Bilbao Cuts Itself In Two For Iron Maiden

Spain’s Bilbao BBK Live Festival has added a fourth day and cut itself in half to fit around the tour schedules for Iron Maiden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Metallica.

"We couldn’t miss the opportunity to have those artists on the same festival," said Ibai Villapún, communications manager for promoter Last Tour International, explaining why the formerly three-day event now stretches across two weekends.

In keeping with the heavier music theme, Fito & The Fitipaldis – Spain’s increasingly popular classic rock ‘n’ roll band – will be playing the second (June 28th) weekend. Last Tour is also handling the act’s upcoming national dates.

Last year, the first time Bilbao Live was staged, it attracted 43,616 people, but Villapún is expecting Iron Maiden’s headline day alone will attract a sellout 35,000 and this year’s longer bash will pull a total approaching 90,000.

Last Tour is still a relatively new name in the Spanish festival market but it’s already building a big one, having started three new events in the last six years: Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria in 2002, Santander Festival in 2005 and Bilbao Festival in 2006.

Now flying under the new banner of Bilbao BBK Live Festival, the result of one of the biggest savings banks in the Basque region joining the City Council of Bilbao as co-sponsor, the June 21-22 and June 28-29 gatherings at Kobetamendi – a park in a mountainous region just outside the city – have also confirmed a lineup that includes My Chemical Romance, Mastodon, Within Temptation, Juliette & The Licks, Fishbone, Stone Sour, Kula Shaker, Bloodsimple, and Billy Talent.

This year’s Azkena Festival is slotted for August 31st and September 1st, but so far there are no acts confirmed. At press time, the Santander Festival dates still hadn’t been announced.