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The festival begins on the second Tuesday of July when the camping grounds open, although music only officially commences during Thursday afternoon. FIB is notable for having bands playing through the night (5-pm – 8-am) and has three main stages, Las Palmas, Visa and South Beach Dance having a capacity of approximately 30,000, 15,000 and 8,000 people respectively. In 2009, the festival capacity exceeded 50,000 and in 20 over 150,000 visited the festival across the four days.
The first 'FIB' took place in 1995, and since then Benicàssim has been dedicated to rock, pop and electronic music as well as featuring artists who are a reference on the world stage.
'FIB' is held in the seaside resort of Benicassim (Castellón province) on Costa del Azahar, Valencia, Spain, 92.2 km away from Valencia Airport. Festival goers who have purchased multi-day passes can camp for up to 9 days starting Monday before the festival starts and ending Tuesday after the festival has ended.
The 13th edition of the festival was held on the July 19-22, 2007. For this year's festival (and all subsequent festivals thereafter), there was no Hellomoto Stage, with the Pista Pop stage expanded instead. The line-up was as follows:
On December 23, 2008, two of the four headliners for the 2009 festival were announced as Kings of Leon and Franz Ferdinand. Kings of Leon had previously played the festival in 2007, while Franz Ferdinand headlined in 2006. Tickets were made available at a discounted launch price between December 15, 2008 and January 15, 2009, with a four-day weekend pass available for EUR160 (£140). This includes full festival entry between July 16-19, as well as camping between July 13-21. On 27 January 2009, it was reported that Oasis would also be joining the line-up. On 2 February 2009, NME confirmed that The Killers would be headlining the final night of the festival, with Franz Ferdinand playing Saturday 18 July and Kings of Leon playing Friday 17 July. The article also stated that Oasis would headlining the "FIBstart" event on 16 July 2009.BBC News Online confirmed that Paul Weller would be playing on Friday 17 July. On 26 February 2009, it was announced that The Psychedelic Furs, Friendly Fires, White Lies, The Bishops and Boys Noize had been added to the line-up, with Benicàssim's official website confirming which days the bands would be playing. Further line-up additions were made on 17 March 2009, and again on 2 April 2009. The line-up was as follows:
On the night of Friday 17 July a large fire broke out in scrubland within a few hundred metres of the festival site. High winds contributed to the difficulty of fighting the fire and caused conditions on many of the stages to become unsafe. As a result, a number of acts including the Kings of Leon, Maxïmo Park, Boys Noize and Yuksek were unable to perform. Tom Tom Club did perform but had to be taken off for their own safety. Maxïmo Park performed the following night following a cancellation by Lily Allen.
Several hundred festival goers had to be evacuated from the campsite to a nearby sports hall. The festival resumed the following day with limited disruption. Glamour modelBianca Gascoigne and Ringtone artist Ross Kent were reported in tabloid newspapers as having "gone missing" but reappeared several days later.
FIB has received criticism from nationalist sectors in Spain, aimed at the fact that it doesn't support Valencian culture, even though it takes place in the Valencian Community and receives a high amount of public money to finance itself.
FIB's director Jose Luis Morán stated in an interview that he didn't intend to include any band in the festival that had lyrics in Catalan, Euskera or Galego. Among the people and associations that have criticized this is Marina Albiol, an Esquerra Unida politician.