BBK Sellout Measures Up

Bilbao’s BBK Live cemented its place among Spain’s biggest festivals by selling out its 40,000-capacity July 10-12.

Photo: Rhythmandphotos
in Bilbao, Spain. 

Which of the country’s festivals is its biggest can often be close between BBK Live, Pimavera Sound, Benicassim and Sonar, which last year came out top by doing 121,600 at an average of a little more than 40,000 per day.

There’s no evidence the Spanish fests actively compete to be the country’s biggest. The battle has come as a result of most of the major fests being about the same size.

Last year’s Sonar crowd was boosted by the fact it was the festival’s special 20th anniversary edition, and this year the organisers were very happy to see a crowd of 36,000-plus per day, still a little above the recent average.

At the end of May, Primavera, which is staged in Barcelona, set the 2014 benchmark by attracting 190,000 at an average of 47,500 per day.

Primavera’s only likely challenger to be the biggest Spanish festival of 2014 is Benicassim Festival, now owned by Irish promoter Denis Desmond and Simon Moran’s UK-based SJM Concerts.

Historically Benicassim was Spain’s biggest and certainly its best-known festival for over a decade, but in recent years only the 2011 gathering has topped 40,000 per day.

BBK Live, which is promoted by Last Tour International, has grown steadily to reach the top of the end of the market. The acts helping to keep this year’s festival among Spain’s biggest July 10-12 included The Black KeysFranz FerdinandWhite LiesPhoenixJack JohnsonImagine DragonsMGMTThe Lumineers, and Crystal Fighters.