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Parc del Fòrum
|Dates||31 May to 4 June 2017 (Barcelona) and 8 to 10 June 2017 (Oporto)|
|Location(s)||Barcelona and Oporto|
Primavera Sound is a music festival that takes place between the end of May and beginning of June in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and Oporto, Portugal. The first edition took place in 2001 in Poble Espanyol and in 2005 it moved to the Parc del Fòrum, a much larger site on the seafront. The nature of the festival (urban and an integrated part of the city) and the wide range of bands represented have made Primavera Sound a meeting point for artists and spectators from all generations.
The festival has always succeeded in bringing together in its line up both the latest independent music tendencies and artists with a consolidated career, while presenting all styles and genres and being fully committed to quality pop, rock and the most underground tendencies of electronic and dance music.
Pixies, Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age, The National, Nine Inch Nails, Kendrick Lamar, Neil Young, Sonic Youth, Portishead, Pet Shop Boys, Pavement, Echo & The Bunnymen, Lou Reed, My Bloody Valentine, El-P, Pulp, Patti Smith, James Blake, Cat Power, Public Enemy, Grinderman, Franz Ferdinand, Television, Devo, Enrique Morente, The White Stripes, LCD Soundsystem, Tindersticks, PJ Harvey, Shellac, Dinosaur Jr., New Order, Fuck Buttons, Swans, Melvins, Psychic TV, Spiritualized, The Cure, Bon Iver, La Buena Vida, Death Cab For Cutie, Iggy & The Stooges, De La Soul, Marianne Faithfull, Mazzy Star, Blur, Wu-Tang Clan, Phoenix, Radiohead, Animal Collective, Sigur Rós, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Tame Impala amongst many others have performed on its stages.
At every edition the event has grown both in terms of numbers and in terms of media exposure: press, radio and television both nationally and internationally. Its first edition in 2001 closed with an attendance of 8000 people, an audience that by the latest edition in 2015 had become 190,000.
The 2001 edition was the first to show the current format of Primavera Sound Festival. It was the first year in the Poble Espanyol and the first when more than one stage was used (its first editions at the beginning of the 1990s were held in different venues in Barcelona). Five stages were set up where a good selection of the best pop and dance music was played. The bill included the likes of Armand Van Helden, Le Hammond Inferno, former main man of Pizzicato 5, Yasuharu Konishi, Faze Action, Bent, Los Planetas, Manta Ray, Sr. Chinarro, Samuel L. Session, Unkle, Carl Craig, Dj Godfather; and many other bands and DJs like Gentle People Djs, Leila, Zip and Gus Gus Djs.
The 2002 Primavera Sound edition took place on 17 and 18 May. The main change was the addition of a second day to the festival. Sixty local and international bands and DJs played on five different stages that year, including Pulp, Tindersticks, Spiritualized, Echo & The Bunnymen, J Mascis, Aphex Twin, Luke Slater, Giant Sand, The Delgados, Dave Clarke, Bis, Ian Pooley, Andrew Weatherall, Le Tigre, Gonzales, The Moldy Peaches, Chicks On Speed, Clem Snide, La Buena Vida, Green Velvet, Cinerama, Lo-Fidelity Allstars and The Zephyrs, among others. That was also the first year to include non-musical activities. Those were thought up to complete the musical offering of the festival and included the design exhibition “Un ruido secreto” or the Primavera Soundtrack Film Festival.
Public attendance was 24,000 people, seven thousand people more than the previous year. Likewise, more than 450 journalists were there to cover the event. The number of acts also increased: more than 90 groups and DJs both local and international. Five areas were arranged at the Poble Espanyol site for the night shows (Nitsa-Apolo, Rockdelux by Lois, CD Drome, Nasti and Psicolabis).
