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Thursday, June 16, 2011

FIB Festival, the feeling of being cheated

More than two months after the last confirmations, and less than a month for Benicassim Festival to start, the organization has announced, finally, some more names, almost(?) closing their line-up. It's true, though, that there were some informations in advance, a couple of interviews to important members of the organization, including Vince Power, main responsible of the veteran international music event. In both interviews, you could easily understand there was a sense of failure, acknowleding that in their task towards recruiting some more "big names" there had been underachievements, so hopes were not high.

Well, now that the last names are public, it is fair to say that feeling has been confirmed. But now, it's even worse. Now the feeling is that we have been cheated. This are my reasons why: 
  1. FIB 2011 announcements begun in an amazing way. Arcade Fire, Portishead, Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes. Impressive. It was clear this was a commercial strategy to create a huge anticipated demand and big expectations. Seems they will have their desired sold out, so in terms of marketing, I admit the success of their strategy. But in what regards to expectations.....If they sold that many tickets in early 2011, it is hard to imagine what took them so long to close the line-up, considering the final names. 
  2. The communication with the public has been, to say it politely, questionable. The programmed chats were a total failure, and the lack of information regarding new announcements has been a regular feature of the organization, sadly.
  3. In what regards to the line-up itself, and of course, just being my opinion, I have to say this is a poor Festival.With the very welcomed addition of Russian Red, there are only 9-10 names that qualify as "must see", and only 5-7 that I'm "interested on". That, for a Festival that takes place during 4 days and has years of history behind, is quite unremarkable, and pales in comparison to Primavera Sound Festival, where I ended watching nearly 30 artists (and missing no less than other 10 names that I would have liked to see). Thursday, absence of headliners aside, is the paradigm of that decadence. A really weak day.
  4. Money, money and more money. Prior to the last announcements we were informed that FIB's hand programme, including timetables and useful information, would be able on July 11th....for 5 euros! I'm going to the Festival because of the bands, the music, and I have paid a considerable amount of money for that, so having to add another 5 euros just to know when and where the artists I paid to see are going to play is miserable.
  5. It's going to be my first FIB Festival, and the last one. I don't think it resists the comparison with other Festivals, and particularly with Primavera Festival, that proposes a lot more in terms of music (that's my main goal on a Festival, not a comedy club, sorry), is way cheaper and better organised. Of course, its a matter of making profit of a business, but even during the worst moments in that Festival (massification, electronic card, etc.) I didn't have the feeling they were interested just in the economic benefit. And now I do with FIB. 
Having said that, now its time to check among the unknown and relatively unknown names in order to find a new promising discovery and add more artists to "my personal" line-up. Well, and enjoying the sun, if they don't charge us also for that....

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