Held annually since 2008, SOS 4.8 in Murcia has become known as the first major event of Spain’s festival season, aiming, like so many, so reflect both the latest trends and give a space to rising acts while at the same including a few big names to attract the punters, with no particular focus on any particular genres.
The name 4.8 refers to the fact that this is a non-stop 48 festival on four stages, Estrella Levante, Jagërmeister, Auditorio and SOS Club, while the SOS comes from SOStenibilidad (sustainability) but it’s not just about music, it’s also an arts festival and forum for debate among the finest scientists, economists and philosophers of our time, but the chances are that none of that is going to be of much interest to visitors to this site.
In it’s very first year it leaped right into the minds of folk deciding where to go in 2008, with Kaiser Chiefs, James, Orbital, The Chemical Bothers and Rufus Wainwright on the bill. Since then, names that have graced the SOS 4.9 stage have included The Prodigy, Keane, Babyshambles, Franz Ferdinand, Madness, The Sunday Drivers, Suede, The Kooks, MGMT and PJ Harvey.
As well as the acts at the festival itself, there are also a number of free concerts in the city of Murcia itself, and make sure you find out about the tapas route, a number of bars offering cheap grub to anybody with a festival ticket.
Friday May 4, 2012
Pulp, Friendly Fires, Gossip, Kiko Veneno, The Kills, The Magnetic Fields
Buraka Som Sistema, Grupo de Expertos Solynieve, John Talabot (dj Set), La Estrella de David, Nacho Vegas, Raül Fernández & Enric Montefusco, SebAstian, Simian Mobile Disco, The New Raemon, The Zombie Kids, Yelle Djs (dj Set)
Saturday May 5, 2012
The Flaming Lips, Mogwai, Yuck, Matthew Herbert: One Pig
Antònia Font, Bigott, Brodinski, Cansei de ser Sexy / CSS, El Columpio Asesino, Feed Me, La Casa Azul, Love of Lesbian, Matthew Herbert DJ Set, Parade, yall, Yuck
Sunday May 6, 2012
Maika Makovski, The Marzipan Man, Delorentos, Klaus & Kinski
Address: Avda Primero de Mayo, Esq Avda Del Intendente Jorge Palacios
Murcia is the capital of the region of the same name, which lies between Valencia to the north and Andalusia to the south. The nearest major airport is Alicante (40 minutes away with coaches every 30 minutes), and it’s within half an hour’s drive of such major resorts as Torrevieja, Benidorm and La Manga. There is also the much smaller airport of Murcia-San Javier for which you might be lucky enough to find a cheap direct flight. By car, you want to head to Murcia on the N301/A30 from Madrid or Portugal, the N342/A91 from Granada, Sevilla or Cadiz, the A37/AP7 from Valencia or Alicante, and the N333/CT33 from Cartagena.
With a population of 440,000 people, it’s actually the seventh largest city in Spain, but it doesn’t feel that large. The venue itself is right in the centre of the city, and if you’re arriving by train or bus, the venue is within easy walking distance. Finding it won’t be difficult because there will be signs dotted all around the city to help, but by heading to the city centre, more or less in the region of the bullring (plaza de toros), the football stadium (La Condomina) and the Hospital General Universitario, you’re doing well. From the corner of Avda Primero de Mayo and Esq Avda Del Intendente Jorge Palacios, just where there’s a bridge over the river and an Eroski supermarket, if you can’t spot a place that’s normally a massive car, truck and coach parking zone has been transformed into four stage areas where 20,000 people are gathering, then you really should get your eyes looked at.
As far as accommodation’s concerned there’s no campsite at the venue, and if you want to stay in a hotel or hostel, make sure you book early, because most places are going to be very full that weekend because apparently there’s a music festival on. Now there’s a bloody nuisance. There is always the option of not going to sleep at all. That way you won’t miss any of the 48 hour festival, and you’ll also get to save on paying for anywhere to stay.