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SUNDAY 18TH JULY - DAY FOUR
FIN! END OF FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE BENICASSIM XVI 2010
Well I said on the first night that I felt that FIB had changed so much since last year that it didn’t even seem like the same festival any more, but I think we may be back to best friends status after the weekend, as underneath its the same old lovely place it always has been, with the generous and friendly crowd, happy and relaxed ambience, and fantastic music on offer it always has had.
Just a few things missing - Fiber, the brilliant freebie newspaper that disappeared last year but still remained available online, has now been completely wiped out, there are no free programmes to be had, nor little guidebooks to take you through the four days, and several decibels have been knocked off the Green Stage soundsystem. Yes, its brilliant that the neither the Fiberfib nor the Eastpack Fibclub stage are under tents any more, but where are the screens behind the Fiberfib and Green Stage tech towers to watch the acts from a distance? The addition of the fairground rides and “churros” stands had the Spanish comparing things to their local village Fiestas, and it will still be a mystery to me if the VIP seating stands have been removed, what exactly it is one gets for €300 aside from not having to queue and being able to sit on a lounger backstage.
This year, the statistics are that 127,000 fibers came from all over the world to Benicassim to enjoy over four days of sun, sea, fun, art, and music, with a bigger percentage of Spanish punters than previous years (40%), and the highest attendance on the Saturday, for PiL, The Prodigy, The Cribs, Klaxons and Ian Brown.
Sunday night the biggest news on everybody’s lips was Lily Allen’s failure to show up for the second year running. Twitter was buzzing with people dissing the poor girl - “Letdown Lily” I even read on one - but I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt and wish her a get well soon. Will she be invited back next year though? Lucky newcomer Ellie Goulding nabbed Lily’s slot on the main stage though, and filled her shoes marvellously. Think she may have subtly dedicated Biggest Mistake to her, actually… Never has anyone been so gracious and sweet, and you could tell that although she was rather nervous, she was utterly grateful to the massive response she received from the crowd that gathered to hear beautiful songs from Lights like Guns and Horses and Under the Sheets, to which she played a drum and cymbal herself. “I think the answer is yes, by the way!” She said to the boys in the front row with the “Will You Marry Us, Ellie?” banner.
First band of the night was tiny little 19 year old Coco Sumner, Trudy Styler and Sting’s daughter, with band I Blame Coco, debuting with songs from album The Constant. One of the few Spanish bands to be given a slot on the Green Stage, Standstill played songs from their third album ‘Adelante Bonaparte’ under the hot afternoon sun, with many fans laying on the ground in the shade from the technicians’ tower, or sitting crosslegged some way back enjoying the first beer of the night. Both Oxford boys Foals and and Bangor lads Two Door Cinema Club respectively packed out the Fiberfib stage, later sharing G&Ts with Ellie Goulding backstage. Whilst Two Door Cinema Club lead singer Alex Trimble did admit to having lost everything - from passport and wallet to even laptop - it didn’t detract from their performance and they brought the sun and the floor down to tracks from their debut album Tourist History like This is the Life and Something Good Can Work.
Having cancelled their performance last year due to a mystery bug, Foals did not disappoint their mostly Spanish audience by pulling a Lily Allen, and many proclaimed it the best concert at FIB. They nervously started After Glow with a “We’ve only played this once before”, but you would never have been able to tell. Miami and Spanish Sahara made the crowd soar.
Dizzee Rascal, the unexpected hit of the weekend, as a rather different choice to the usual indie, electro and 80s bands comprising the lineup, surprised everyone with an extremely energetic and bouncy set, closing with the massive hit “Bonkers”. Almost as big a turnout as Prodigy, I’d say. Jumping all over the bloody show in a Lakers vest, his drum n bass and garage sounds filled out the whole arena and got everybody’s blood pumping ready for Main Stage closers and headliners Gorillaz. With Jamie Hewlett’s amazing graphics projected onto the screens behind, not only did they have the Syrian National Orchestra (could have lent it to Vampire Weekend!) but also brought out De La Soul and Bobby Womack to join them onstage for their first live concert in Spain. I was kind of hoping for the holograms but to see Damon Albarn in the flesh is always a pleasure.
He was wearing a stripy t-shirt as was practically every other Fiber on site! It was definitely the year for the Breton stripe, yet again another look pioneered by the great Kate (Moss) and also for the little jumpsuit. I shall know exactly what to pack for next year know, though keep watching this space for our updated FIBguide, right in time for Festival Internacional de Benicassim, XVII edition 2011. We cannot wait to see what Vince Power will do next.
Just please don’t invite Lily Allen, we couldn’t handle more disappointment!
Ta-ra for now!