Benicassim Evacuated

Freak weather conditions caused havoc at Spain’s Benicassim Festival, where nearly 2,000 campers were evacuated as winds ripped through the campsite.

Storms also put a stop to Kings Of Leon’s headline slot July 17, when the band deemed it to dangerous to go onstage.

“I’m sad to say that we aren’t playing Benicassim. We are so sorry and bummed about last night. Our gear is already headed to Switzerland,” KOL drummer Nathan Followill posted on Twitter the following day.

The festival organisers had hoped to reschedule the performance for the following day, but the band’s schedule meant it had to leave for Switzerland’s Gurten Festival, another event to suffer under Europe’s storm-lashed July 17-19 weekend.

Video screens were taken down at Benicassim’s coastal site and staging equipment secured as wind speeds reached 50 miles per hour.

The campsite evacuees returned the following day to find their tents either blown away or destroyed. About 25 fans required treatment from the Spanish Red Cross, although no serious injuries were reported.

Earlier in the day, howling winds interrupted Paul Weller’s set as he struggled against worsening conditions.

Any damage the festival site suffered was repaired in time for the Saturday programme. Organisers announced that those who suffered because of the interrupted Friday programme could come again for free on Saturday or Sunday.

Benicassim was expected to make a further announcement regarding refunds.

Lily Allen, who was also scheduled to play July 17, and The Foals – due to pay the following day – had already pulled out due to illness. Maxïmo Park replaced The Foals.

On the opening day, Oasis’ set was marred by technical difficulties, which left Noel Gallagher describing the show as “a fuckin’ waste of time.”

The other acts playing the Festival Internacional de Benicassim July 16-19 included The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Glasvegas, Tom Tom Club, Elbow, White Lies, and Friendly Fires.