Investing In Benicassim

Former Mean Fiddler chairman Vince Power and current chairman Denis Desmond didn’t need to turn up to take a look at what they’ve got for their joint investment in Benicassim Festival because they already knew the 35,000-capacity event sold out two months in advance.

It’s the 12th year the event has been staged and, although it’s become something of a favorite with the Brits in the last four or five of them, it’s only the second time it’s sold out.

Sixty percent of the 2006 tickets were shifted in Spain, with the U.K. taking up most of the remaining 40 percent.

It’s not uncommon for Spanish festivals to fall short of capacity. New events such as the twinned Summercases in Madrid and Barcelona and Bilbao Live Festival suggest the market may be on the up, but selling 130,000 tickets that far up front is still something of a landmark achievement.

The only other time Benicassim sold out in advance was in 2002, and then it was only by a matter of a week.

It hasn’t been possible to get word if either the Irish entrepreneurs made it to Spain’s Mediterranean coast July 20-23 but, in Power’s case, festival press officer Isabelle Juanco said: “I think so.”

She said she was too busy dealing with the scores of European journalists that converge on the place to be introduced to visiting business partners.

Among the acts that may have been showing Power and Desmond what they’ve got for their money were Depeche Mode, Pixies, Morrissey, The Strokes, and Tom Verlaine.

– John Gammon