Sand, Sweat and Sangria: BENICASSIM FESTIVAL 2011

Booking the tickets far in advance gave ample time for both myself and my festival partner to completely forget any planning that may be required if we intended on going. Opting to stay naïve of what needed to be done, and seeking to maintain a carefree attitude that belonging in a Dr Pepper advert; what really WAS the worst that could happen?

Two days before the festival in Spain began, we still had no method of getting there. This was not a festival down the road, but one over 2,000 kilometres away. The feeling of worry overtakes the carefree. When flights are finally booked two days before the festival begins, neither of us feeling prepared for the weekend ahead, I started to lose faith in our initial tactics.

With 16 hours of suffocating heat, endless transport confusion and an onslaught of angry Spanish men hindering our napping; we eventually, on that Friday afternoon, got to Benicassim. We pitched up, had a costume change, and became acquainted with our immediate festival mascot, Don Simon – irresistibly cheap carton-Sangria. As the night progressed, Don Simon began to mingle with Gin and Vodka, and the first night began to get a bit out of hand. Partying into the AM’s quickly became a struggle, with no sleep and a lot of units in our bodies, an ominous plan grew: “Let’s have a quick nap?”
Our error quite literally dawned on us as we woke up; missing the alarm we had set, and half an hour into Prodigy! -The final act of the night. Our good intentions had failed us, unsurprisingly. When we made it to the end of the night, we were finally allowed to rest contently. I knew festivals were tough, but this was starting off as something else altogether!

The hopes of better beginnings later that same morning were completely dashed when, for the first time, I experienced a filthy, sweating hangover-from-hell. Every morning from then on this Hangover-from-Hell would rear its ugly head, raising doubts about Don Simon and start the day with a ..
The daylight hours that followed were spent wrestling with the crowds for the nuggets of shade, nurturing awkward tan lines and consuming warm Tiramisu. All whilst trying to stay cool and shaking off the dread of the next HFH.
It was when the sun went down that the fun really begun, the music played and the freaks came out to prey; our ‘STELLA’ dance moves constantly interrupted by the overfriendly Irish and the aggressively Spanish. Luckily, the music was everything we came for, and there were many highlights that did not disappoint, despite our ability to attract these drunk-and-lonely-men.

Covered in sand, reeking of sweat and never wanting to drink Sangria again, our Festival Fiasco was finally over four days after it started.
An experience that was most certainly enjoyed in hindsight, and not one that was even mildly regretted. But thinking perhaps next time we go, we may need to go a bit more prepared.


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