The Best Benicassim Festival Guide: “How to Survive FIB (Festival Internacional de Benicàssim), My Top Tips & A Packing List”

the-view-of-benicassim-festival-over-the-bridge

If you’re thinking of heading to one of Spain’s most popular music festivals FIB (Festival Internacional de Benicàssim), then this guide/blog post all about Benicassim Festival should answer all your questions and give you the important tips.

FIB (Festival Internacional de Benicàssim) 2019 is set to be an absolute hoot! It’s the 25th anniversary so you’re sure to see some incredible acts.

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So, if you’re wondering how to survive 3-7 nights in the boiling hot Spanish sun and wondering what on earth you need to pack for Benicassim Festival – then keep reading this guide.

We’ve just come back from 2018’s incredible weekend. We camped, we drank, we sang and we enjoyed but there were a few things we will do differently in 2019…

Camping at Benicassim Festival is great but…

Ok, so if you want to do FIB or any festival properly, camping is the way to do it.

However, before you begin, you’re going to need our Benicassim camping tips.

Being a festival in the Spanish heat at the peak of Summer means your tent is likely to become a sweat filled sauna. You’ll be coming home in the early hours of the morning and likely getting just a couple of hours sleep a night (if that).

Camp-Fest-Living-Area-at-FIB-Benicassim-Festival-our-tent

So if you’re into that? Then go for it!

Camping at FIB actually has a lot of perks:

  • The communal showers are pretty spacey. a little cold, but perfect when you’re melting and usually kept really clean.
  • The toilets/portaloos are the cleanest I’ve seen from any public event. There’s a cleaner there everyday jumping in after every few people.
  • It’s really social. There are so many fun people in campfest (I don’t know about villa camp) and there’s a great atmosphere around the campsite.
  • There’s a bar and Carrefour shop on the campsite itself. Although we paid €18 for a 12 can pack of Heineken in the shop – so it’s bloody expensive, but helpful if you need it.

But it’s not all great, and camping at Benicassim has its downfalls:

  • Only half the Benicassim campfest campsite has shade and if you arrive late, your tent will be pitched in the baking hot sun. Which means, no sleep between 8am – 11pm. And, good luck even trying to go inside it in the heat. On the plus side, the bottle of water we left inside the tent was warm enough to make a hot coffee.
  • People are messy. We walked past some absolutely vile emplacements. Surprisingly no rats, but some people definitely deserved to get them.
  • You’re not protected from adverse weather. So although it’s not Glastonbury and you’re probably expecting just sun, Spain can get some pretty stormy weather. In fact, it absolutely pissed it down on us and for the final night, many people were camped out in the bar because their tents got smashed to pieces.
  • There’s no privacy to get changed. You’re going to have to shower in at least your bikini/pants and there’s nowhere to change after – except your boiling hot, probably, 2 man tent.
  • It’s just bloody hot.

The-camping-area-at-benicassim-festival

What are the camping options at Benicassim Festival?

There are 2 campsites in Benicassim for FIB:

  • Villa camp

And

  • Campfest

Both are situated in Beni and Within both of these sites, there are other camping options which include:

  • Glamping bell tents
  • Easy tents
  • Or the standard pitch up your own.

As we’ve only travelled from 5 hours down the road, it was no bother to bring our own tent.  If you were travelling over by plane though, you may want to look into the easy tent/glamping options.

With these, you can get a fully pitched tent with an air bed and other perks like torches and breakfast.

Also in villa camp, the upmarket camping area, you get your own individual showers.

Personally? I don’t feel that Villa camp is worth the extra money (around £90 each for the upgrade), but please feel free to prove me wrong.

CAMPFEST--Camping-del-FIB----Google-Maps

Where are the Campsites for FIB located? Are they in Benicassim?

Campfest, the standard camping included with your ticket, is situated right next to the arena which means you’re within walking distance and you can hear the music and soundchecks right from your tent.