Also, an extra site was added to the festival: Mercat de les Flors, for the day time activities: the Primavera Soundtrack Film Festival and the Record label Fair, which included two stages (acoustic and electric) where the label’s bands showcased their works. Poble Espanyol (23rd and 24 May): Belle And Sebastian, Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, I Am Kloot, Sonic Youth, Mogwai, The White Stripes, Television, Beef, The Go-Betweens, 2 Many Dj’s, Julian Cope, Definitive Jux Live!, Baxter Dury, Super Collider, Umek, Thalia Zedek, Nacho Vegas Y Las Esferas Invisibles, Wire, Roni Size, Future Bible Heroes, Ed Harcourt, John Parish, Scratch Perverts, Mary Gauthier, Dj/Rupture, Michael Mayer, Console, Tocotronic, Adam Beyer, Standstill, Élena, Antònia Font, Tokyo Sex Destruction, Vacaciones, Grupo Salvaje, Dj Psychocandy, The Folk Implosion, Ikara Colt, Adam Green, The Kills, Soledad Brothers, Munk (Gomma Dj’s), Migala, Christina Rosenvinge, Mishima, Audience, Alma X, Dj Coco, Lcd Soundsystem, Märtini Brös, Erol Alkan, Dj Dexter, Dj’s Are Not Rockstars, Gold Chains, Rahim, Peaches, Le Hammond Inferno, Ellen Alien, W.I.T., Larry Tee, Cobra Killer, La Presidente, Rewind DJ’s (Vicknoise, Pol, Teti), The Montgolfier Brothers, Calc, Glissando*, The Tea Servants, Airbag, Jeronimo, Cola Jet Set, Gurus, L’altra, Whirlwind Heat, Motormark, Pipas, Holland Park, Mano De Santo, Zola, Henry, Bart Davenport, Astronaut, Euro-Trash Girl, Mia Doi Todd, Dead Capo, Tan Low, Morning Star, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hangedup, The Streets, Baby Zizanie, A Room With A View.
Record Label and Industry Fair is a record fair devoted to industry insiders. A total of 40 stands represented the leading independent Spanish record labels, as well as music press and associated companies. Primavera Soundtrack Film Festival screening of films related to the pop culture (documentaries, music films, fiction) programme:
- Standing in the Shadows of Motown, Paul Justman. 2002. USA. 116 minutes. 35 mm.
- Biggie and Tupac, Nick Broomfield. 2002. UK. 107 min. Betacam
- Morvern Callar, Lynne Ramsay. UK/Canada. 2002. 97 min. 35 mm.
- Beijing Rocks, Mabel Cheung Yuen-Ting. Hong Kong, 2001. 110 min. 35 mm.
- Almost Blue, Alex Infascelli. Italy, 2000, 86 min. 35 mm.
In 2004 the festival kept growing in length (three days in the Poble Espanyol), artists and attendance. The popularity of headliner acts and, especially, the performance of the legendary band Pixies (they played their first European date in twelve years) raised the attendance numbers up to 40,000 people who came from Spain, U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Portugal. Other headliners such as PJ Harvey, Primal Scream, The Divine Comedy, Wilco or Franz Ferdinand contributed to close the most successful festival edition so far. The Mercat de les Flors, where the day-time activities took place, increased this year the number of bands, thanks to the outdoor stage next to the Record labels Fair. The line-up of this area included a greater number of international artists such as Edison Woods, Berg Sans Nipple, Fernando Alfaro & Nacho Vegas, Xiu Xiu or Telefax. Besides the mentioned bands, these were some of the most celebrated shows among the almost 100 live acts of Primavera Sound 2004: Liars, !!! (chk chk chk), Benjamin Biolay, Dominique A, Scissor Sisters, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Chicks On Speed, Sun Kil Moon, Julie Delpy, Devendra Banhart, (Smog), Dayna Kurtz, Plaid, Elbow, Nina Nastasia, The Glimmer Twins, Colder, Cristian Vogel, Blackstrobe, The Ladybug Transistor, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, The Russian Futurists, The Fall, Mudhoney, Lloyd Cole, The Raveonettes, The Hidden Cameras, Erol Alkan, Numbers, Kid 606, 2 Many Dj’s, James Murphy, Miss Kittin, Luke Slater, Technasia, Experience, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Dizzee Rascal, Michael Gira, James Chance & The Contortions, Jason Forrest, Dj/Rupture, Alexander Robotnik and David Holmes. Among local acts, remarkable shows by La Buena Vida, Lluís Llach, Ruper Ordorika, Chucho and Atom Rhumba could be seen.
