After attending over 24 festivals between us, Benicassim festival is without a doubt our favourite. In this Benicassim festival guide we will not only share why it’s our favourite but share everything you need to know to make it your favourite festival too. A festival abroad can be daunting but we have every detail covered making it as fun, safe and stress free as possible.
Not only will we share everything you need to know about Benicassim camping but how to get the cheapest flights to Benicassim, a full cost breakdown, the best Benicassim festival tips as well as the ultimate Benicassim packing list.
WHY GO TO BENICASSIM FESTIVAL?
If you’re still undecided, these are the main reasons why Benicassim festival beats British festivals hands down. Three years ago we decided paying £200 + for a ticket to stomp in the mud and camp in the cold with overpriced beer was no longer our cup of tea and a little festival in the wee Spanish town of Benicassim, changed our festival plans forever.
The festival is nicknamed after the town where it is held but is officially named Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, shortened to FIB or Beni festival.
Now, we’ve all played the “Would you rather” game, so would you rather:
- Tapas instead of burger vans?
- Bikinis instead of wellie boots?
- Wine that’s €3 a bottle instead of £7 pints?
- Guaranteed sunshine instead of knee-deep mud?
- All while spending your day chilling on the beach and dancing under the Spanish sunset?
If your answer was yes to any of the above, then read on – this Benicassim festival guide is exactly what you need for a weekend to remember (or not, we did mention €3 wine.)
HOW MUCH DO BENICASSIM TICKETS COST?
Benicassim tickets are initially released before Christmas and are only €110! Benicassim tickets then rise to €155/£136 (camping included) in the New Year. Note, there is a slight price increase every year, so these were Benicassim 2020 ticket prices.
For this fabulous price, Benicassim festival is EIGHT DAYS, with music on 4 of those days. If you can sesh in the sunshine for 8 days, be our guest but we found 4 was perfect (Thursday – Sunday).
WHEN IS BENICASSIM FESTIVAL?
The Benicassim 2020 dates are Thursday 16th – Sunday 19th of July however, your Benicassim ticket allows you access from Monday July 13th at 12noon.
You can then enjoy a week of bands, boozy nights and beach days before it’s party over on Monday 20th July at 5pm. This is when the Benicassim camping grounds close (although the last headliner is on the Sunday night) so all festival goers need to be headed home.
WHAT IS THE BENICASSIM FESTIVAL LINE UP?
The Benicassim festival line up always includes some absolute legends and is without a doubt the main reason many people go.
In previous Benicassim festival line ups, we have seen Paul Weller, Kasabian, Paolo Nutini, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Jess Glynne and The Courteeners amongst discovering many new bands too.
Indie is usually the main focus, although there is always something for everyone. There are not many festivals that would have Travis Scot and Pet Shop Boys on the same bill but the Benicassim festival line up 2018 did just that.
As the 25th anniversary, the the Benicassim festival line up 2019 included some huge names such as Kings of Leon, who are one of the best bands we’ve ever seen not to mention a ticket for them alone is £70+ so another reason Benicassim tickets are insane value for money!
The Benicassim 2020 line up included Lumineers, Khalid, Foals, Liam Gallagher and Vampire Weekend. Not forgetting our favourites Two Door Cinema Club who we have seen at another favourite festival of ours, Belladrum and are insane live.
Although it may sound contradictory, regardless of the Benicassim festival line up we would attend for the atmosphere alone. Do not be put off if your favourite band isn’t on the line up or if it wasn’t what you expected. We can guarantee an epic weekend at Beni, where you’ll likely discover so many new bands, new people and have fun in the sunshine regardless.
HOW TO GET TO BENICASSIM FESTIVAL
Flights to Benicassim
If like us, you’re (unfortunately) not Spanish, you’re gonna need to hop on a plane and get flights to Benicassim.
The nearest airport to Benicassim Festival is Castellón. However, there are numerous flights to Benicassim from the airports below, simply click on each one and it will bring you the best flight prices for the Benicassim dates.
Bus to Benicassim Festival
After you have booked your flights to Benicassim you will then need a transfer from the airport to the festival. We recommend eufest who we have used repeatedly as they were the most time and cost effective bus to Benicassim. A single from the airport to Benicassim camping ground is approx. £18 (obviously varies depending on airport.)
When returning, it is a short walk from the Benicassim festival arena to the bus station in town (which looks like a large square/carpark). There is a very organised system in place where you will receive a coloured band depending which airport you are going to, though if you ever get lost or confused the Eufest staff were so helpful in ensuring we were waiting in the correct place.
If you are planning on travelling from Barcelona to Benicassim, or getting the bus to Benicassim from elsewhere in Europe we recommend using Flixbus. They also have a great app which we used all over Europe and found them incredibly cheap and reliable.
Train to Benicassim Festival
If you’re wondering how to get to Benicassim, getting the train is also a very easy option. The Benicassim train station is within walking distance of the festival (approx. 20 minutes) so it couldn’t be easier. Buses are also available from the train station to the festival so you don’t even have to walk.
