festival!

##There is an unwritten and deep correlation between the options available each summer for British and Irish festival goers in the UK & Ireland and those in Spain… one that few may suspect.

Let’s just say that when ‘Glastonbury’ (the mother of all festivals) takes a year off both the array of major acts touring Europe & festival tourists themselves immediately look south for a “major bang” to add to their summer schedule. Last year, this caused almost all big Spanish summer festivals to sell out way ahead of normal.

This year, the lineup in most Spanish festivals is slightly less focused on British acts but it gives the locals and expats a chance to score tickets just a few weeks in advance of the events.  So, we’re offering a helping hand to pick a few select spots to blow off some summer steam. The nicer the weather, the earlier the music starts, and the closest to the beach, the better, to sum up what’s to come.

Locally and at the heart of the buzzing port area you can enjoy Valencia’s 4EverFestival/La Marina Sur/July 21/www.4evervalenciafest.com. They are taking the same path that many of the upcoming festivals will follow: offer a unique Spanish date for a big-name artist. Last year, it was The Prodigy to bring Keith Flint’s (RIP) last Spanish performance. This year, they will bring Tears for Fears for a one-off Spanish date and Keane will play too. Other new ventures have carried on nicely into the new summer season, with dates yet to be confirmed by the Brunch In the Park/La Marina/August TBC/www.valencia.brunch-in.com crew. There will also be various weekly events curated near Valencia’s port and the Marina’s docks by the ever-growing The Basement/La Marina/weekends of June-August/www.thebasementxxx.com underground electronic crew, who will have weekly events from here until the end of August next to Valencia’s own beaches.

Locals willing to travel further up the coast could alternatively join the predominantly British campers who will have taken over for the whole week at FIB/Benicàssim/19-22 July/www.fiberfib.com and never mind the somewhat humble cast of bands for festival of this magnitude. The event itself will well make up for it, turning the coastal city of Benicàssim and its beaches into a week-long extravaganza, sprinkled yet again with exclusive Spanish dates for massive stars such as Lana del Rey and Kings of Leon. There will be a wink to draw the locals with Vetusta Morla, one of Spain’s seminal rock groups offering a special rendition of one of their classic albums in its entirety as a Sunday night closer. Later in the summer, once you know your way to the venue, you can also relax and chill out for yet another week at Rototom Sunsplash/Benicassim/August 16-22/www.rototomsunsplash.com with excellent reggae & world music as its theme. Yet again, Benicàssim takes the cake and bakes the bodies this summer in the Valencian community.

Not to be outdone and right outside the city, Iboga Summer Festival/Tavernes de la Valldigna/24-28 July/www.ibogasummerfestival.com will bring the likes of Nigerian legend Femi Kuti and Cuba’s top hip-hop exports Orishas to the Valencia region.

On the electronic front, the variety yet again is spread out almost every single weekend offering the top names on the circuit and giving a soundtrack to the Mediterranean coast from the end of June all the way into the beginning of September. To mention but a few festivals up and down the coast: for the younger and more adventurous crowds, Marenostrum Xperience/Marina Sur/12-13 July/www.marenostrumxperience.com, Arenal Sound/Burriana/30 July–4 August/www.arenalsound.comWonderland Medusa Sunbeach/Cullera/7-12 August/www.medusasunbeach.com and Low Festival/Benidorm/26-28 July/ www.lowfestival.es will offer electronic healing.

The established DGTL/Barcelona/23-25 August/www.bcn.dgtl.nlDreambeach/Villaricos/7-11 August/www.dreambeach.es, and – offering no less than Black Eyed Peas and Kylie Minogue as their headliners – Crüilla/3-6 July/Parc del Forum/www.cruillabarcelona.com will be a tough match for the possibly two most exciting newcomers on the coast…End of the World Festival/Mollarussa/July 3/www.endworldfestival.com  will offer some consolation for the seemingly defunct ElectroSplash crowd with a similar underground lineup led by Jeff Mills, possibly the world’s most respected DJ and later on, an offshoot of a Portuguese castle festival of the same name looks ready to repeat last’s year’s success to close the season, Fort Festival/Tossa del Mar/4-7 October/www.fortfestival.eu held in the confines of the ruins of an old castle by the coast.

In the meantime for those looking to get away, check out BBK Live/Bilbao/11-13 July/www.bilbaobbklive.com/en and the absolutely massive Mad Cool/Madrid/10-13 July/www.madcoolfestival.es will again be competing for the strongest overall lineup of the summer on the very same weekend in July.  ‘BBK’ bringing the likes of Liam Gallagher, The Strokes, Weezer and Suede. ‘Mad Cool’ topping them with Bon Iver, Lauryn Hill, The Smashing Pumpkins, Noel Gallagher, The National, Iggy Pop, Disclosure, Jon Hopkins and the return of The Cure themselves.

Look no further! Spain is still the place to be if you’re planning your vacation and the best summer soundtrack is guaranteed. If you are already living here, well, it does not seem like you need holidays this summer as you can live them any week you choose and both day and night. Twenty Four Seven! That’s it folks for this year. So, handbags in the air for the ladies, the best vibes on for the gentlemen and beach gear for all.

Get ready and get down!

Article © Michael Sztaray (LP Media / Kritik) for 24/7 Valencia

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