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Bilbao BBK Tour Overview

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 of the city.

The first edition was organized by Basque musical promoter Last Tour International and sponsored by the Bilbao City Council 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. The 2012 event was reported to left an economical impact estimated in over 17.5 million euros in the city.

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

About Bilbao BBK

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. 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. 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. Over 40 national and international bands participated in the first edition, celebrated during three days between 13 and 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.

Over 51,000 people attended this first edition, and was considered a "success". LTI representative, Alfonso Santiago praised the organization and the music acts, and defined the festival as a "good starting point". 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.

Bilbao BBK Facts

  • For the 2008 edition, the festival moved back to its original dates in the first weekend of July and a three-day programme.
  • The fourth edition, held between 9–11 July 2009 suffered greatly from the financial crisis that struck Spain in that period.
  • The festival received over 52,600 visitors, a "foreseen decrease", and although considered a "step back", the continuity of the festival was confirmed.
  • Over 95,000 people attended the event, and produced an economical impact estimated in 13 million euros.

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