Record Label and Industry Fair devoted to industry insiders. A total of 30 stands represented the leading independent Spanish record labels, as well as specialized press and associated companies.
Primavera Soundtrack Film Festival Screening of films related to the pop culture (documentaries, music films, fiction) programme:
-Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns). A film about They Might Be Giants by AJ Schmack. USA 2002, 103 min.
-I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. A film about Wilco by Sam Jones. USA 2002, 92 min.
-Live Forever by John Dower. UK 2003, 84 min.
-Greendale by Bernard Shakey (aka Neil Young). USA 2003, 87 min.
2005 saw plenty of changes regarding the event (mainly due to its relocation from the Poble Espanyol to the Fòrum site). It was a year strongly marked by an eclectic line-up where artists like Enrique Morente, Brigitte Fontaine or Psychic TV all played despite not being precisely veterans at this kind of event. Another new feature of Primavera Sound 2005 edition was the use of the impressive Auditorium building where some of the top performances of that weekend took place, like the ones from Antony & The Johnsons, Vic Chesnutt or Tortoise. This venue quickly became a high point of the festival. And besides all those new features, if there is something that should be highlighted from that edition, it would definitely be the presence of the legendary Mancunian band New Order, after over a decade without playing in front of a Spanish audience. The band presented their latest album on the Nitsa-Apolo stage, on Friday 27th. The other great stars of the festival were: Iggy Pop’s Stooges live comeback, the experience of New Yorker’s Sonic Youth, the commitment of Steve Earle and the essential post punk of Gang of Four.
In addition, a wide range of quality proposals gathered together that weekend: The Wedding Present, Echo & The Bunny-men, The Dirtbombs, American Music Club, Psychic TV, Enrique Morente, They Might Be Giants, Micah P. Hinson, Broken Social Scene, Vitalic, Sons And Daughters, Kompakt Sound System, Polysics, The Futureheads, Vetiver, Isis, Los Planetas, Parker & Lily and more.
The festival also featured the Primavera France event, where a great number of the best French artists performed on different stages including the likes of Dominique A, M83, Experience, The Married Monk, Helena and Françoiz Breut. For yet another year a stage was set up (Feria) near the Record Label and Industry Fair where remarkable shows by the Swedish Acid House Kings, the American Allison Moorer and the Spanish bands Ginferno, Tarántula, Garzón, The Secret Society and The Cheese took place.
2006 was the year of total settling in the Forum site. The main new features were a few changes in the layout of the stages and some improvements in the infrastructures (catering area, access...). On an artistic level, Primavera Sound 2006 focused once more on offering quality above all and not popular artists or styles. Artists with long and solid careers (Lou Reed, Motörhead, Yo La Tengo, The Flaming Lips, Big Star) performed with some bands of short but shining history (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Babyshambles, Animal Collective, The Rogers Sisters). The experimental rock of No Neck Blues Band, Gang Gang Dance, Deerhoof, Boredoms, Akron/Family appeared next to the most veteran rock (The Deadly Snakes, The Drones, The New Christs). The list of artists carries on, ranging from the dance electronic music of Erol Alkan, Ellen Allien & Apparat, Dj Rush, Rex The Dog, Joris Voorn and The MFA to the intimate sounds of Richard Hawley, Isobel Campbell, José González, Vashti Bunyan, including the super band Undertow Orchestra. Other outstanding artists include the timeless pop of Stereolab, the psychedelic rock of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, the also remarkable Centro-Matic, Lambchop or Drive-By Truckers, the strong rock of Sleater Kinney or the minimal funk of the veteran ESG. Among the local bands stand out the first act after their reunion of the mythical Surfin Bichos, as well as 12Twelve, Southern Arts Society, Anari or Tachenko. On the Feria stage, other newcomers and solid bands embracing a wide range of styles: Remate, Pauline En La Playa, Le Jonathan Reilly, Coconot, Ainara LeGardon, Beef, Stay, Mazoni, Meu, The Charades, Prin’ La Lá and Clint, among others.
