Cancellations and evacuations at Benicassim

Spain Spain | by Tom Bentley | 20 July 2009

The Followill brothers had first delayed their set, leaving Talking Heads spin-off Tom Tom Club to defy the clouds of smoke from a nearby fire and disappointed crowds, before throwing in the towel at 1am on Saturday, citing the treacherous weather conditions.

Earlier on in the day, the howling winds also caused Paul Weller to interrupt his set as conditions worsened, reports Clash Magazine.

Writing on his Twitter page KOL drummer Nathan Followill said: "I'm sad to say that we aren't playing Benicassim. We are so sorry and bummed about last night. Our gear is already headed to Switzerland."

Following the announcement, winds of 75km per hour forced the evacuation of 1,500 campers to a nearby sports centre as video screens were taken down and loose stage bits pinned to the ground.

The revellers, 24 of whom requested treatment from the Spanish Red Cross, returned the following day to find their tents either destroyed or blown away as mother nature retracted her claws.

Meanwhile, gastroenteritis got the better of Lily Allen as she too was forced to cancel her show, whilst Oasis' Thursday slot was marred with technical difficulties, a regular occurrence for the brit-poppers this summer.  Noel Gallagher branded the band's Spanish show a “fuckin' waste of time”.

On a final note – yes there is more – one British reveller was admitted to the nearby hospital in Castellon with swine flu-like symptoms on Saturday.

It was reported this morning that the young man had fled from his bed as he awaited the results of some clinical tests, possibly to return home. The festival had not been advised to take any action regarding the case.

Despite the trials and tribulations endured by Benicassim (FIB) 2009, the festival was deemed a relative success as The Killers and Franz Ferdinand turned things up on the final two days for the 200,000 weather hardened punters.

In all it has been a bit of a disastrous couple of weeks for European festivals with two separate tragedies unfolding in the East of the continent.

Last weekend a 22 year old Brit, plunged to his death from a fortress wall at Serbia's acclaimed EXIT Festival (click here for the full story) whilst another punter died and 92 more were injured as a giant tent fell at Pohoda Festival on Saturday afternoon (click here for the full story).

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