I was really sad that I couldn’t go this year(2008) I wanted to go with a friend just for the camping, we had allready seen most of the best bands in the Werchter festival in Belgium. (kick ass festival, http://www.rockwerchter.be)
    I hope that in 2009 we get good bands and good neighbours. I love you people.
    Sergio.

  2. Alice said

    Did you sleep in a hammock?

    I’m trying to decide whether to get one?

    Is it fairly easy to fix to a tree??

    I’m a bit rubbish at DIY stuff like that lol

    : )

    • J. said

      I slept in an RV/Motorhome!

      In all seriousness, the place was absolutely roasting. A hammock would be a nice idea but there’s not really any shade in the campsite – I spent half my time sleeping down the beach because it had trees!

      There’s two options really…

      1. Get an apartment!

      or if you’d rather be part of the campsite buzz…

      2. Take a tent and take a tarpaulin or a large waterproof camping sheet. Tie this onto two trees/poles ABOVE your tent so your tent is pitched directly underneath it in the shade.

      You’d be amazed how much difference that makes.

      You can even pitch a hammock next to it so you have the best of both worlds!

  3. Anna c said

    Heya! just wondering, a few of us are going to benicassim this year but its my first like really hot sun holiday?? n wre camping… ne other tips?? am i gonna like pass out from the heat??
    can u buy camping gear there or shud u bring it????
    🙂

  4. J said

    Get shade or an apartment, failing that, there are a few places around the beach you can crash if you’re… ahem… a bit tired 😉

    Take shitloads of suncream, obviously etc.

    You won’t pass out from the heat but if you’re boozing or otherwise, make sure you drink at least a litre of water every morning and night before you go to bed. you’ll feel so much better for it.

    like most fests, there are places to buy tents and all that but the prices are so ridiculous either take them with you or buy them from the city you fly in/out to (e.g. Barcelona), it’ll be miles cheaper.

    Also, don’t go to the festival too early in the daytime, when we were there, all the Brits went home after the headliners (they play 1am-ish) as they were all knackered and had been out in the sun all day.

    We partied after the headliners in the tents and it was only Spaniards around for the dancing til sunrise… was the best bit!

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