One of the main new differences that year was that concerts were held during the days preceding the Festival, people like The Bellrays, Elliot Brood, Experience, Troy Von Balthazar, Jody Wildgoose or Annelies Monseré played at the new Apolo concert hall (La ) early on in the evening. A post-festival party was also thrown, with Centro-Matic, together with other proposals as the techno pop of Xiu Xiu, John Roderick’s folk or the American French Toast, from the record label Dischord.
The festival underwent a considerable audience increase, with over 60,000 attendees. With thirty per cent of the audience coming from other countries, Primavera Sound had gained weight internationally and was fast becoming one of the most important music events of the European scene. With more than 150 acts – bands and djs – 2007 edition saw an excellent show from the North American band Wilco; as well as the comeback of Smashing Pumpkins, after more than a decade in silence. Sonic Youth played the legendary album Daydream Nation integrally and the Forum vibrated with the concert of the veteran Patti Smith.
The British music promoter All Tomorrow’s Parties partnership was the greatest novelty of this edition. The ATP directors chose the line-up and gave its name to one of the stages, where Modest Mouse played and where bands like Slint, Melvins and Comets On Fire played important albums of their career.
Together with these artists, the festival’s stages hosted very different styles: Herman Düne, Múm, Blonde Redhead, The Good The Bad And The Queen, Jonathan Richman, Dirty Three, Black Mountain, The Durutti Column, Maxïmo Park, Nathan Fake, Pelican, Architecture In Helsinki, Kimya Dawson, Shannon Wright, Robyn Hitchcock And The Venus 3, Buzzcocks, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Grizzly Bear, Billy Bragg, Girls Against Boys, Isis, Low, Band Of Horses, Built To Spill, Kid Koala, The Long Blondes and many others. Among the electronic artists the shows of Justice, Hell, Diplo, Erol Alkan and Dj Yoda were outstanding.
National presence increased considerably; in this edition all the nationalbands were given suitable spaces to perform in. As on past occasions, the festival tried to give a different vision of Spanish independence, including bands like Lisabö, Half Foot Outside, Veracruz, Za! or The Light Brigada, proposals unfairly forgotten by other Spanish festivals.
Another new initiative was minimúsica. La Colazione introduced this concept in which the independent bands from Barcelona offered concerts for the little ones in the festival’s free kindergarten. Two series of performances were held during the afternoon, with live music by Coconot, Las Dolores, Internet 2, Brielah, Sedaiós, Decibelios Joe, Tarántula, Los Carradine, Manos de Topo, Las Vaquitas (David from Beef + Joe Crepúsculo -Tarántula-), Albaialeix and First Aid Kit. During the festival, Myspace Spain celebrated their beginning at the Forum with some acoustic concerts, on the 1st and 2 June in a stand located in the Record Fair. Some of the bands that played the “Myspace Salon” were: Maximo Park & Grizzly Bear, Fernando Alfaro y los Alienistas, Grupo de Expertos Sol y Nieve, The Secret Society, Bonde do Role, Standstill, Mum, Alondra Bentley or Sr. Chinarro.
Regarding the parallel activities, besides the usual Record Label and Industry Fair, the Digital Music Conference 2.0 was celebrated. Organized in collaboration with the Catalan Institute of Cultural Industries (ICIC) and aimed at professionals from the music and technology industries, this conference focused on current issues in the business as well as artistic world, with the objective to find a new approach for digital music in Catalonia and in Spain. For the second consecutive year, concerts were held on the days preceding the festival (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) and on the Sunday after the days in Forum. Those showcases to present and close the festival took place in the two venues Apolo and La  with live acts of a great deal of artists: Centro-Matic, Of Montreal, At Swim Two Birds, Erol Alkan, The Orchids, The Sadies and Nueva Vulcano.
160 artists, 200 hours of live music, with an eclectic line up in a festival which went beyond the limits of the Parc Del Fòrum into the centre of Barcelona city. The parallel activities of the event have gained importance in the year 2008 with performances in different venues in the city, in the Joan Miró Park and several underground stations. And as well as opening spaces for other types of public around the city, Primavera Sound was once again the springboard for new and interesting acts such as A Place To Bury Strangers, Health, Times New Viking, Moho or Shipping News.
