If you’re European and aged between 18 – 30 years old, you have to go to a festival this summer. The music is the least important thing, you’ll love it. You’ll have the opportunity to get high on any prohibited substance that a girl with coloured shades will put in your drink, wear the shirts you’ve bought for the occasion, tell that surrealist and amusing story that happened to you in the bar with some famous peeps from TV and which has had so much success in your class this year, show off your retro (but at thesame time innovative) hair style, and the most important thing; say that you’ve been there.
Some festivals have found a gold mine in this new trend of musical consumerism that is passed on to the youngsters and which have become big shopping centres of sound. After last year’s boom for festivals, the promoters which have survived are doing as the big banks (thieves!), and dedicate themselves to exploit their clients more each time instead of thanking them for their continuation. Here are five reasons not to go to FIB between 14-17 July.
First (and most important): the price of the ticket
How is it possible that although practically the same groups are taking part, the Super Bock (rock) festival of Lisbon costs less than half the amount than the Beniscassim one (180 against 80 euros) and it's been running just as long as Benicassim (since 1994)? If the big bands are the same ones, where is that great difference? In the latrines? It’s true; the ones in Benicassim are like those in films, like the ones from Trainspotting I mean…
Second (and probably more important than the first one): the price of the beer
Five euros for a bit of dirty warm tap water is an abuse for me. Sorry but naming Heineken a beer is as stupid as saying that Obama deserves the nobel peace prize.
Third: the poster
Like every year, the poster has been designed to attract British audiences, those which cram up the beaches, urinate in the streets of the town and poo themselves in the already warm waters of the Mediterranean. Arcade Fire, The Strokes, Artic Monkeys… MGMT are the only ones that have been missed out in order to round off the list of radio-formula rock products, which are all quite poor live but have had great success in the last four years. However, no-one will remember any of them in the next decade. With the worthy exception of Portishead, the concerts promise to be as amusing as the British royal wedding. Also, as in mobile phone offers, the fraud is in the small print. Read, read and don’t be fooled by the neon lights.
Four: the catwalk atmosphere
The obsession for image transforms Benicassim into a ridiculous fashion parade which men have followed during the last years and which makes me cringe (and feel sick). Plaid Texan shirts buttoned to the neck (which prevents the blood circulation to the brain), pseudo-intellectual Woody Allen style glasses and cared after moustaches are the latest trends for the most nerds. As for women, with their vintage style heels on which to talk on for ten hours, white socks to knee level and Lolita long sleeved shirts seem to me that they have come out of a mental illness hospital. But don’t worry if you’re not modern enough. Inside the premises you’ll find the Fibermarket and the Fibershop, where there are almost more people than in the concerts, but where you will be able to be up to date with the latest trend to try to have sex with someone thanks to your artificial clothes with no personality.
Five: the infernal camping
The camping area is commonly known in the FIB as the 'frying pan'. It’s fascinating that now, without paying one more euro, you can experience what a potato feels when it wakes up each morning in the eastern part of Spain as the sun comes out and reaches forty degrees. Then again, as long as you are lucky and can wake up, because that will mean that you have been able to sleep and that there isn’t any rave inside the camping site next to you with the 10, 000 watts incorporated speakers and carnival whistles. But don’t worry, the discrimination and the social classes have reached Benicassim as occurred in the South African apartheid so, if you’re rich, you can afford yourself VIP accommodation, with acclimatised facilities, a pool and even a terrace with views to the camping of the poor where you will be able to laugh at them all the time you want.
We could say that the FIB is to the music festivals like Ryanair to the European flights, but on top of that, paying much more for it; it treats it clients like livestock. For this reason, if you don’t want to follow the shit trail that the herd of sheep leave when they go in and out of the premises and see concerts at a distance of 200 metres through the plasma screens without listening to the music and consume and consume and consume without knowing very well what, how or why, then chose another festival to have a good time. There are many other much more amusing ones of which one does not return with an idiot face.