While many music and party lovers gravitate towards the White Isle (Ibiza) for its world famous clubbing scene; mainland Spain has a lot to offer with its diverse festival scene.
A festival holiday to Spain is all about the bread, the tapas, the paella, and the cheap white wine. Paella is a Spanish rice dish originally from Valencia, it makes excellent street food, and you’ll find it is served at most festivals in Spain. Lays and aioli for the hangovers.
Currency and spending:
Euro (€). Your spending money won’t go far at Spanish music festivals. They are just as pricey as the UK! Avoid tourist areas if you’re on a low budget, and shop local for supplies (pre-drink as much as you can.)
FESTIVAL DESTINATIONS IN SPAIN
Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is a beautiful city. The fantastical Sagrada Família church and other romantic modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí dot the city, turning your festival sesh into a cultural trip at every turn.
Madrid, Spain’s glamorous capital city, is home to some of Europe’s most underrated nightclubs. In the metropolitan city of Madrid, the partying starts very late, with people going out for dinner at around 10PM. During the day, Madrid is a city of elegant boulevards, and a maze of art and history. No matter what the time of day, you’ll find tapas available here 247. Madrid’s Metro system is one of the most modern in the world and makes it easy to get around the city.
The sunniest Spanish festival destination and the winning ‘festival-holiday’ combo. Camping up in the mountains at Fib Benicàssim literally feels like the desert. If you can handle the heat, it’s one of the best festival experiences. Honestly, survive a week camping here and you can survive anything. Away from the shipwrecked-esque campsite there’s beach days, waterparks, picnics, swimming pools and a music festival thrown in!
Bilbao is an industrial port city in Northern Spain, surrounded by green mountains. The world-famous Guggenheim group opened its museum in Bilbao 20 years ago, turning a struggling industrial town into a cultural metropolis. Bilbao also has an underground that takes your from the city centre to the seaside in less than 30 minutes. Beach around Bilbao are famed for their waves, attracting pro surfers from around the world.
FESTIVALS IN SPAIN
Mad Cool, a festival that lives up to its name, takes place in Madrid every July. With five stages – both inside and out – the three day party runs from the early evening until the early hours with something on the lineup for all manner of music fans.
Primavera Sound exists not only as a vibrant, cultural reflection of Barcelona, but also as a favourite on the international festival scene. Despite belonging to one of Europe’s largest coastal cities, Primavera Sound is a concrete jungle. Wedged between the city skyline and the beach, the expansive urban site offers four unique areas with unique stages and stunning backdrops.
Bilbao BBK Live is a rock and pop music festival that takes place annually in the city of Bilbao, Northern Spain. Since its beginnings, the festival is held on a special complex built specifically for the event on the slopes of Mount Cobetas – Bilbao’s largest park, located southwest from the city.
Festival Internacional de Benicassim, also referred to as FIB, is a festival that began in 1995 in a beach town near Valencia in Spain. Think Reading and Leeds, but with sun and lots of landfill indie (said with love). FIB is a rite of passage before you graduate university, and is the absolute best way to spend your student loan (/overdraft).
Sónar is a creative playground, fostering and encouraging new interactions between established artists, exciting newcomers and an open-minded international audience. Taking over the city of Barcelona, Sónar by Day takes place at the foot of Montjuic, and Sónar by Night in the stunning Fira Gran Via complex.
Pack mosquito spray for the legs and SPF 50 for the face. That’s not a top tip, it’s a practical reminder.