We heard both the Killers and Liam Gallagher preparing for their headline sets this year and it felt so intimate.

Villacamp is a bit down the road, right next door to the local Lidl and with easy access into Benicassim centre. However, you are slightly further away from the festival and would need to get one of the Autos Mediterraneo shuttle buses to the arena.

But these campsites still get hot and dirty and it definitely doesn’t beat hiring out an apartment on AirBnB or grabbing a hotel from booking.com.

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Where else can you stay for the festival? What if Benicassim is fully booked?

There are a few hotels in Benicassim, but heading slightly further out to the city of Castellon, or the holiday area of Oropesa is also an option.

There are local buses as well as the FIb shuttle buses which can get you to and from these locations.

Generally, you’ll always be able to find accommodation in Beni. Benicassim has tons of hotels and apartments available, our neighbours who absolutely hated the camping life managed to book a hotel for the final two nights within walking distance to the arena.

A few hotels you might want to look into are:

In Benicassim:

Hotel orange:

Hotel orange benicassim

Beautiful hotel with a great pool area with kids animation too (not that you need that for FIB, but a fun fact). However, I did hear last year they tried to enforce a rule that all women need to wear swim hats to use the pool.

Hotel Trinimar:

Hotel-trinimar benicassim

Bit of a trek away from FIB itself, but a clean and reasonably budget friendly hotel. It’s right on the beach front and has funky bright colourful lights on at night time. Restaurant, pool, beachfront – what more could you ask for?

Hotel Tramontana:

Hotel-Tramontana benicassim

Another budget-friendly beachfront hotel. Around a 25 minute walk (depending on how many beers) to the festival and in a perfect location for a few drinks stops on the way. The hotel doesn’t have a pool, but with Torre San Vicente Beach on the doorstep, is it needed?

Hostal la Torre

hostal-la-torre benicassim

Located in the town centre, right beside Mercadona, Hostal La Torre is just a 15-minute walk away from the festival site. A clean, comfy hostel with great value rooms.

Hotel Montreal

hotel-montreal benicassim

Also around 15-minute walk from the FIB grounds, Hotel Montreal is a top favourite with festival goers. Breakfast included, although, you’ll probably be coming home at breakfast time. Great staff, peaceful pool, wifi and just a stone’s throw away from the beautiful Beni beaches.

Intur Bonaire:

intur-bonair benicassim

150 metres from the beach and air conditioned rooms, both necessities for your hangover. Intur Bonaire is just 25 minutes walk to the festival grounds.

Voramar:

hotel-voramar benicassim

Situated at the end of the beach this beautiful hotel has almost everything you could ask for during your festival visit. Air conditioning, minibar, satellite TV, cafe, restaurant and massage service. The only thing missing is a pool. The Voramar is a bit more of a trek to FIB and would require a 45-minute walk, or a jump on the bus.

In Oropesa:

Marina d’or:

marina-dor oropesa

Marina D’or is a holiday resort in Oropesa. It consists of many different hotels and apartments ranging from 3* budget – 5* luxury. From Oropesa and Marina D’or, you’d be in for a long trek – however there are Oropesa specific shuttles to and from the festival.

Apartamentos Raymar:

raymar oropesa

These apartments are right on the beachfront in Oropesa, however, they are in need of modernising. 20 minutes walk from the FIB shuttle, it’s easy to grab a bus and go.

In Castellon:

Sercotel Hotel Jaime I

hotel-jaime castellon

If you want to stay a little further out of town and close to the main city of Castellon the Sercotel Hotel Jaime I may be for you. 10 minutes from the cities cathedral it’s a great location for eating out and exploring. Buses travel regularly from Castellon into Benicassim – but not specifically to the festival grounds

the Doña Lola

dona-lola castellon

10 minute walk away from the city centres bus station, the Dona Lola hotel is perfect for a more relaxed festival trip. And in previous years they have even organised their own FIB shuttle bus – let’s see what they do for 2019!

