Summercase 2008: final review

Yes, as Grey said in his comment on my brief binary review, I was warned. I seriously doubt that I’ll go back to Summercase. Here’s my review (links point to pages).


In over 11 years of regularly attending pop festivals, Summercase 2008 was by far and away the worst organised and most blatantly commercial event I’ve ever attended.

The lineup was poor and got worse with the loss of mia and Santogold, among others. A group of low-quality English pop groups (Maximo Park, Kaiser Chiefs, Sex Pistols, The Verve…) dominated the lineup and left little room for decent local or international break-through acts.

Also, the organisers’ addiction to Disneyfied 1970s acts (Sex Pistols, Blondie, The Stranglers…) made for further dull concerts as large groups of 20-somethings mumbled through the lyrics to PlayAtomic, a song which was fist performed before any of them were conceived. Incidentally, Blondie’s guitarist also managed to mess-up the guitar-part for Atomic, despite it being one of the most celebrated riffs in pop history. Give you a clue: it’s not good enough to just play the notes in the right order… you need to get the rhythm right too.

The thing is that, of what I saw, the only truly great concert was by Cornelius (easily the most experimental artist playing at this MOR event). Pretty much everything else was just rubbish.

As to the general organisation of the event, we were shocked and dismayed at the rudeness and generally low level of service offered by the Summercase team. Part of this was to do with the alleged policy of festival organisers to employ staff not from Barcelona, in order to prevent the normal issue of ‘free drinks for friends’ happening. What this resulted in was a service team of rude and aggressive non-locals who spoke neither Catalan nor English, and who were quite clearly unhappy with their work. Added to this, the females were forced to wear very tight pink t-shirts (men were in brown), and the festival succeeded in making itself not only a gross display of consumerism but also perfectly happy with breaking Barcelona’s modern conventions on language, culture and gender equality.

This year, I decided not to attend FIB because I thought the lineup didn’t justify a trip down to Castelló… especially when I had a festival on my doorstep. I won’t make that mistake again. And it looks like, with a huge drop in attendance, Summercase needs to sort out its act or clear off altogether.

Summercase 2008: 0

8 thoughts on “Summercase 2008: final review

  1. Fucking Sinnamon getting Andalusians instead of Catalans (or anyone living in the city or near-by) for working in their festival is ashaming. Besides, they pay them a misery.

  2. Im glad i didnt meet you there then the festival would have been on a downer… what a rubbish review!


  3. Izzi – you, quite forgivably, seem to have enjoyed Summercase. We had a good time, and weren’t moaning all the time. Based on experience, though, it was the worst festival I’ve ever been to.

  4. This festival was a quality two nights.

    After looking at the Benicassim line-up we switched to Summercase this year.

    Although no camping the place was well set out and there were some quality performances (We Are Scientists, Glasvegas, Ian Brown, The Verve, Foals to name 5)

    The only one slight draw-back was the tiny cups they gave you to fill up with booze. The service was polite and friendly.

    Whoever reviewed this is coming across as a right pretentious, I’ve been to Glastonbury so every other festival in the World is too commercial type misery.

    If you can’t enjoy a festival with a decent line-up in a city like Barcelona or Madrid then you need to give your head a shake. Summercase was class!

  5. Chris Legg, I guess I am ‘a right pretentious’. You obviously had a different experience to me (the service, for example, was emphatically not ‘polite’ or ‘friendly’).

    Also, just taking place in Barcelona does not make a festival great.

    I agree that Ian Brown was great. It was slightly ruined for me by a bunch of irritating English stag party twats… but you can’t have everything, can you?

    I hope you enjoyed your visit to BCN. Tom

  6. unbelievable! Were we at the same place? I only just happened upon this review but had to leave a comment – i saw loads of great performances, ian brown as mentioned, maximo park was class, tiga on the last night was a phenomenal set to finish an awesome weekend – i had a right crease with some of the bar staff who i got to know by name by the second day and met loads of people seeming to be having as much fun as me over the 2 days… think you might have to look inwards rather than outwards as to why you didn’t enjoy this festival man

  7. Nah, it was probably ruined by this English guy who really pissed me off and then tried to start a fight with me.

    Seriously: I’ve been to a lot of festivals and Summercase 08 was the least enjoyable. There’s nothing wrong with other people having enjoyed themselves. Then again, if you like Maximo Park, there’s probably very little I can say to convince you.

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