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BBK Live Day One: a whimsical adventure to a wonderful festival

BBK Live Day One: a whimsical adventure to a wonderful festival

Bilbao BBK Live Day One

It made you feel warm and full of promise, like that first holiday abroad with your family as a kid, walking into the grounds of BBK Live for the first night of headline acts. Every corner you took, the lights glistened on the mountains opposite like a wall of old synths.

I was worried that Glastonbury would have warped my expectations for festivals forever and that I’d be chasing a golden snitch until the next one, but BBK Live pulled through in its own right. If Glastonbury was the mother of all festivals, BBK is the cute grandma. Huge attention to detail in all things, a small yet picturesque ‘house’ and a sense of wisdom and adventure in there.

Which is phenomenal, because it had a lot of work to do.

We had a 3 am start after packing our bags at midnight the night before. Laura was still half asleep so she was trying to get into an empty parked car as I was waiting in the Uber further down the road.

She soon woke up through sheer panic as we hadn’t paid for extra luggage on our RyanAir flight. I was consoling her as best as I could for someone carting a backpack the length of their entire body, convincing her that I’ve done it multiple times with no issues.

That’s the thing with life sometimes, you’ve got to lie to yourself and the group in order to get shit done.

And the shit did get done, in my pants in the queue as they were checking people’s bags (just kidding, I’d set that one up too nice not to use though).

We did get on. No extra payment, no hassle. Win.

We also somehow wrangled extra legroom seats and an empty seat next to us on a full flight. ‘Of course’ I hear you saying. Yes, of course.

Although the good times don’t last forever. We’re dropped off in Spain’s equivalent of Luton being a London airport – Santander.

The only way to Bilbao was an extortionate taxi or a coach that came every hour which, naturally, was booked up by people who hadn’t packed their bags at midnight the night before.

So from landing at 10:30 am, we booked the next available coach – at 4:30 pm. Time to find mega pints.

Turns out mega pints find you in Spain and we were soon complaining about the hassle and sipping €2 beers until we were grateful again.

Now, what’s the problem with drinking beer? True, yeah, there’s that, and there’s also the fact that I lose a complete sense of direction. 

After eventually finding the hotel and leaving at 8 pm. Woof. We spent an hour and a half trying to navigate our way to the festival. It wasn’t the easiest, and for anyone travelling over here’s what you have to do.

There’s a free shuttle bus up the mountain, but you need your wristband to get that bus. You get your wristbands from San Memés Arena and then walk up the hill a little to grab the shuttle bus. From there it’s easy and actually quite pleasant as they have so many buses on, but up until then we found it a little confusing.

It had started raining now while on the bus. 

Meandering up the mountain roads, you catch an astonishing view of another distant mountain. Then it disappears as you twist around a corner. Then it emerges again with more in view as you’re ascending the slope. It’s magical.

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Y’know that energy you feel from a gang of people on a whimsical journey to the same destination, overhearing everyone’s adrenaline-infused conversations? I’d never really thought about it before, but you get that same buzz even when you have no idea what everyone around is saying. 

There’s still a walk up to the festival site, but each step is full of excitement- even from the people traipsing giant coolboxes, tents and backpacks. The hotel seems like such a good idea at this point.

The rain is warm and soon stops to create a dramatic backdrop of fiery clouds and a slight drop in humidity. It was then that we hit the gates. 

After soaking it all in and grasping our bearings, we witnessed some incredible performances from Thursday’s lineup.

M83 engulfed the crowd in an unforgettable experience. Hailing from France, the band effortlessly transported the attendees through a rollercoaster of emotions, leaving them jumping, laughing, and even shedding a few tears. They managed to create an atmosphere that pushed boundaries and made every listener feel an intense rush of emotions. M83’s performance was a testament to their ability to captivate and connect with their audience, leaving a lasting impression that will surely resonate for years to come.

Florence + The Machine was without a doubt the crowd favourite and put on a spiritually connected show. After confessing that the band, led by Florence Welch, were tired and almost dreading the show beforehand, she elatedly stated that it turned out to be one of their finest and most enjoyable – and she wasn’t wrong. 

With the carefree energy of a teenager dancing alone in their bedroom after hearing some great news, the audience echoed it back with no holding back. 

The way each artist left the audience feeling compassionate and grateful to be there was a pure reflection of the attitude of the festival itself. 

Day one was a huge success. Stay tuned for today’s updates where I think we’re going to say yes to every opportunity that arises and see where we end up.

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