Find The PERFECT Accommodation for Benicassim festival 2019 here:



Booking.com

How to get to FIB Festival:

Wherever you are in the world, getting to Benicassim in time for the festival couldn’t be easier. Just 2 and a half hours south of Barcelona and 1 hour north of Valencia sits the beautiful seaside Spanish town.

Travel within Spain:

Trains:

There are regular trains from Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid and if you can’t find one? Then you can grab a train to Castellon (The city in which Benicassim lives) and either taxi or bus to the festival.

You can check out the Trains on the RENFE Website (In English)

Shuttle Buses:

benicassim-buses

FIB puts on special shuttle buses for festival goers to and from the main airports:

  • Castellon
  • Valencia
  • Barcelona
  • Alicante

Driving:

Coordinates: 40.048068N, 0.047872E

Follow the AP-7 Motorway from Barcelona or Valencia and take the exit 45 (from Barcelona) or 46 (from Valencia). The FIB website recommends to use public transport as there isn’t much parking, but whenever we walked past the parking area we saw plenty of space.

Also, have a think about car sharing. It’s really popular all across Europe and there is even a special festival specific car sharing company who matches you with others based on your Spotify playlist www.drivingmusic.es

Coaches:

The official Coach partner DIVERTIS offer coach transport from cities within Spain. But other companies like Avanza bus also operate long distance throughout Spain. For transport within the Valencia/Castellon region then Autos Mediterraneo are the local bus company and also the company who run the shuttles buses.

Head to Rome2Rio.com to find out the best way to plan your route. This website has been a saving grace for me.

From Outside Spain:

Local Airports:

Castellon is the nearest airport. It’s fairly new and has minimal flights to and from the UK (and other European countries). Fly from London Stansted with RyanAir for minimal costs.

plane-at-barcelona-airport

Valencia is your next airport. Fly from London, Dublin or Manchester with Easyjet and Ryanair. From Valencia, getting the shuttle is the most convenient way to get to Benicassim, but if you want to do it yourself? It is possible. With a quick metro to the train station and you can train straight there.

Barcelona: We normally fly into Barcelona, because that’s where we’ve found cheap flights in the past and it’s also easy to travel from there to Beni. Like Valencia, it’s just a metro and a train away.

Reus is another close airport, however, transportation options from here are slightly more limited as opposed to the big city airports. There is still the shuttle provided by FIB though.

But – if you need any help finding flights or transport – Skyscanner is your baby and rome2rio can help with your post airport transportation needs.

Buses:

We’ve travelled from France so this may be helpful for others travelling from other countries in Europe.

Both OuiBus and Flixbus provide cheap coach travel throughout Europe (specifically France for Ouibus) and they have wifi, charging points and reclinable chairs.

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How To Get Cheap Tickets for Benicassim Festival?

To get Cheap tickets for Benicassim Festival (FIB) you have two options. You need to:

A: Be the early bird and get the early bird tickets, which are available now!

B: Be really late, like the day before, and hope someone is selling their ticket online somewhere.

I suggest following A and grabbing your early bird ticket now for only £99!

The other way to get to Benicassim festival on a budget?

Try volunteering, although I would imagine your Spanish language skills would need to be on point

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What am I likely to spend at FIB Festival:

Tickets:

Bearing in mind that the tickets for FIB are possibly some of the cheapest festival tickets you will ever buy? You’re probably not going to spend a lot.

Depending on when you buy your tickets, you’re likely to spend in the range of £100 – £170 on them. We bought them a week before the festival and manages to spend the higher side of that amount. We know better for 2019!

Arena Drinks:

The drink system is ticket based, each ticket is 3euros and you buy them from a specific stand next to the bar. One ticket will buy you half a beer/cider, a water or a soft drink. 2 tickets will buy you a 350ml bottle of wine, and a pint. 3 tickets will buy you a pitcher/litre of beer/cider. I personally found wine to be the best deal.

