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ANITA DARLING AND LOLITA DEVINE'S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO VALENCIA'S HOTTEST MUSIC FESTIVAL
2010 and the sixteenth edition of FIBERFIB the HEINEKEN Festival Internacional de Benicassim will be our eigth and seventh years attending respectively, and it truly is the highlight of both our Summers. This is one fun-filled four day event under the sun - beach, live music, good people and plenty of things to do - what more could we ask for?
Not that we consider ourselves experts or anything, and we're too much of princesses to camp so don't take our advice in that area too seriously, but we have compiled a little guide to make sure your time at the festival runs as smoothly as possible. Here goes, music lovers!
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE YOU GET HERE:
VALENCIA is by far your nearest airport, followed closely by REUS.
To VALENCIA there are flights this summer from Bristol, Stansted and Dublin with Ryanair, and from London Gatwick with easyjet. Trains and special Fib buses run from Valencia almost every half hour.
To REUS there are Ryanair flights from a load of destinations in the UK and Ireland and from some points in Europe too. There is a fast train or bus service from Reus or Tarragona direct to Castellón and a local train to Benicássim.
If you fly to Barcelona, Alicante or Madrid - you'll have to take a train - Barcelona and Alicante are both three hourish journeys but Madrid has the wonderful new fast-train, the AVE -which in Spanish means Bird - which has cut the journey to an extremely rapid hour and a half! Book in advance to take advantage of low online fares www.ave.es
Definitely work out your itinerary from airport to Benicassim and back to the airport again when it's all over. Book train tickets as soon as possible, mainly to get great advance booking discounts but also otherwise you may find yourself stranded and miss out on all the excitement!
trains: www.renfe.es or from outside spain: www.spanish-rail.co.uk
buses: www.alsa.es / www.avanzabus.com / www.avsa.es / www.autobusescastellon.com
MARAWORLD The festival organisation peeps came up with a brilliant idea last year to get there too, check it out here: fib.compartir.org. It's all about sharing a car to get to the festival and encouraging people to be more eco-friendly. We like a lot!
Or you can join the Fiberclub for around 25€ which includes return bus journey to and from Valencia Airport
WHAT YOU MUST PUT IN YOUR SUITCASE:
SUNSCREEEEEN! Whenever we're in the UK we stock up on Boots Soltan 'once' sun lotion, (one application lasts up to six hours etc... but we're sure there must be other makes too, don't quite understand why nothing similar has been brought out here yet!?) and its super handy for those long walks into town/to the beach/into the festival, especially if you're in one of the campsites located further away from the site itself as the last thing you want is to to be burnt for the weekend. It's from 2 to 5 when you've really got to watch those shoulders, noses and centre partings! ouch!
Beach Towel. Obvious reasons.
Hair bobbles and headscarves.... it's hot!
Sunglasses! At all times!
NO high heels. No point!
Comfy shoes, like plimsolls and sandals
Wellies? Probably not, it barely rains ( knock wood ) and the probabilities of a Glastonbury-esque oh-dear-is-that-my-tent-floating-away situation are a million to one.
VERY IMPORTANT: If you're camping, either jelly shoes or plastic flip flops for the showers and toilets. We've been in there, it's not pretty.
GIRLS: On a more fashionable note, Kate Moss set the tone for festival fashion many years ago, and things haven't really changed - you're still going to look hot in mini denim shorts and a waistcoat, though the wellies are obviously unnecessary (see above) and the Belstaff raincoat too. The only thing that we would say is plan to wear as few layers as possible-- you may end up wishing you rethought the long-sleeved kaftan or skinny jeans in one of the marquees when its 35 degrees in there, and a leather waistcoat would probably do a good job of helping you work up a sweat too.
WHAT YOU MUST DO WHEN HERE:
DON´T...Forget all the extra-musical activities planned alongside the concerts! There's loads of art installations all over Benicassim town and all along the beach, we find they make fabulous photo opportunities and are usually pretty good stuff from really talented artists too. There is also theatre, both street and in venues over town, dance, fashion shows, and competitions to be seen. The mustang tent is the place to spot all the action, last year PJ couldn't get enough of the models hanging out before the shows. Too pretty!
DON'T ...Miss the football match at the Benicassim sports centre - its Artists v. Press (The press always, always win) and is usually about 5 euros for the match and a huge plate of Paella with a drink. Saturday morning in town, near the bottom of the main road before you get to the old railway bridge, turn down towards the sea.
DON'T... Forget your pennies inside the festival: FIBShop is packed with festival memorabilia, from band Tshirts to official merchandising including badges, lighters, fans, and bags. We once heard Prince Harry was seen buying a FIB Tote a couple of years back and spent the next two days royalty-stalking. Didn't even glimpse the boy, but made for fun times anyway!
More shopping can be done at FIBMarket, the shopping area which gets bigger every year and is packed with vintage clothes, sunglasses, jewelry, posters and badges, and loads of freebies.
WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK:
Inside the festival site the eating areas serve really good food, from Paella and wraps to crepes, burgers and pasta. We girls find a sweet crepe at around 3 in the morning gives us that extra pop to carry on through til the early hours. Remember to buy your tickets for drinks at the little huts, and that at the eating stalls, there is a separate queue for tickets on the side of every one. It's a major bummer when you get to the front of the queue to realise you haven't bought your ticket and have to do it all over again, especially when you're in a rush to get a good spot for the start of Morrissey's set! (Coming from past experience, of course).
When not inside the festival, there are literally supermarkets all over Benicassim town. Mercadona, Consum and Lidl all up their stock and even change their layout especially for the festival-goers so everything you need is close to hand.
If you're not making your own food, the main road through Benicassim is absolutely packed with bars, restaurants and cafes, and we have to have a Chinese meal at the Chinese restaurant near the top of the road. Their set menu is dead cheap and too good to miss, round about day three of our stay when you're feeling slightly hungover and need something tasty and naughty to keep you going.
For a slightly smarter sit-down meal La Manduca is gorgeous and serves typical Mediterranean food like grilled vegetables and fish and their rice is quite well renowned.