Bilbao BBK Live

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bilbao BBK Live
Bilbao BBK Live-logo.jpg
Poster for 2012 edition of poster
Genre Rock, pop, alternative rock, hard rock, indie, electronic
Dates 6th - 8th July
Location(s) Kobetamendi
Bilbao, Spain
Years active 2006-Present
Founded by Basque Government
Last Tour International
Festival Website

Bilbao BBK Live is a rock and pop music festival that takes place annually in the city of Bilbao, Spain. Since its beginnings, the festival is held in its entirety on a special complex built specifically for the event on the slopes of mount Cobetas, located southwest from the city.

The first edition was organized by Basque musical promoter Last Tour International and sponsored by the Bilbao City Hall in the year 2006 under the name Bilbao Live Festival. Since the following year, the festival has been sponsored by local savings bank Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa, who gave it its current name. The festival is the first of its kind and size to happen in the region. In the 2011 edition, the festival exceeded 100,000 visitors for the first time, doubling the 2006 attendance.[1] The 2012 event was reported to left an economical impact estimated in over 17.5 million euros in the city.[2]

The festival was nominated for "Best Foreign Festival" at the UK Festival Awards in 2010 and 2011,[3] and for "Best Medium-Sized European Festival" at the European Festivals Awards three consecutive times in 2009-2011.[4]


Organization and first edition[edit]

After an unsuccessful attempt to establish a street circuit in the city for the Formula Renault 3.5 in July 2005, the city Government decided to fill in the summer events calendar with an open-air music festival.[5] In early 2006, it approached local musical promoter Last Tour International, responsible for the organization of the Azkena Rock Festival, celebrated in nearby Vitoria-Gasteiz since 2002. The newborn festival received the name of Bilbao Live Festival, and had a budget of 4.2 million euros.[5][6] The newly developed area in mount Cobetas was chosen as the location, which included two main stages for the rock acts, two electronic music tents, one pop music tent, and several bars and shops.[5] Over 40 national and international bands participated in the first edition, celebrated during three days between 13–15 July 2006. The headliners included American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, British bands Placebo and Pretenders, and Argentinians Andrés Calamaro and Ariel Roth, former members of rock band Los Rodríguez.[7][8]

Over 51,000 people attended this first edition, and was considered a "success".[8] LTI representative, Alfonso Santiago praised the organization and the music acts,[9] and defined the festival as a "good starting point".[8] The festival was well received by critics, the authorities, and the general public, and a second edition for the next year was confirmed on 28 July 2006, with the possibility of making it a "permanent musical event" of the city's cultural offer.[10][11]

BBK sponsorship and consolidation[edit]

BBK, the main sponsor since 2007.

In early 2007, local savings bank Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa decided to become an official sponsor for the festival, as part of the actions for its 100th anniversary celebration campaign. As a result, the festival's name was changed to Bilbao BBK Live.[12] Unlike other sponsorship renamings, where the sponsor's name is usually dropped in an informal context, this festival is commonly referred to as "the BBK Live" or simply "the BBK". The second edition enjoyed a "significant budget rise", and the area designated for the stages and camping was also increased from 70,000 to 110,000 m².[13] The 2007 edition was also the first (and currently only) to be celebrated in June, a decision took based on the "European summer festival calendar".[13] An extra date was also added, spanning two weekends, 21-22 and 28–29 June. American bands Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Incubus, New York Dolls, My Chemical Romance, and British heavy metal band Iron Maiden were among the international headliners for this edition, meanwhile local rock band Fito & Fitipaldis stood out among Spanish acts, and received the largest audience of the event.[14] Over 95,000 people attended the event, and produced an economical impact estimated in 13 million euros.[15]

The main stage for the 2008 edition.
Dusty Hill in the 2008 edition.

For the 2008 edition, the festival moved back to its original dates in the first weekend of July and a three-day programme. This edition was headlined by American acts R.E.M., Lenny Kravitz, ZZ Top, and British bands The Police, The Prodigy, and Madness.[16] This year saw the introduction of a new festival in the city; Kobetasonik was focused in heavy metal music, was headlined by Kiss and Judas Priest, and was held two weeks before BBK Live in the same venue at mount Cobetas. Bilbao BBK Live 08 was attended by a little less than 80,000 people, well below the expected 95,000. Rain and difficult access to the site, available only through shuttle buses provided by a private party instead of the city's public buses as in past editions, were seen as factors for the decrease in attendance.[17] However, the edition was still considered a success, and despite a project of moving the festival to a new location at an abandoned amusement park in mount Artxanda,[18] the organization decided to stick to Cobetas, and promised improvements in the area and services for 2009.[19]