As mentioned earlier many people travel from Barcelona to Benicassim as you can take the train to Benicassim from pretty much anywhere in Spain and the town is situated on the main trainline between Valencia and Barcelona. If you are unable to book buses or flights to Benicassim (or they’re too expensive) there are also daily AVE high-speed services between Madrid and Castellón.
It is an ideal festival as part of a euro-railing adventure (as it’s so cheap & cheerful) or if you’re backpacking Europe in general as it’s so easy to meet other travellers when you’re there to continue exploring Europe with.
ACCOMMODATION AT BENICASSIM FESTIVAL
Camping at Benicassim Festival
Camping at Benicassim is included in the ticket price and you will have access to the Campfest campsite for free. Therefor you can pack your festival camping essentials and you’re good to go.
Although Benicassim camping grounds are the cheapest option, keep in mind luggage allowance, because if you’ve to pay for hold luggage in order to take your own tent, sleeping bag etc it may be more expensive than hiring a tent at the festival.
There are two Benicassim camping grounds – Campfest is closest to the festival arena and it is free to camp there. Whereas Villacamp is in the town centre and you pay extra due it’s extra amenities. It is considered the VIP Benicassim camping site and is ideal for those who like a few more home comforts.
Camping at Benicassim is so much fun there is even a bar in the campsite as well as a few food vans and showers (although cold, but VERY refreshing.) They also have tarpaulin over all the tents which help keep it (slightly) cooler. All attendees are encouraged to leave zero litter to avoid any creepy crawlies into the tents which we appreciated as it was one of the cleaner festivals we’ve been to, although glass was allowed in the campsite which we found unusual.
Finally, if camping at Benicassim be warned, as the music runs through the night so very little sleep is likely. Rather than get annoyed about it our motto is usually if you can’t beat them, join them – snooze on the beach during the day and party all night. Who needs sleep anyway!?
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Glamping at Benicassim Festival
We believe, glamping at Benicassim is the best option – we’ve tried & tested it (twice) and although it’s not that different from camping at Benicassim it does have a few major advantages. You simply hire a “glamping” tent through the glamping company. We paid €75 for two people for the entire duration. It is our recommended option for Benicassim accommodation because:
- You won’t need to find a tent space and pitch your tent. This will save you sweating to death in the middle of the day, or trying to find a pitch in the dark after you arrive from your flight. It also means no arguments putting up the tent after your 7th cider – the tent is there waiting for you.
- The glamping campsite is still in Campfest so within a 15 minute walk of the festival arena. The advantage is all glamping tents are in a designated area with overhead tarpaulin, so your tent won’t be quite as oven-like in comparison to the peasant campers who couldn’t squeeze into the shade.
- One of the best advantages of Glamping instead of camping at Benicassim is that the site is only accessible to those wearing the correct wrist bands. This means your tent will be more secure as it has its own check in/out porta cabin & security. Although security & police do patrol all Benicassim camping sites regularly.
- Torches, mats & locks are included in the price of the tent hire. Prices also vary on size/style of tent and larger fancier options are available. This means you have less things to carry/remember to pack than you would ordinary camping at Benicassim.
Hotels Near Benicassim Festival
Airbnb, villas or hotels are a third (more expensive) Benicassim accommodation option. We searched in February last year for the festival in July and it was almost impossible to find any availability.
As the town is quite rural, naturally inspired by the influx of money throwing millennial’s, prices are hiked waaaay up for accommodation during the festival. Even a hostel in Benicassim is expensive. Booking a hostel in Benicassim will also mean a lengthy walk to & from the arena at silly hours of the morning (and after a beer or ten.)
However, it will mean warm showers, air con and an actual bed. Have a peek at the cheapest Benicassim Hotel prices here.
HOW MUCH DOES BENICASSIM FESTIVAL COST?
Before our first time going to Beni, we imagined as it was abroad it would be SO much more expensive than a British festival. However, although you need to book flights to Benicassim, the food and alcohol are so much cheaper than in the UK so we genuinely feel it’s better value for money. As a guide, this is our full cost breakdown as an idea of how much spending money you’ll need for Benicassim festival.
- Benicassim Festival Tickets: €155 / £136 each
- Flights to Benicassim: €159 / £140 – we flew London to Castellon and booked the month before.
- Bus Transfer: €18 / £15 – for a single ticket, airport to festival transfer with eufest.
- Glamping: €75 / £66 – for Easy tent for 2 people. This included Torch, mats & lock for 8 days (we only used 4.)
- Lockers: €80 / £70 – for two large lockers, this was because we were travelling to Paris afterwards, so needed to store our luggage. Definitely not a necessity. If you are camping at Benicassim you can also rent smaller, cheaper lockers for passports, cameras etc if you don’t feel comfortable leaving items in your tent.
- Food: €80/ £70 – cost for the entire 4 days. This included dining out at restaurants in town. Though the first year I survived off Pringles, so this budget could definitely be smaller!
- Alcohol: €8 / £7 for a litre of lovely strawberry gin from the supermarket. €4 / £3.52 for a crate of 12 beers. Bar token in arena €5 / £4.40 (this may vary)
BENICASSIM PACKING LIST
Nailing your Benicassim packing list is essential in having a stress free weekend. Our biggest tip is not to pack too much as flights to Benicassim will be cheaper if you only have hand luggage and you may have to walk to the campsite/bus stops etc.
