PLAN FOR BILBAO BBK LIVE
This is our plan: now tell us yours!
We arrive in Bilbao, exchange our vouchers for wristbands at San Mamés and get the bus right there up to Kobetamendi.
The bus trip is spectacular, with views down onto Bilbao from the hilltops and cows grazing in the fields. We watch the final touches being put to the festival grounds and get to the campsite in time to pick the best pitch.
Tonight we sleep out under the stars.
We wake up on the hilltop. Last night we struck up a friendship with the Australians in the tent next door.
They’re Game of Throne fans too, so we hire a car with them and all drive to the Dragonstone, which the locals call San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.
To make the most of the morning, we drive on to Mundaka and hire some boards to see whether it’s true that the beach has the best left-breaking wave in the world. And yes, it really does.
We spend the afternoon resting in the shade at the campsite, keeping our strength up with supplies from the supermarket, which has everything: sandwiches, juice, biscuits, even camping equipment (which is great, because we’ve lost our torch).
Time for the festival! With our pocket guide book in our hands, the first thing we do is work out where we are on the site plan. It looks great! We check where each stage is, where to find the nearest toilets, the bar & catering facilities, the meeting point, etc.
And of course we check the performance times and decide what time we want to take a break for supper.
Tonight we’ll go back to that sushi food-truck, everyone was talking about last year.
Now it’s properly dark. After a whole lot of gigs, a few beers and a shedload of photos uploaded to Instagram, we decide to tuck our mobile phones into the bottom of our rucksacks and head into the woods for the party at Basoa. And what happens at Basoa stays at Basoa.
Today we have a lie-in. But we’ve still got more than enough energy to nip down into Bilbao to pick up a few bits and pieces and sample the local food. Bar snacks for lunch.
We buy a jacket at Arizona Vintage (which started out as a stall at the Bilbao BBK Live street market), sweatshirts & t-shirts at Ätakontu and comics at Joker, and we lose track of time browsing the vinyl LPs at Power Records. Just opposite is Persuade, a clothes shop so great you feel like moving in there.
The Muelle de Ripa waterfront is close by, so we drop in at one or two of the bars there. This part of Bilbao is becoming the in place to be. From there we go on for craft beers at the Basquery and sample their spectacular set menu: surprising, groundbreaking home cooking.
We leave our purchases in the lockers at the campsite and take the opportunity to charge our mobile phones there.
We’re wearing our new t-shirts from Ätakontu. Just the look for watching our pick of today’s bands. We wander from one stage to another, meeting people from all over the place. What a great atmosphere!
Time for a late-night refuelling stop at the Abasotas food-truck. Great sandwiches made with plenty of tender loving care that more than live up to their reputation.
We’re ending the night with the DJs in the big marquee, putting off going to bed by discussing the events of the day with our neighbours from the campsite.
A visit to the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum is a must: and there’s a 20% discount on admission if you show your festival wristband!
Then a quick bite to eat. We find out that a small beer around here is called a zurito. We go on a pintxos and zuritos tour of the Old Town and the Bilbao La Vieja neighbourhood. Then we catch the Metro and in ten minutes we’re back at San Mamés to get the bus straight up to the festival.
Today it’s all about the festival. It’s the last day and we want to make the most of every minute. We watch the sun go down sitting on the grass in front of the main stage and finish the night watching the dawn break from the clearing in the woods at Basoa.
We take down our tent.
We set off back home with that roller-coaster feeling that a three-day festival gives you: the high of the new experiences, new friends and gigs; and the having to go back to normal life now it’s all over. One thing’s for sure though: we’ll be back next year for more.