The fourth edition, held between 9–11 July 2009 suffered greatly from the financial crisis that struck Spain in that period. As a result, the line-up was considerately "less commercial", as defined by the organization. Headliners included Depeche Mode, Jane's Addiction, Kaiser Chiefs, Editors, and second-timers Placebo, among others.[20] The festival received over 52,600 visitors, a "foreseen decrease",[21] and although considered a "step back", the continuity of the festival was confirmed.[22] This edition saw an increase of foreign visitors, a 5-point increase from the past edition, totaling 14,6%. Foreign attendees came principally from France and the United Kingdom. This was mainly due to a special offer aimed to anyone with a postal address outside of Spain, with a three-day ticket for £40, one third of the standard price.[20][23][24]

Recent years[edit]

German band Rammstein performing onstage in the 2010 edition.

In 2010, Kobetasonik was cancelled due to disappointing sales in the 2009 edition,[25][26] and as a result, BBK Live 2010 was given a more rock-oriented line-up, headlined by Pearl Jam, Faith No More, Alice in Chains and German Industrial band Rammstein.[27] The Vodafone Tent was introduced in this edition, a new stage used by Spanish acts and DJs.[28] This edition received a 45% increase in attendance, totaling 76,579 visitors. Pearl Jam received the largest crowd in a single day, with a little over 31,000 people.[29] Also, for the first time, more than half of the attendees came from outside of the Basque Country, with 15% foreigners and the rest from elsewhere in Spain.[29]

The 2011 edition broke a new record, attracting over 103,000 people, the largest crowd in the history of the festival until then.[1] It was headlined by British bands Coldplay, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, and Americans Blondie and Thirty Seconds to Mars.[30] British singer Amy Winehouse was scheduled to play on the second day, but Winehouse cancelled her entire summer tour due to health concerns.[31] She was replaced by Suede one week before the first date.[32] Coldplay received the largest audience ever, reuniting over 37,000 fans on the first day, in what was their first concert in Spain since 2009 (and one of only a handful of Spanish dates that year).[1]

The 2012 edition was held between 12–14 July. Headliners included British bands The Cure and Radiohead (their only concert in Spain), who were joined by Keane, Mumford & Sons, Garbage, Bloc Party, Madrilenians Vetusta Morla and Canadians Sum 41.[33] A third main stage was added, besides the two already existing and the Tent. Furthermore, the number of acts was increased from around 40 to 60.[34] This edition broke a new record in attendance, attracting over 109,000 concertgoers, with 26% of them coming from France and the UK.[35] The eighth edition is already confirmed and scheduled to be held between 11–13 July 2013.[36]


The 2012 edition is said to have left an economical impact estimated in over 17.5 million euros, taking into account the expenditures of the general public, organization, sponsors, and artists during the three days of the festival. This indicates an increase of 1.3 million when compared to the previous edition.[2] During festival days, the city's hotels had an occupancy rate of 95%.[37] LTI spokesman, Alfonso Santiago, stated that Bilbao has established itself as the third Spanish concert capital, behind Madrid and Barcelona.[38]

Along with Aste Nagusia, the local patronage festival held each August, BBK Live is often cited as an important component of the city's cultural offer, and responsible for the 200,000 tourists that Bilbao receives each summer.[39] Many travel agencies offer special packages with transportation, accommodation and festival tickets.[40]


The food and drink stands during the 2008 edition.

Bilbao BBK Live is an open-air festival that takes place at Kobetamendi, located in Mount Cobetas, southeast from the city centre. With 18.5 ha (46 acres), it is Bilbao's largest park. The venue is built each year around a 110,000 m² area and features three main stages, a DJs Tent, VIP zone, backstage facilities, food and drinks markets, and two camping areas, that total 30,000 m2 (320,000 sq ft) and have a total capacity of 15,000 people.

Bilbao BBK Live Bereziak[edit]

Since 2011, the organization decided to arrange a series of spin-off concerts to be held at Sala BBK, a small venue located at the centre of the city, on the Gran Vía, the city's main street. Under the name Bilbao BBK Live Bereziak (Basque: Bilbao BBK Live Specials), it consists of a cycle of small profile concerts with a very limited capacity, distributed along the year. Among the artists that participated in this specials are: Lambchop, M. Ward, and Tortoise.[41][42]


