Me and my friend Mark drive from the sleepy town of Calpe to –what we think- is yet another sleepy town. We see loads of young festival goers wearing their floral prints and aviators walking up and down the main street, looking totally at ease with what they’re doing and where they’re going. We’re just driving round with my parents looking for the festival itself. This was our first festival, and we’d been counting down the days since we’d got the tickets. So anyway, we find the road signs and drive up to camp FIB, our home for the next five days. The sun was covered by clouds, a real god send when you’re trying to set up a tent. So anyway, tip one – get to the camp sites in good time, when we arrived on Wednesday, the organisers tried to place me and mark at the back of the site, on rocks. We had other ideas! We separated from the group and pitched our tent on this little grass ledge, next to the shaded area. Although not ideal, I do wish that we’d gotten under some shade, because believe me, waking up in sauna for a tent when you’re horribly hungover is a bit hot. Tip two-when pitching your tent, get under shade. Our neighbours where two lads, Tom and Tom from Leeds, who couldn’t have been nicer.
So…fast forward to the night time. It’s about 10 o clock, me and mark bought ourselves 24 small Amstell cans, it’s still hot, we’ve had hardly anything to eat, but we’ve managed to consume about 75% of these cans, with help from neighbours. Me, being a horrible lightweight end up being horribly sick. NOT GOOD. Tip three- drink to what your body can handle. I literally had about 5 cans, but because of the lack of water and food, it really got to me.
I think the only bad time in the festival was on the night when Gnarls Barkly and The Raconteurs played. There i was dancing away, then BANG! I experienced the worst pain of my life. My stomach was killing, not like anything I’d felt before. I did the clever thing of diagnosing myself with appendicitis. I had all the symptoms. However, when I went to sleep and drunk lots of water, in the morning it was gone. I should mention that i was saved by my knight in shining armour. The pain, I later found out, was due to overindulgence (obviously), lack of water and food, and exhaustion. The last one, I couldn’t get. See, I got about 2 hours sleep a night. It was too hot to sleep in the day-Mark did it somehow- and got covered in shaving foam. Ah pranks. Anyway. The only time to get sleep was in the night, it was cool enough, but when you woke up, it was so hot. So in Beni 09, I know I’ll be drinking more water and eating more. However, sleep is out the question. I don’t want to miss one waking moment of this festival.
Ok so…key things to remember- basically the rest of my numbered tips-
- Drink shed loads of water; you don’t understand appreciate water so much as when you’re actually there.
- Wear a high factor sun cream- see; I’m sounding like your mother already.
- Make friends, Beni was the friendliest place I’ve ever been in my life.
- Eat FOOD. I advise Nutrigrain bars. I got through 8 boxes. Lovely.
- Spend at least one hour in the shower a day! You’ll see what i mean what you get there. Cold showers have never been so nice.
Where to Eat
Eat at a restaurant called Terra Magica. ( i want to buy that place, it was amazing) Two Beers and a pizze is 7.50 euros and a baguette and a beer is 4 euros. Thats the cheapest place we found and the nicest. Pool table, table tennis, little indoor football, and a GAINT ball pool- the ultimate come down after a good night. I saw about 8 random extremities coming out of that pool. Plus it had ‘FIB music’ playing as it advertised. It did as stated, with the odd smiths song thrown in (Morrissey would not be pleased)
My Beni best bits:
Pete Doherty sitting down and reading hand written lyrics of a scrap piece of paper.
Not sleeping from Sunday morning till Monday night.
In a nutshell the whole festival, every waking moment was fantastic.
But the ultimate highlight was when –during intimate time with a girl in his tent- our neighbour Tom asked me what time it was. To his disgust it was 3am and Mika had already started. ‘SHITE!’ he said ‘Mika’s already on? Sorry love, get your skirt, you’ll have to go.’
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