Benicassim Learns To Walk

With crowds a little up on last year, Irish promoter Denis Desmond was happy his first year in charge of Spain’s Benicassim Festival has got the event back on track.

Photo: Courtesy Benicassim Festival
During Tinie Tempah's set.

“Last year the festival was limping, but this year we’ve started to walk,” he told Pollstar. “Next year we’ll be running around all over the place.

“We did over 25,000 per day and I’m telling you that’s up on last year,” he said, casting doubts on last year’s reported crowd figures of 30,000-plus.

This is the first year Desmond and Simon Moran of Manchester-based SJM Concerts have had control of the running of the festival since they bought out former majority shareholder Vince Power in the middle of last year.

“There’s a lot more competition in the market because there’s a lot more festivals of a similar size, all competing to attract a finite number of festivalgoers,” Desmond said of the local environment, which features the likes of Primavera Sound, BBK Live, and Sonar festivals.

“Benicassim’s a European festival and maybe we have to make it a little more of a Spanish one, attracting more of the local people,” he said, confident that Benicassim will return to its position of being Spain’s No.1 festival.

The acts helping Benicassim back on its feet July 17-20 included Kasabian, The Libertines, Jake Bugg, Paolo Nutini, Lily Allen, The 1975, Tom O’Dell, Chase & Status, Ellie Goulding, and Paul Weller.