  1. ^ a b c Olarte, Josu (11 July 2011). "Kobetas conquista su cima". El Correo. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "El BBK Live cosecha 17,5 millones de euros, 1,3 más que en su edición de 2011". El Mundo. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "El BBK Live 2011, nominado en los UK Festival Awards a Mejor Festival Extranjero". El Mundo. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Bilbao BBK Live, nominado por tercer año seguido a los European Festival Awards". El Mundo. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c José Mari Reviriego (1 February 2006). "El primer gran festival de rock y pop de Bilbao presenta en julio a 25 grupos en el monte Cobetas". El Correo. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Guns N' Roses y Placebo encabezarán un Bilbao Live que apuesta por la electrónica". El País. 16 May 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Guns'n'Roses, Placebo y Pretenders, figuras destacadas del primer Bilbao Live Festival". El Correo. 15 May 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c "Más de 51.000 personas se dieron cita en la primera edición del Bilbao Live Festival". El Correo. 17 July 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "No hubo un concierto malo". El Correo. 18 July 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "El Bilbao Live Festival volverá a celebrarse en 2007". El Correo. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  11. ^ José Mari Reviriego (18 July 2006). "El Ayuntamiento de Bilbao apuesta por repetir el festival de Cobetas". El Correo. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  12. ^ G. Carrera (24 February 2007). "El festival Bilbao Live se adelanta a junio y tendrá en exclusiva a Red Hot Chili Peppers". El Correo. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Red Hot Chili Pepers encabeza el cartel del 'Bilbao Live Festival' que se adelanta a junio". El Correo. 23 February 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  14. ^ D. Cabezas (23 May 2007). "Cerrado el cartel del Bilbao BBK Live con ocho nuevas incorporaciones". 20 Minutos. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  15. ^ Olarte, Josu. "Monte Pop". El Correo. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  16. ^ Ibáñez, Isabel (11 April 2008). "El Bilbao BBK Live da 'un paso más' y ficha a Madness". El Correo. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "Éxito total". El Correo. 8 July 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  18. ^ Rego, María (16 July 2008). "El PP propone trasladar el Bilbao Live al antiguo parque de atracciones de Artxanda". El Correo. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  19. ^ Ibáñez, Isabel. "El recinto de Kobetamendi será mejorado para las futuras ediciones del Bilbao BBK Live". El Correo. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  20. ^ a b "Bilbao BBK Live '09". 16 June 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  21. ^ Ibáñez, Isabel (8 July 2009). ""El mejor cartel posible" en tiempos de crisis". El Correo. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "La asistencia de más de 52.000 personas confirma la continuidad del BBK Live". El Correo. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  23. ^ Jon Fernández (14 July 2009). "El BBK se vuelve más internacional". El Correo. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  24. ^ Ibáñez, Isabel (14 May 2009). "El Bilbao Live oferta bonos a 53 euros en Reino Unido". El Correo. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  25. ^ J. Fernández (25 March 2010). "Agur, Kobetasonik". El Correo. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  26. ^ Cubillo, Igor (22 June 2009). "Kobetasonik pierde gas". El País. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  27. ^ Ane Guerra (9 June 2010). "El Bilbao BBK Live cierra cartel con The Soundtrack of Our Lives y Feeder". El Correo. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  28. ^ "Cat People, Miss Caffeina, Sweet Oblivion y Mamba Beat actuarán en la carpa Vodafone del BBK Live". El Correo. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  29. ^ a b Guerra, Ane (13 July 2010). "Más de la mitad del público del BBK Live procede de fuera de Euskadi". El Correo. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  30. ^ "Bilbao BBK Live '11". Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  31. ^ "Amy Winehouse cancels her summer tour". NME. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  32. ^ Josu Olarte (1 July 2011). "El BBK Live sustituye a Amy por Suede". El Correo. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  33. ^ "Bilbao BBK Live '12". Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  34. ^ "El Bilbao BBK Live se amplía a tres escenarios y cerca de sesenta actuaciones". El Correo. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  35. ^ "El BBK Live 2012 bate récord de asistencia". El Correo. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  36. ^ "¡Bilbao BBK Live 2013 ya tiene fecha!". Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  37. ^ "Los hoteles de Bilbao recibirán el BBK Live con un 95% de ocupación". El Correo. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  38. ^ Cubillo, Óscar (27 April 2011). "Es importante que haya promotores que apuesten por la ciudad y que las instituciones apoyen sus iniciativas". El Correo. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  39. ^ Barbó, Jorge (11 February 2011). "Bilbao se encarama a los 700.000 turistas". El Correo. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  40. ^ M. Martínez (8 July 2011). "Muchas agencias de viajes ya ofrecen paquetes con el festival incluido". El Correo. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  41. ^ "Bilbao BBK Live Bereziak: Lambchop y Corizonas en aforo limitado". EITB. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  42. ^ "Sin asomo de nostalgia" Archived 30 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Sala BBK. Retrieved 22 April 2012.

External links[edit]