During the first day of the festival, Portishead, MGMT, Public Enemy and Vampire weekend among many others, were the headliners of the Parc Del Fòrum. On the second day were the outstanding concerts of Cat Power, Bishop Allen and El Guincho, who played the same stages as classics such as The Sonics, Devo, Nick Lowe and Mary Weiss, who maintain their essence and move people generation after generation. During the third day, Rufus Wainwright, Enrique Morente and Lagartija Nick, Animal Collective and Tindersticks closed the extremely successful festival with style. The public, of almost 60,000 are proof of its good health at a critical moment for the music industry in Spain.
Other bands which got on stage at the Primavera Sound 2008 were Apparat Band, Bon Iver, Dirty Projectors, Fuck Buttons, Les Savy Fav, Menomena, Holy Fuck, Okkervil River, Pissed Jeans, Unchained, The Wave Pictures, Russian Red, Lightspeed Champion, The Strange Death Of Liberal England, Surkin, Tarántula, The Mary Onettes, Messer Chups, It’s Not Not, The Marzipan Man, Deerhunter, Eric’s Trip, Devastations, Fanfarlo, The Swell Season, Throbbing Gristle, Om, Buffalo Tom, Caribou, Awesome Color, Digital Mystikz, DM Smith, Edan & Mc Dagha, Explosions In The Sky, Clipse, Holly Golightly & The Brakeoffs, Kelley Stoltz, The Missing Leech, No Age, Fasenuova, MV & EE with The Golden Road, Les Aus, Gentle Music Men, The Right Ons Soulin’ Thunder Revue, Scout Niblett, Six Organs Of Admittance, Träd Gräs Och Stenar, Why?, Voxtrot, Polvo, Para One, Boris, Bob Mould Band, De La Soul, Menomena, No Age, 808 State, Alan Braxe, Autolux, Enon, Health, Grande-Marlaska, La Estrella de David, Madee, Midnight Juggernauts, Port O’Brien, Prinzhorn Dance School, Shellac, Man Man and The Rumble Strips.
As usual the Fira area was open to allow independent national and international labels to show their product to the public. The Myspace salon had live acts for the second year running, as did minimúsica with concerts for the little ones. The programme parallel to the main event in the Fòrum took the music to the Barcelona underground with free concerts by Belmez, Manel, The Lions Constellation and La Célula Durmiente in the stations of Universitat, Clot and Passeig de Gràcia.
Under the name of Primavera Als Clubs there were showcases of bands like The Clientele, Matt Elliott, Mi And L’Au, SJ Esau and La Orquesta del Caballo Ganador, Scarlet’s Well, Clint, My Brighest Diamond, DM Smith, Abrevadero, Voice Of The Seven Woods, Twin Kranes and Andy Votel. The first edition of Primavera Al Parc, which took place in the Joan Miró Park, started very well with a public of around 1,000 people in the two days for the concerts of Darren Hayman & Jack Hayter Play Hefner songs, David Thomas Broughton, El Hijo, Bankrobber, Guillamino, El Chico Con La Espina Al Costado, Le Petit Ramon, The Radio Dept., Torpedo, April Fool’s Day, Manos De Topo, Le Pianc and Extraperlo.
The ninth edition of the Barcelona festival closed its door with a record attendance and a record number of concerts. With a total of 171 concerts, the line up of 2009 managed to gather over 80,000 spectators, the highest number of spectators in the history of the festival. The audience was spread around the fourteen stages of the festival, six of which are on the Parc del Fòrum site (76,000 spectators) and another eight distributed around the centre of Barcelona with Primavera in the City, which attracted 4,600 more spectators. The starting signal was given in various underground stations of the town centre on Saturday 23 May and the usual presentation showcases, organized with the collaboration of different record companies and taking place from Monday the 25th in the Apolo, La  and Sidecar. The main event took place on the 28th, 29th and 30 May and the second edition of Primavera at the Park (free concerts in the Joan Miró) consolidated itself in 2009 with twelve excellent concerts which prolonged the festival into the Sunday 31 May.
