Benicassim (Breathtaking, Beautiful and Absolutely Buzzing...)
Now, even an idiot could take a good guess and say that festivals abroad are better than ones in old Blightey. However unless you’ve boarded a plane to return home after a week away, with glitter in your hair, mud on your knees and paint on your face, you haven’t quite lived! We can all read reviews online and hear stories from the festival goers that ‘hotel it’, but there’s nothing better than collapsing on a lilo, outside your tent with the sun beating down on you. It’s got to be said, a summer without a festival isn’t a summer, and a summer without a festival abroad is like Christmas without hearing Noddy Holder shouting, “Its Christmas!” : intolerable.
If you’ve never been to a festival abroad, certain questions can spring up in your head. How many bikinis should I take? Will I even be awake in the day? How will I NOT lose my passport?! Will I even know my name? But fear not, things are simple.
Take in some of the culture
Benicassim is a very small Spanish town and the only way to get there from any of the surrounding airports is a 2 hour journey by coach or train. This sounds worse than the idea of having a triple history lesson (and trust me I’ve had them) but once your bag is filled with cans of cider and plastic ‘Vila Sol’ bottles, you’re well on your way to having a great trip.
Once at the festival, you have the whole day to do ‘holiday’ things… (I chose to slob on the beach, drinking cocktails at lunchtime and picking up a bottle of 4 euro vodka for that evening) but you could behave more cultured and maybe look around the town?
Then when the clock hits around 5, you can bet your bottom dollar (or euro) that everyone begins heading back from the beach to get ready for the events that are about to unfold.
No-one ever makes friends with a resting bitch face so step out of your tent with a smile. For once in your life, it’s okay to ignore your mother and speak to strangers – unless they are standing in a dark alley calling you over. By the end of the week, you’ll be chanting songs whilst you knock back peculiar looking spirits with friends that ‘you promise you’ll see again’ and maybe the odd girl will shed a tear. Cute.
Remember to eat and drink water
We all know the phrase ‘eating is cheating’ but we also know girls fainting in the middle of crowds because they haven’t eaten since last May is very, very annoying. You’re abroad, so stop trying to act cool in your ellesse t-shirts and bucket hats, and find some local delicacies. Drinking water is important in any weather, let alone in 30’C weather. (Also note to self, lime scale on your lips is very unattractive)
Have fun, because that’s the aim
Finally, have fun, listen to some bands you’ve never even heard of and maybe even drink too much. Sweet baby Jesus, can you imagine?
But one really important thing; don’t get sunburnt. You may tell your friend that she doesn’t look like a lobster but secretly everyone knows you’re thanking the dear Lord, that he didn’t choose you to be the victim of the Sun.
By Lucy Acton