Benicassim To Bounce Back

This year Benicassim is expected to bounce back to the top of the Spanish festival league, according to top UK promoter Denis Desmond.  

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.”

The lineup July 16-19 includes The ProdigyFlorence & The MachineBastilleNoel Gallagher’s High Flying BirdsPortishead, top Spanish indie band Los PlanetasCrystal Fighters, and .

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 KeysThe StrokesDamien RiceShellacEinstürzende Neubauten, and James Blake.

Sonar (June 18-20), the largest Spanish festival of 2013 with 40,000 per day, has named SkrillexThe Chemical BrothersDuran DuranLaurent GarnierHot Chip, and Róisín Murphy.

Last year BBK Live sold out its 40,000 capacity. This year’s bill July 9-11 bill has Muse, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Counting CrowsThe Cat Empire, and Kodaline.