Wind, Fire… But No Kings Of Leon At Benicassim

It never rains but it pours. Well, it didn’t rain at all actually. But yesterday (July 17), on the second day of Benicassim 2009, a massive fire burnt our festival walkway to a crisp. Then the wind got ridiculously chaotic, blasting sand into every conceivable orifice and making walking in a straight line so tough it looked like every festival-goer was communally failing a road-side drunken-ness test.

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Pics: Andy Whitton

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Unsurprisingly, the Kings Of Leon hot-footed it back to their hotel before you could say “Limousine”. The Horrors had even less chance of playing – the second stage was cordoned off by a line of sinister looking guards with miles of tape, making the stage resemble the location of a recent murder.

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Sometimes you’ve just got to know when to call it quits. And so the announcement was duly made – the place was shutting down and the Kings wouldn’t be leaving the comfort of their Jacuzzis until the room service champers ran out and Caleb’s muscular arm couldn’t quite reach the phone without a quick step out of the bubbles.

A write-off night for many, not least many fans who, in full-on refugee style, were bussed to a leisure centre to bed down after the campsites were evacuated, namely by men in luminous yellow vests whacking on the sides of the tents until the sand-blasted inhabitants woke up.

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BUT arriving on site today, despite the fact that our path now looks considerably more… crispy than it did this time yesterday, you wouldn’t know what had gone down. Hey, the line-up has even improved – Lily’s dropped out and Maximo, who had their set cut last night, are stepping in at the 9:30pm slot.

Franz have just sound-checked (there’s nothing like hearing half of ‘Ulysses’ ten times in a row to wake you up) and the first litre-glass, five-Euro beers are on their way. Which means it’s still a damn site better than V Festival already.