BBK A Little Short

Having one of Europe’s shakiest economies clearly doesn’t help its festivals, but a shortage of cash also seems to be distorting the Spanish outdoor market.

Photo: Musicsnapper / Tom Hagen

There are so many festivals with capacities around 40,000 per day that, with some of then facing sluggish attendance, it’s practically impossible to call who’s going to come out ahead.

Last year the battle to be the country’s biggest festival resulted in a tight contest in which Benicassim nosed in ahead of BBK Live, but this year both may have to give best to Sonar.

The Barcelona electro fest had a total three-day attendance of 121,600, more than 20 percent up on 2012, which was also nearly 20 percent up on what Bilbao’s BBK Live managed June 11-13.

The final figures claim there were 104,405 across three days, at an average of 34,800 per day – nearly 6,000 below Sonar’s daily average.

“Total attendance has gone down from 110K to 105K, it’s not a significant decline,” said BBK communications manager Ibai Villapun. “We’re very happy of having passed the 100K mark three years in a row. It’s a very good sign.”

As the current numbers stand, that puts Sonar a nostril ahead of Benicassim’s 40,000 per day last year, but there’s no telling what that festival will do this summer. Irish promoter Denis Desmond has taken over from one-time rival Vince Power, but he won’t be taking over the actual running of Benicassim until 2014.

On the day after the deal was announced, Desmond told Pollstar he’s determined to put Benicassim back on top. The acts helping to keep BBK Live close to the top included Green DayDepeche ModeKings Of LeonFatboy Slim and Alt-J.