I just found this email to a friend from a while back.  He had proposed to meet up at Benicassim, a festival in Spain I'd been to the summer before. Here, I explain why I'd rather not:

Well it's not that the festival was so bad. We had fun but I don't think I'd go again. When we decided to go we were in Capri, Italy and it was the 15th of July. The festival started the 16th.  We managed to find tickets to the sold-out festival and booked our flights over a few beers at an internet cafe and were on a ferry the next morning on our way to the airport in Naples. Our captain's friends were going in an RV and said we could crash their campground.

our living situation
We had to play charades with a cab driver who spoke only Italian to explain that somewhere between the docks and the airport, we needed to find a tent. He finally took us to a big open air market where they sold nunchucks and blank CDs next to socks and oranges. Arielle stayed in the cab while I played charades again with someone in the market, who led me down a dark alley (not a good idea in Naples) but found me tent (phew!).

We land in Barcelona. Our tent isn't there. They have no record of ever even checking it. We argue with the people at the baggage counter. 'WE'RE HOMELESS TONIGHT BECAUSE OF YOU!'

No dice.

We get into a taxi and have a much easier time explaining we need a tent in Spanish. We stop at Decathlon and get another tent and sleeping bags, then head to the train station to take the last train to Benicassim.

We missed the last train. We stand around the train station looking lost for a while when this British couple approaches us. "Are you going to Benicassim?" We all decide to band together and split a cab there, it breaks down to being cheaper than a hotel room for the night.  Our cab driver is named Manolo and he's awesome. The couple busts out a bottle of duty-free Jack Daniels and we run to the vending machine to get some Cokes. The ride is fun.

We get there really late and literally have to rush into the campsite because we didnt have our tickets yet, much less camping wristbands.

why swim in the fountain when the beach is a few blocks away?
The next day we spend at the beach and roaming through town, which is not charming at all. It's a strange place but we find a restaurant with a pretty patio and have a good lunch.  After picking up our wristbands from a semi-sketchy dude, we head into the festival.  I'm looking forward to seeing Kings of Leon and my sister is super excited to see a band called The Horrors. We grab some drinks, explore, check out a few stages.

My favorite discovery is Silent Disco.  Two DJs spin in a big tent with no speakers. Instead, the sound is transmitted to big yellow headphones with two channels (that are given to you as you enter), so you don't know if the person next to you is getting down to the really serious house beat or the funky 70's soul channel.

 We head to the main stage. It's crowded. We try to snake our way closer to the front. It's a festival, thats what you're SUPPOSED to do. Girls start pulling our hair and clothes and jewelry.  We wait and wait and wait for Kings of Leon to come onstage, but nothing happens.  One guy in our group managed to get up front and center, and waited for 3 hours. He peed in a cup. It starts getting really windy, it looks like there may be some sort of fire in the distance and I'm tired.  I tell my sister I'm going back to the campground to take a nap.

Next thing I know, my sister unzips the tent and screams:


'What are you talking about? I'm napping!'


I get out of the tent.  It's HOWLING wind. Stuff is flying everywhere. The police are going into all the tents and kicking people out of the campsite. It's too dangerous to spend the night in a tent, but camper vans can stay.  Girls are crying. Their passports, their tents, everything they have is just gone.

Apparently, the wind got so strong one of the big screens on the main stage fell into a VIP area and nearly killed some people. My sister said she came back and saw the tent flattened by the wind and the outline of my body laying there. I was the only thing holding the tent down.

We take the poles out of the tent, zip it up, and use it as a giant bag that we pull into our friends' camper. We slept on it that night.

My sister, on the other hand, is convinced she's going to see The Horrors. She runs back to the festival and no one will let her in. She tells them she has a friend in there, on drugs, alone and she has to go find her. They let her in. The show is cancelled obviously.

our tent/bag/bed
When we wake up the next day, fences are flattened and trees are full of trash, and people are sleeping on the sidewalks. The six of us have a giant spanish meal in a nearby town all afternoon. The festival doesnt have any remarkable headliners, so we just find random tents and dance a lot.

our lifeline
tents and more off the campgrounds and on the railroad.
downwind from the campgrounds

We skipped the last day.  I was a little bummed because we missed bands I actually wanted to see, but we spent a delightful evening in Barcelona and flew back to Italy the following morning.

a healthy lunch on our way back to Barcelona
We make it back to Naples.  Our tent and sleeping bags aren't at baggage claim.

One weekend. Two tents. Four sleeping bags.



Maria Monteiro said...

What a weekend!

alex said...

now you know how disorganised spaniards are haha nice to know you came to my hometown, barcelona ! hope you had a nice time here ! xx

Love Sushi and Fashion said...

Love music festivals! Great pictures, you got a new follower :) Check my blog and if you like it you are welcome to do the same! Kisses <3<3

Kdotorg said...

Music festivals are the best, it really sucks about the winds though! Still sounds like you had a great time.

Marzena said...

God love this pictures ! You've got amazing time ! And I'm jealous , becouse you're so pretty ! Kiss <3