Tent:

You can grab a cheap Tesco/decathlon tent for around £15-£40 but if you wanted to take advantage of the glamping options at Camp Fest then it’s around £100.

Food & Drinks:

Using the campsite shop will cost you a bomb – take advantage of the local shops like lidl and mercadona. You can access them via bus, or if you’re on VillaCamp, Lidl is next door, we bought all our pre-drinks and snacks for around 40 euros.

Arena Food:

There are so many food places to try in the arena, and the prices aren’t as expensive is UK festivals so it’s worth trying them out. We tried the asian wok food one night, Mexican another and Indian too!

Travel:

This totally depends on how you’re getting there and where from. Flights will be between £100-£200+ each because of half term holidays. It’s worth checking out skyscanner to find the best deals. Don’t forget the cost of onward travel from the airport too. Shuttles were anything up to £45 each.

Eating Out:

You’re on holiday, of course you want to eat out. You can definitely take advantage of some of the budget restaurants around Beni, but bear in mind many places hike the prices up for the festival. Your usual 2 euro beer will become five and that 1euro espresso becomes 3! I’ve listed a few of my recommended restaurants in the next section below.

Brie-anne-wearing-Killers-TSHIRT-at-Benicassim-Festival

If you want any merch – this T-Shirt cost 30euros

What Did We Spend At FIB Festival (between 2 of us – approximate figures)

Tickets

  • £265.73

Tent

  • €30

Stools:

  • €10

Transport To and from FIB:

  • £81.20 Flix bus Montpellier to Barcelona (and return)
  • €74.30 Train Barcelona – Benicassim (and return)

Campsite shop:

  • around €80 forgotten bits & bobs, couple of sandwiches, crisps, beer, ice, etc

Lidl:

  • around €40 we got soooooo much booze for this, still drinking the €4 vodka at home!

Arena Food:

  • around €35 grabbed a snack every night bar one

Arena Drinks:

  • Around €200 (we like beer & wine…)

Eating Out & Daytime Food:

  • €20 We only ate out once, Breakfast at Beni Karts. But, that’s only because we have family who live in Beni, without them we would have been living off tinned foods or finding cheap restaurants to eat in – which there are a few…

Approximate Total:

  • €850 – we did set a budget of €600, but budgets are for breaking, right?

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Where to Eat in Benicassim

I’ve been visiting Benicassim since I was a baby in the womb – so although 2018 was my first year at the FIB, I know a thing or two about Beni and that includes, where to eat. So here are my recommendations:

 

Budget

  • Nou Cafe:

Sandwiches bigger than your head, great customer service and all in a budget cafe. For only 10euro, you can leave feeling just about satisfied. There’s a great range on the menu for every meal.

  • Casa Vicente

Typically Spanish and extremely good value. Tapas, sandwiches and amazing looking Paella’s and all home made.

  • Tasca El Pollo

Eaten here many times for family occasions as they cater for large groups and every meal we’ve had has been great! Standard fast food and greasy chips, but reasonably priced and tasty chicken joint.

  • Eurosol

Right where the FIB Shuttle bus drops you at the beach is Eurosol. A usually inexpensive cafe on the beachfront and road side. Have had many coffees and snacks here away from FIb and have found it good value – but after paying 4euros for an espresso this year, I’m not sure I feel the same.

Blow Out

  • Charquito

I ate here once a couple of years ago, although my cousin goes regularly and states it’s the best restaurant in Benicassim, she’s not wrong. Beautiful meat, fish and tapas but, it is definitely more expensive than the restaurants listed above.

  • Doma

In the center of town, here you can find some great Spanish tapas. But if you’re looking to go, definitely call ahead and book a table, places like this get booked up easily.

  • Ciento dos

Quite pricey, but great quality and customer service. There is also an English menu available.

  • Playchica

Right on the beachfront with set menus available Playchica is a beautifully decorated restaurant offering tasty mediterranean delights.

