FIB 2015: The Highlights

Lucy Harding | 21st July 2015


Returning for its 21st year, Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, or Beni as it’s lovingly referred to by its British visitors, provided festivalgoers once again with a magnificent week of live music. Previously playing host to performers including Oasis, Morrissey, New Order and Bob Dylan, FIB 2015 proudly boasted an enviable line-up featuring Florence + The Machine, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Blur, The Prodigy, Mark Ronson, Jamie T The Cribs and Portishead to name but a few. The week long festival sees performances start on Thursday evening but revellers were kept entertained throughout the week with nightly DJ sets from the likes of The Libertines’ Gary Powell and The Horrors.

A combination of the guaranteed good weather, which the British festival scene sorely lacks, the inherently Spanish relaxed atmosphere, (the festival doesn’t kick off until the sun goes down allowing time for a power-siesta) and an impressive line-up year in year out makes FIB one of the most celebrated festivals of the season and this year was no exception.

Warming up the crowds on Thursday night before Florence + The Machine took to the Las Palmas main stage, were Crystal Fighters. The electronic folk five-piece stormed through hits such as ‘You & I’ and ‘Plage’ in a set which was fuelled with electric energy and saw dozens giant beach balls simultaneously released into the crowd. After silencing any doubts as to whether she could fill that empty Friday headline slot at Glastonbury, Florence took the opening night headline slot of the Spanish festival and wowed the crowds once more. Returning after a three and a half year musical silence in May this year Florence showcased singles from the latest album ‘How Big How Blue How Beautiful’ alongside classics from second album ‘Ceremonials’ and her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Lungs.’

Proving that she more than deserved the prestigious headline slot with her ethereal stage presence and incredible vocal range, Florence danced bare foot and smashed out fan favourites including ‘Dog Days Are Over,’ ‘Shake It Out’ and new single ‘Ship To Wreck’ before ending with the anthemic ‘You Got The Love.’


Performing before the mighty Noel Gallagher is no mean feat but as the sun set over FIB on the second night of music, Jamie T rose to the challenge and kicked off proceedings at the Las Palmas stage. Making a triumphant return to FIB in an energetic hour long set which included favourites such as ‘Sheila’, ‘Sticks and Stones’, ‘If You’ve Got The Money’, and the chillingly beautiful ‘Emily’s Heart’ alongside new releases ‘Rabbit Hole’ and ‘Zombie,’ 29-year-old Jamie continued what has been a victorious comeback year.

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Friday evening saw Manchester legend Noel Gallagher take to the Las Palmas stage prior to The Prodigy’s headline slot. Following his sell-out performance at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl and T in The Park the previous week, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds showcased their latest album ‘Chasing Yesterday’ and were greeted to regular outbursts of Manchester chants from their hometown fans. Dressed in his usual polo shirt and jeans combination despite the Spanish heat, Noel stormed through new material ‘Riverman’ and ‘In The Heat Of The Moment’ alongside debut album hits including ‘AKA What A Life’ and ‘Dream On.’ The hit-filled set was interspersed with several Oasis classics including ‘Half The World Away’, ‘Talk Tonight’, ‘Digsy’s Dinner’ which Gallagher dedicated to Jamie T, before wrapping up the set with the iconic ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ which echoed throughout the crowds long after the set was over. Declaring to the crowd ‘You’re The Bollocks’ before exiting the stage, Noel certainly set the bar high for former Britpop rival Damon Albarn and the Blur boys the next evening.

A change in musical direction saw dance music legends The Prodigy take to the main stage after Noel Gallagher. As one of the most celebrated acts of dance music history expectations of the Friday headliners were high, but the fierce sound and visually spectacular show reiterated why the three piece are still iconic after fifteen years in the business.

The Kaiser Chiefs kicked off the Saturday evening line-up at Las Palmas stage. Rifling through the crowd-pleasing hits ‘I Predict A Riot’ and ‘Oh My God’, The Voice judge and former VIVA cover star Ricky Wilson played a magnificent set which also featured a very brave but well executed rendition of The Who’s ‘Pinball Wizard’.


After an incredibly long twelve year wait, Blur have made a triumphant return to the music scene with their masterpiece of a new album ‘The Magic Whip.’ Quieting concerns that Damon and the boys might have lost their touch after their string of tour dates international tour dates and festival appearance at this year’s Isle Of Wight Festival, the London based four-piece sounded even better than before. Walking on to the fluorescent ice-cream adorned main stage to the haunting tune of childhood classic ‘The Teddy Bears Picnic’, the set was very much in keeping of ‘The Magic Whip’s’ theme.


Storming through new material ‘Go Out’ and ‘Ong Ong’ alongside classics such as ‘Coffee and TV’ and ‘Parklife’ during which an ecstatic fan was called to the stage, Albarn seemed genuinely happy to be performing back at the Spanish festival. The hour and a half set was jam-packed with hit after hit which called to attention the impressive recording history the band have. Stand out performances came in the form of ‘Song 2’ with the crowd’s ‘WOO HOO’S’ likely to be heard for miles around and the anthemic ‘Tender’ before the set ended with an encore of ‘Girls and Boys’ and a truly atmospheric rendition of ‘The Universal’, which initiated a festival wide sing-a-long.

FIB certainly celebrated it’s 21st in style, with performances which will remain in memory for much longer than the festival season- we’re already looking forward to seeing what FIB 2016 has to offer.

Early bird tickets are now on sale for 2016 at the reduced price of €85