Benicassim: Could Have Been Worse

 Irish promoter Denis Desmond will likely be pleased that his new Benicassim Festival in Spain did more than 33,000 per day, although attendance has dropped further since last year’s disappointment.

Given the Spanish economic climate and the fact Desmond and Simon Moran of Manchester-based SJM Concerts bought a majority share of Benicassim at the beginning of July, things could have been worse.

Benicassim communications director Ernesto Gonzalez told Pollstar that organizers are “happy” with the result.

This year’s four-day attendance dropped a little more than16 percent on last year, when the festival did 160,000 across four days.

Fellow Irish promoter and one-time Desmond rival Vince Power, who said he sold his major share in Benicassim to “ensure the future of the festival,” will now step down with Desmond presumably taking the reins.

The upshot is that Benicassim has slipped down the Spanish festival pecking order into third place. Sonar, the Barcelona electro fest June 13-15, will likely be the country’s biggest festival of 2013. It did 121,600 at an average of more than 40,000 per day.

BBK Live July 11-13 has nosed above Benicassim into second place after doing 104,405 across three days, at an average of 34,800 per day. Benicassim’s four-day crowd was 134,000.

Desmond has vowed to restore Benicassim to its position at the top of the Spanish festival market. The acts at Benicassim July 18-21 included The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Queens Of The Stone Age, Beady Eye, Primal Scream, Johnny Marr, Kaiser Chiefs, Jake Bugg, and Palma Violets.