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Wine, yoga and song: Music festivals without the mud or madding crowds
Tuesday, August 2, 2022 @ 12:23 AM

IN A NON-COVID year, you can take your pick from about 800 music festivals in Spain – in some of which, the music is only part of a packed programme of completely unrelated activities that might even include yoga classes and wine-tasting – at least one in almost every province, featuring local or national bands which may or may not have made the mainstream music charts, and often with a handful of inter-galactic superstar singers or groups swinging by the western Mediterranean on a world tour.

MUWI Festival in La Rioja. Although international, many music festivals in Spain have a very local feel (photo:

Back in the halcyon days when vaccines were what you had before an exotic holiday and masks were what you wore at fancy-dress parties or slathered on your face with a couple of cucumber slices over your eyes, Spain frequently hosted macro-festivals where revellers outnumbered the population of a European capital city.

And now they're back for the first time since the 2010s, some of the most famous have been boasting ticket sales running into six figures: Mad Cool saw Madrid's headcount swell by 5% in the space of a weekend, with 300,000-plus descending on the nation's largest metropolis; the globally-acclaimed Costa Azahar-based Benicàssim International Festival (FIB) welcomed 180,000, and the Basque-based BBK Live shifted 115,000 entry passes.



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