Top summer music festival tips
News09 July 2019
Festival season in Spain is in full swing this week, with a number of great events taking place across July.
Between MadCool in Madrid, FIB Benicàssim Festival and BBK Bilbao, huge numbers of festival goers from all over the world – including Ireland – will soon be making their way to Spain. To make sure that you have a hassle free festival adventure, here are a few small tips that will make a big difference!
As with any music festivals, we advise citizens to exercise caution as well as your common sense. You should be careful with your personal belongings, respect the crowd restrictions at the event locations, and follow the instructions from the Spanish authorities and event organisers.
At all music festivals in Spain you can expect a significant security presence, and special measures will be employed to ensure public safety. By following their instructions, you can make sure that you have the best possible experience and get to enjoy the festival without any worries.
- Get comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling, and check that it covers everything you might need during your stay.
- Travel with your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which can be applied for through the HSE.
- Keep your passport book in a safe place. It will save you a lot of hassle in the long run, and you can still carry your passport card on you, a photocopy of your passport and a picture of your passport on your phone so you have the details handy.
- Fill in your emergency contact details on your passport book.
- Keep your valuables in a safe place. Some festivals will allow you to book a locker prior to arriving – this is a great way to make sure your belongings stay safe, especially if you are staying in one of the festivals’ campsites.
- Keep a bank card and some cash separate from the rest of your valuables, and avoid carrying too many valuables with you.
- Keep some emergency funds aside, for any unforeseen change of plans.
- Beware of pick pockets. Pay particular attention when you’re in big crowds, on public transport, or near ATMs and never leave your valuables unattended.
- Let people know where you are and make sure you know where your friends are.
- Be mindful of the warm weather. Irish skin doesn’t exactly love the sun unfortunately, so make sure to use sunscreen, and bring a hat and sunglasses. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and consume alcohol responsibly.
Tips for some of the hottest music festivals in Spain
There will be information points throughout the festival venue, and the FIB2019 App is now available for smart phones with everything you need to know about the festival.
The festival takes place outside the main city centre in Valdebebas, which can be reached by train lines C-1 and C-10, and Bus 174. A dedicated bus service will be available for festival goers who want to return to Plaza de Castilla from midnight through to 6am. As Plaza de Castilla is still quite removed from the city centre, you should also budget some money for getting a taxi back to your accommodation, depending on where you’re staying in the city. More information on how to get to and from the venue can be found on the MadCool website.
There is a cloakroom at the venue where you can leave coats and bags, but not larger luggage. You should also make sure that you keep your valuables and passport safe, and follow our general tips outlined above. For more festival information, visit the MadCool official website.
Buses to the venue are organised by BBK and leave from the city centre and the Bilbao Exhibition Centre, where those who intend on driving can park their cars for the duration of the festival. The BBK website has plenty of useful advice and information to help you plan your route to the venue.
The main way of paying for food and drink at BBK this year will be through a wristband, meaning that you avoid having to carry too many valuables on you at the festival. More information on how to top up and where to get your wristband is available on the BBK website.
If your wristband is lost or stolen, go immediately to an incidents desk with your ticket to have it canceled.
The BBK app is now available to download for smartphones, with information on lineups and show times, as well as a map of the venue to help you plan your dream festival experience.
If unfortunately you cannot find your passport, and it is not in lost & found, you should first contact your airline to check if they will allow you to return to Ireland with a police report and another form of ID.
If that is not the case, the Embassy or one of our Honorary Consulates can issue you with an Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC). You must come in person to an Honorary Consulate or the Embassy in Madrid during office hours and bring:
- A police report
- 2 passport size photos
- Any other ID you may have on you
- A copy of your return travel itinerary
- The fee of €30 in cash
- In the case of minors, consent of both parents will have to be obtained before an ETC can be issued
Please be aware that the Honorary Consulate cannot issue ETCs outside of office hours. You should only contact the Embassy outside of office hours in the event of a genuine emergency.
Health and safety tips
- If you suffer from a chronic illness, do not forget to take your medication. If travelling with prescribed medication it is advisable to keep the medication in its original packaging accompanied by the doctor’s prescription.
- Summer temperatures in Spain are generally high, and a lot warmer than we’re used to in Ireland. If you don’t take the right steps, you’re at risk of suffering from sunstroke and heatstroke. Remember to use a high factor sunscreen and reapply it regularly. Wear a hat, sunglasses and light-coloured clothing, drink at least 2 litres of water a day, and take breaks from being out in the direct sun.
- Be mindful of hygiene. Purchase and consume food in authorised establishments, and use the designated toilet facilities.
- Alcohol can dehydrate you. Be mindful of alcohol and drug consumption.
- Manage how you deal with large crowds – breathing slowly and deeply can help.
- Get plenty of rest and sleep, and take breaks!
Emergencies (police, ambulance, fire etc.) call 112. The operators speak English and will be able to assist you.
To make a police report in English, call 0034 902102112
Embassy of Ireland
Paseo de la Castellana, 46-4
Tel: 0034 914364093 (in case of a genuine emergency outside of opening hours please leave a message, and the Embassy’s Duty Officer will return your call)
Fax: 0034 914351677
Closest Irish Honorary Consulates for Emergency Travel Documents:
Honorary Consulate General of Ireland, Barcelona
Gran Via Carlos III, 94
Tel: 0034 934915021
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10.00 – 13.00
Honorary Consulate General of Ireland, Alicante
Ctra. De Madrid Km 4, Mercalicante
Tel: 0034 965107485
Fax: 0034 965113519
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 09.30 – 13.45
Honorary Consulate General of Ireland, Bilbao
1 - 2º Dep. 10
Tel: +34 944 230 414
Fax: +34 944 230 414
Opening hours: The Honorary Consulate in Bilbao opens on an appointment-only basis. Please make an appointment by calling or emailing the Consulate using the contact details above. The email and telephone mailboxes are monitored on working days