[festival_guide] primavera sound (barcelona, spain)



Where? Parc del Fòrum, Barcelona, Spain

When? 26 –28 May

Cost? ~ 150 € (approx 1350kr[SWE], $200[AUD], $200[USD]) no accommodation included. Day passes available

Days? 3 (+ other gigs prior/following festival)

2011 Confirmed Acts (so far)? Pulp, Mercury Rev (perform Deserter's Songs, The National, Belle & Sebastian, The Flaming Lips, Grinderman, Fleet Foxes, The Walkmen, Animal Collective, Mogwai, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Salem, Nisennenmondai, Twin Shadow, Sonny & The Sunsets, The Fresh & Onlys, Deakin, Swans, Gang Gang Dance, Cloud Nothings, Das Racist, Emeralds, The Vaccines, Suicide, Yuck, Factory Floor

Size? 100,000 people over 3 individual days

Website? http://www.primaverasound.com/

Feels more like one big gig rather than a festival. People actual know and care about the artists playing. It has the feel of a ‘city’ festival without all the trekking across town and frustrating lines. Its such an eclectic festival; usually when you see big pop names like Pet Shop Boys, Marc Almond and Florence on a bill you can judge the crowd – but here hipsters and music snobs are bizarrely quite open to indulging in the more mainstream acts.

It starts (like many other European festivals) in the late afternoon around 5-6 with more intimate performances on smaller stages and in the auditorium (which can have extremely long lines dues to bag checks for food etc. – so plan ahead!). Headliners are on around 1 and electronic/dance/experimental artists take it through to dawn. Oh and grab the program book its huge/amazing!!

2010: Pavement, Pet Shop Boys, Pixies

2009: Bloc Party, Neil Young, Sonic Youth
General Lineup Highlights
With stages curated by Pitchfork and ATP, its pretty hard not to find something amazing.

2010: The Fall, Wilco, Les Savy Fav, The New Pornographers,Low (performing The Great Destroyer), The Charlatans (performing Some Friendly), HEALTH, Broken Social Scene, The xx, King Khan, Fuck Buttons, Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Titus Andronicus, Owen Pallett, Gary Numan, Crocodiles, Florence and the Machine, Yeasayer, Wild Beasts, Real Estate, Japandroids, No Age, Dum Dum Girls, Wire, Atlas Sound, Beak>, Ben Frost, Delorean, Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions, Moderat, Dum Dum Girls, Best Coast, Black Lips, First Aid Kit, Sleigh Bells, Smith Westerns, Dr. Dog, Built to Spill, Liquid Liquid, The Clean, The Drums, The Field, Panda Bear, Tortoise, CocoRosie, Diplo, The Slits, Here We Go Magic, Junip, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Matt & Kim

2009: My Bloody Valentine, Deerhunter, Yo La Tengo, Throwing Muses, Ghostface Killah, Aphex Twin, Jarvis Cocker, Spiritualized, Phoenix, Liars, Michael Nyman, Bat for Lashes, Saint Etienne, A Certain Ratio, Fucked Up, Andrew Bird, Dan Deacon, Gang Gang Dance, Ariel Pink, Chad VanGaalen, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Crystal Antlers, Girls, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Jason Lytle, Art Brut, Shellac, The Jayhawks, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Drones, Women, Wooden Shjips, Black Lips, Bowerbirds, Crystal Stilts, Jay Reatard, Lightning Bolt, Plants and Animals, Shearwater, The Bats, Simian Mobile Disco, Vivian Girls, Squarepusher, The Soft Pack, Wavves, The Vaselines
The stages guide the performances and in turn the general atmosphere. The festival is in a purpose built forum for different events; lots of concrete! Has a cool Amphitheatre, the Main Stage has great viewing angles from close and far, and there is an auditorium for quieter, more intimate performances/screenings. Vibe around the place is very positive and cheery, helped by the lack of dickheads.
Live Sound
Sound on Main Stage and Amphitheatre Stage (RayBan) was perfect. Smaller stages and Pitchfork were quite bad at times.
Largely Spanish crowd of mixed ages, plus older serious music fans from the UK and hipsters from the world. Each conversation you overhear is is about planning which stage to next, and detailed analysis of the artist - very serious music peeps here!
Standard selection of festival foods. Indian style vego. burgers/hot dogs, lots of pizza and plenty of Spanish snack foods. Prices slightly above usual Euro prices.
Pretty clean for Spain, though lines can stretch quickly even for urinals.
Barcelona!!!!! Plus clean, purpose built forum. It’s a fantastic venue.
Non-Music Activities
Games? NA(1)/1
Cinema? 2/2
Literature & Comedy? NA (2)/2
Camping/Accommodation Facilities
It is a city festival right on the Mediterranean, therefore just outside the city centre to the north east. With a lot of the cheaper accommodation in the south of the city, this makes getting back from the event in the very early morning quite difficult due to shortage of taxis and closure of Metro. Best options are really to rent a place closer (walking-ish distance) to the event site or stay out and wait for the Metro to open again.



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