As part of our 2012 festival coverage, DiS will be present and correct at the the 2012 Festival Internacional de Benicàssim from 12th-15th of July. The festival, now in its eighteenth year, takes place in the Spanish town of Benicàssim, south of Valencia. As with most European festivals, the vast majority of the music takes place into the evening and the early hours of the morning, with the headliners not appearing on stage until well after midnight and being followed by other big name bands so that you’re not stood scratching your head for things to do after hours. Unlike most European festivals, FIB takes place right next to a beach. Which means that in the time you’re not watching bands (or recovering from the excesses of the previous evening), you can enjoy the benefits of Spanish summer weather on the beach: relaxing prior to the music without the threat of mud, rain and all the usually endured elements of UK festival weather…
Of most interest to DiS readers planning to head to Benicàssim will be the return of perennial site favourites At The Drive-In as headliners in one of their three European shows booked for this summer. The legendary El Paso band reformed after an 11-year hiatus (the roots of this reunion were of course, first uncovered by Drowned in Sound back in 2009 during an interview with Cedric Bixler Zavala). For many, these reunion shows will be the first opportunity for many to see their astonishing live show, which will be justifiably given centre-stage at the festival (subbing Kasabian at Leeds/Reading? You must be joking…) and will arguably prove to be one of the highlights of the summer. As lead guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López referred recently to the reunion being a “nostalgia thing” rather than a long-term reformation, there may well be limited opportunities to see one of the genuine innovators of modern rock music. Seeing them in the Spanish summer as the moon rises over the stage? We’re having that one here at DiS….
Of the other headliners, the announcement of legendary grizzled troubadour/cultural icon/poet/oddball Bob Dylan was a somewhat surprising booking, though few could argue against his status as a big name. Though Dylan’s live shows are certainly varied in setlist and style these days (no, he’s not going to play guitar and no, he won’t talk to the audience), those who say that he is simply 'rubbish' are missing the point a touch. Yes, the voice is a little shot. Yes, he re-imagines his songs in unusual ways. But his band is still great and the songs are still bona-fide classics. Dylan has never done things the obvious way over the course of his entire career; it’s what makes him unique. Why should he start now? A genuine legend and a stellar booking.
There will be the opportunity to see the live return of The Stone Roses in an atmosphere that is almost certain to be far more friendly, far less-beer-flinging and considerably more memorable than their UK shows, along with Florence + The Machine completing the headliners quartet. The undercard is also strong, including New Order, Bat for Lashes, Kurt Vile, School of Seven Bells, Little Dragon, De La Soul, The Horrors, Django Django, The Maccabees and the reformed original Buzzcocks line-up. Though we’ll try to do our best to be engaged when Ed Sheeran and Jessie J take to the stage. There’s bound to be a decent bar nearby. Or earplugs…
Tickets are on sale now from Lastminute.com and are priced at £155, which also includes eight days of free camping at the site (and the beach). Valencia is the nearest situated airport to the festival, but there are good rail, bus and road links to the festival from Madrid, Barcelona and other Spanish cities and there are plenty of cheap flights available from Easyjet and Ryanair. The line-up is currently only half confirmed and DiS understands that there are still a few significant announcements to be made in the upcoming month or two. Basically, it’s going to be good. And we’ll be there too. Come and say hello. We’re very friendly really…
Official Festival Internacional de Benicàssim website with complete line-up available here
- In Photos: At The Drive-In @ Brixton Academy, London
- At the Drive-In, Brixton Academy, August 28 2012
- In Photos: Leeds Festival 2012 - Day 3 @ Bramham Park, Leeds
- Leeds Festival 2012: Drowned In Sound's Sunday blog
- In Photos: Reading Festival 2012 - Day 2 @ Richfield Avenue
- Reading & Leeds 2012 - DiS' Must See Acts
- Benicassim 2012: the DiS review
- Benicassim 2012: the (very early) DiS preview