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What To Do In Beni When The Music Is Off

Sleep:

Easier said than done, especially for those in tents, but you’re going to want to. Many festival go-ers are usually found, hiding under trees on the beach during the day time, catching a few z’s while sheltering from the sun.

Beach:

benicassim-beach

The beach here is great, crisp clear waters and warm sands – there’s showers all along the beach and public toilets too, which is especially handy after a session.

Aquarama:

Great water park. You can pay your entry fee and comotoze on a sun lounger for the day, or you know, actually enjoy the flumes and stuff! Check out Groupon for free entry tickets.

Walks:

If walking is your thing, there are some great beachfront walks, heading up the Voramar hotel and into the Via Verde or heading to the Parque Natural del Desierto de las Palmas.

Spa’s:

If you want to take post drinking relaxing to the next level, then Benicassim has some incredible Spa’s to unwind in.

Instagram shots:

photo-of-Brie-anne-at-Benicassim-festival

Take a photo with the Benicassim sign, pose on the beach, take a photo of your wristband.

Escape Beni:

Head into the city of Castellon and do some retail therapy. Get a train to Tarragona. Barcelona, Valencia, Salou. The possibilities are endless.

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Final FIB Festival Tips:

Chase-and-Status-at-Benicassim-Festival-FIBerfib

  • The shuttle from the train station to FIB zone/villa camp is not free
  • Buy your own power bank, don’t use FIBS
  • Hire a locker if you have any important/expensive possessions
  • There is no electricity in your tent
  • You NEED your wristband to get into the campsite. Make sure you exchange your ticket first, before arriving at Campfest/Villacamp

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What to do when the festival is over

Why go home when the festival ends? Benicassim has loads to do after FIB and you’re going to want to take a few days to recover.

panorama-of-benicassim-beach

Other Festivals In Benicassim:

ArenalSounds:

Just a few days after FIB ends, there’s another 4 day festival just a few hundred meters down the beach in Burriana called Arenalsounds.

Rototom:

Then, a few days after that, for those of you in to reggae music, Rototom Festival, which takes place back in Benicassim.

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What Should You Pack For FIB And Helpful Advice for Benicassim Festival

Making sure you pack the necessary equipment for camping at Benicassim is so important. It’s amazing the amount of people who actually forget to pack their tent.  Luckily, if you do forget Decathlon is just 15 minutes away in a car/taxi.

FIB Packing List:

If you don’t stay in a ready made tent or hotel/BnB and are camping at Benicassim Festival then remember:

    • Airbed & pump: You’re going to need this as the campsite floor is super rocky and hard. There’s no Electric on site, so you’ll have to bring a manual pump. These airbeds are really quick to inflate

      • A couple of sheets – one for outside your tent, like a doormat. And although you may not need it, as it’s so hot, another for sleeping with. I always like something to spoon at night, and my husband is an actual radiator.

    • A torch – there are flood lights around the campsite, and you’ll probably be coming home at sunrise anyway, but Torches are always handy

    • Tent pegs – This is why you need hold luggage not just hand luggage, definitely peg it as the storms/mountain wind can leave you tent and possession-less. These glow in the dark ones are super cool and mean you won’t start tripping over guide ropes in the night

    • A mallet (so many people forgot this and asked to borrow ours – which, was fine, and you could probably just borrow someone else’s, but I like to be prepared) and if you get a double ended one like the one below, you can use it to pull the pegs back out.

Packed the above, or in an easy tent then remember:

    • Something to identify your tent – we bought a cheap decathlon tent, as did the majority of benicassim. Make sure you have something to help identify yours. We have these cool solar lights:

      And some funky bunting:


Having a flag or bunting from your home country is fairly common at FIB. We saw numerous French, Irish, English, Scottish, Spanish and even Croatian flags during our trip

    • Bikini: You will wear it to the beach, in the shower and because it’s so hot, probably to the festival itself.

