Dublin-based Desmond, co-owner of the event since he and fellow UK promoter Simon Moran bought Benicassim from Vince Power in 2013, believes the strength of the lineup and encouraging early ticket sales could be the green shoots of the festival’s recovery.
Although Benicassim was said to be the country’s top fest as recently as 2012, Desmond says the daily figures of 30,000-plus didn’t accurately reflect the number of paying customers. He says the 2014 crowd of 25,000 per day was up on the previous years, which meant the festival had slipped to fourth in the Spanish pecking order, behind a close fight between Sonar, BBK Live and Primavera Sound.
“Last year the festival was limping, but this year we’ve started to walk,” he told Pollstar after the 2014 edition. “Next year we’ll be running around all over the place.”
Primavera Sound, Spain’s biggest festival of 2014 with a daily crowd of 47,500 (20,000 more than Benicassim) has announced a May 28-30 lineup with The Black Keys, The Strokes, Damien Rice, Shellac, Einstürzende Neubauten, and James Blake.