You will need ALOT less than you think so we’ve kept our Benicassim packing list short & sweet but we do have an in depth festival packing list that covers everything from toiletries to festival fashion.
My first Benicassim festival experience was nearly ruined when I fell asleep in the sunshine (after one too many 60 cents cartons of wine) and subsequently had lobster legs. So burnt, I couldn’t dance to the Courteeners or even pull on and off my shorts without whimpers of pain. Make sure you purchase a hand luggage sized one or use click & collect if your nearest airport has a Boots so you can bring a larger one.
Portable Battery Pack
It is unbelievable how big the queue is to charge your phone not to mention how expensive it is. Save the time (and money!) by purchasing a power pack, we have this Anker one which lasted the entire 4 days (charging both phones once per day.)
Super compact these have numerous uses (other than drying yourself, obviously) and are essential on any Benicassim packing list. We used our towels as picnic blankets, for the beach or even instead of blankets if you have no space to pack a sleeping bag – and it’s too hot for one anyway!
This is one of our most important Benicassim tips – drink more water! Not only are there many water refill points you’ll save money on buying bottled water and do your bit for our wee planet.
Biodegradable Wet Wipes
Wet Wipes are one of the most important festival essentials, however the usual wipes take 100+ years to degrade and they are bulky in your backpack. Luckily we have the perfect solution! There are wipes which come in tablet form, add a skoosh of water and they expand. Not only can they be reused but they are biodegradable – saving you money, space in your backpack and help save the planet!
In terms of clothing you need very, very little – the weather is warm after all. A pair of shorts, swimwear, a T shirt or two, a hat and flip flops. Sorted.
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THE BEST BENICASSIM TIPS
These are our best Benicassim tips to ensure you have a safe, stress free, fun weekend. Every year we attend we learn more so feel free to let us know your favourite Benicassim tips in the comments.
1. Choose your Beni buddies wisely
As the Benicassim weather in July is so hot the music runs through the night from 7pm to 7am. So one of the most important Benicassim tips would be take friends who can hack the pace, not ones who like sleep. The headliner usually plays around midnight so you need to make sure you stay awake until at least then!
2. Don’t be a typical Brit abroad
A favourite Benicassim tip on behalf of the locals – don’t contribute to the “British” reputation. Like all festivals there are some who can’t enjoy a cider or two without spoiling it for everyone.
Particularly as Benicassim is a quaint Spanish town, imagine an influx of drunken, semi naked Brits demanding English breakfasts and litres of after sun. As a local you’d hate us too. If this lager lout behaviour continues, understandably Benicassim won’t want us anymore, enjoy it but don’t abuse it like filling their fountains with bubble bath. It’s not big and it’s not clever.
3. Sleep at the beach
As mentioned earlier, camping at Benicassim is not for the faint hearted as it can be impossible to sleep during the day due to the heat and noise. One of our favourite Benicassim tips would be to hire a comfortable sun lounger at the beach, which is around a 20 minute walk from the festival. They are usually a few euros (we can’t give you an exact price as each day we went they made up a different price!)
These are more comfortable than a tent and the breeze from the sea means its less like sleeping in an oven. This will prepare you well for a night of drinking and dancing until dawn, not to mention a refreshing swim in the sea to wash away the hangover.
4. Shop locally
One of our best Benicassim tips if you’re on a budget is to shop at the local supermarket. Unlike British festivals glass is allowed (in the campsite not the arena) and you are allowed to enter & exit the festival as many times as you like.
This means heading to the supermarket for a crate of 12 beers for €3.20 to enjoy in the campsite instead of paying pints in the arena. However, in comparison to British festivals, the arena prices are very reasonable. We stocked up on hummus, nibbles & hangover food from the supermarket but cannot recommend the homemade pizza from the arena enough!
We also dined out twice at local restaurants during the day, which was the first time we’d ever tried authentic Spanish tapas!
5. Be sun safe
Us Scots are renowned for ripping our clothes off at the slightest glimpse of sunshine #tapsaff but we’re also renowned for our unrivalled ability to burn. Without sounding like a mum, one of the most important Benicassim tips is to DRINK WATER and WEAR SUNSCREEN. Yes, we’re shouting it.
I had to bail early the first year I went to Beni and miss the last headliner as a wise diet of pringles & pinot grigio for 3 days resulted in my legs to genuinely balloon twice the size and I was in bed by 11pm.
I also fainted on a road, however watching a 20-something Scottish person keel over, many assumed I was just wasted so no one helped. I very much learnt my lesson, so when returning the following year I drank water all day before drinking at night – meaning I could actually enjoy every minute and last until the morning!
We hope this Benicassim festival guide has covered everything you need to know and you feel prepared to party under the Spanish sun. We cannot emphasise enough how much fun it is and how we really feel Benicassim tickets are the best value for money from all the festivals we’ve been to.
We hope our Benicassim packing list has ensured you don’t leave any essentials behind and if you have any questions about camping at Benicassim or have any Benicassim tips of your own feel free to let us know in the comments!