    • Ant spray: Our emplacement was covered in those scary giant ants. I’m not sure how much ant spray helps outside as we stupidly forgot it – but this is on our remember for next year list.

    • Alcohol sanitiser: There’s no sinks to wash your hands after using the toilet, which is kinda gross, so use your sanitiser.

    • Padlock for tent: Probably not necessary, we didn’t use one, but thieves are opportunistic and you may just be an unlucky one. If you do have any valuables then FIB does have lockers you can hire for the week.

    • Towels: 2 each! 1 for the beach, one for the shower. We bought a microfiber towel like this as they fold up really small, they’re super absorbent and they dry out quickly

    • Cool box or bag: We wouldn’t be without our handy freezer bag. Grab a couple of bags of ice from the campsite shop and whack in all your warm beers – leave for a few minutes and voila – perfect beer temprature. We did see a lot of people buying polystyrene cool boxes from the campsite shop and the town centre too, looked really handy and convenient and I believe good value too. Maybe avoid buying from the campsite shop though.

    • Bin bags: clean up your mess. The campsites are also hot on recycling, so please, if possible try and recycle (for the environment)

    • Clothes Pegs: To dry out your bikini’s, use your tent guide ropes as a washing line or pack some string and peg away.

    • Phone power pack: You will definitely need one of these if you plan on taking photos/videos of your trip. The campsite does sell them, but not for a great price – I prefer these:

    • Toilet Roll/pocket tissues: The staff were amazing at keeping this topped up on the campsite, but they weren’t so good in the arena, so always pack some in your bumbag just incase.

    • Hammock: There are loads of trees around the campsite and hammocks are super cosy to mooch around in. If you want to catch a day time nap, you don’t need to worry about the heat inside your tent or the crawling insects on the floor outdoors.

Camping & Hotels/BnB

    • Food, water & drinks: If you don’t have time to get to a shop before arriving, pack some energy bars, a bottle of water and an alcoholic beverage or 2. We arrived at 11pm on the Thursday night, but thankfully we’d brought a bag of wine along to start the pre-drinks without having to go to a shop first.

    • Shower gel: Obviously, some hotels and BnB’s will already have it, but you can never be too sure. We stayed in an Air B’nB in Beni a few weeks ago and although the description said shower gel and shampoo – there was none.

    • Bumbag: no festival is complete without a funky cool bum bag accessory. Bag wise, you can only carry an A4 size bag into FIB so just stick with a bum bag/fanny pack/belt bag to be on the safe side.

    • Makeup, mirror, hairbrush/hairbands and glitter: Depending on where you stay, how you get there and how much luggage you can bring will decide how much glitter and makeup you can bring. Some of the girls there made incredible efforts with their make-up, so if you’re normally inclined to wear a lot and feel uncomfortable without it, you’re going to want to bring it – though it’ll probably sweat off pretty quickly.

    • Sunglasses: No brainer really, the festival is in Spain after all.

    • Sun cream: Same as above – this was my main priority with a ginger husband

    • Passports/Paperwork/Health insurance: Obvious really but you’ll be amazed at how many people lose their heads. Definitely get health insurance too as if you’re gonna injure yourself somewhere or pass out with heat stroke, here’s where it’ll happen.

    • Phone chargers: If you’re staying on the campsite then get a power pack, but carry your charger around on the off chance that you can boost up in a cafe.

    • Plasters & tweezers: Blisters happen everywhere, and when alcohol is involved? So does trips, splinters and cuts.

    • Bottle opener: Or if you’re like me, good teeth (Don’t try this at home)

    • Toothbrush/paste: amazing how easy it is to forget such an important item. Nobody wants to smell alioli breath.

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Who’s Playing at Benicassim Festival 2019

las-palmas-stage-at-benicassim-festival

So it’s JUST been announced: Lana Del Ray will be one of the headline acts this year and other acts, so far, include:
The 1975
Blossoms
La M.O.D.A
Cupido
Carino

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