The first day started with Cuzo, La Bien Querida and Veracruz. The crowd lived a crescendo leading to the climax with the concert of My Bloody Valentine. The 21,300 people who went to the Forum could also enjoy the concerts of Yo la Tengo, The Vaselines, Phoenix, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Andrew Bird and The Horrors. On the second day 24,100 people gathered to see concerts of bands like Bloc Party, Throwing Muses, Saint Etienne, Jarvis Cocker, Art Brut, Damien Jurado and the second performance of My Bloody Valentine, this time in the Auditori. The concerts of Sonic Youth, Herman Dune, Deerhunter, Simian Mobile disco, Liars, Michael Nyman, Ghostface Killah and Black Lips brought together 30,000 people on Saturday 30th. A historical number because it is the day with the highest number of people since the beginning of the festival in 2001. However without a doubt the name that really stood out was Neil Young, since this Canadian singer and guitarist had not played Barcelona for twenty-two years. Apart from the big names, the festival consolidated itself as the perfect platform to promote new bands. Artists like Ezra Furman & The Harpoons, Girls, The Lions Constellation and Rosvita are some of the acts, which stood out among the newcomers to the festival that satisfied the audience’s desire to see new bands.
In the year of its tenth anniversary, Primavera Sound broke its record of attendance with over 100,000 spectators, a number which has consolidated the festival as a clear international reference for independent music.
The main novelty of this edition was the creation of PrimaveraPro. The festivals organizers had been toying around with the idea of creating a new tool for the music business since Primavera Sound has been for many years a meeting point for the music industry. The first edition of PrimaveraPro proved to be a success, gathering more than 400 music industry professionals from different countries and different areas within the sector such as labels, booking agencies, promoters or festival programmers.
In its first day of main programming, the musical event managed to attract 31,200 people, an unprecedented number for a Thursday night. The spectacular return of Pavement, the indie rock of Superchunk, the seniority of Mark E. Smith from The Fall and the icy pop of The XX were some of the winners of the day. Among the outstanding revelations; Pony Bravo from Seville, the Argentineans Él Mató A Un Policía Motorizado and the Israelis Monotonix, who offered an insane show for the audience of the Vice stage. On the second day of performances, the festival sold out thanks to the massive number of people (35,000 visitors) and the absolute triumph of the Pixies, which was probably the concert with the biggest audience ever in the history of this event. Together with the Boston band, other artists also shone like Beach House, the presentation of the new spectacle of the Barcelona band Standstill, Wire who are always on form and the thunderous performances of Shellac and Les Savy Fav, two Primavera Sound classics. Japandroids, the experimental electropop of Cold Cave and Best Coast also stood out among the emerging artist of the day. On the last day the Parc Del Fòrum once again sold out with the performances of Pet Shop Boys and Orbital as headliners and many more concerts amongst which the homage to La leyenda del Tiempo, the experimental sound of the Australian Ben Frost, Brian Wilson’s right-hand man in the late sixties Van Dyke Parks, Built To Spill, Grizzly Bear and Matt&Kim.
The parallel programme Primavera a la Ciutat attracted close to 6,000 people in its different spaces. Primavera al Parc allowed people to see international bands of the calibre of Dum Dum Girls, Ganglians, Real State and The King Khan & BBQ together with national bands like rapper Mcenroe and Diploide free of charge. Primavera als Clubs filled various venues around town with band like Maika Makovski, Los Campesinos!, Toundra and Me and The Bees. Primavera al Metro put on acts such as Internet 2 and The Nu Niles.
The eleventh edition of Primavera Sound broke a new record and brought together more than 120,000 assistants at the Parc del Fòrum. On Thursday 26th of May nearly 39,500 people gathered for the musical event, while on Friday 27th the attendance rose up to 43,800. On Saturday 28th of May the festival received over 40.000 spectators. Caribou’s electronic magic, the classic pop of the Liverpool group Echo & The Bunnymen, the indie pop of Comet Gain and the Japanese roadroller Nisennenmondai were part of the menu of the official opening day on Wednesday 25th of May at the Poble Espanyol, original site of the festival at the beginning, which saw a massive flow of people and hung the “sold out” sign with 5,300 attendees. Sunday saw a similar figure for the closing ceremony, which featured performances by Mercury Rev, BMXBandits, My Teenage Stride and Me and the Bees.
Primavera Sound 2011 offered a line-up formed by 221 bands and left for keepsake spectacular concerts of pop and rock- stars like The National, the band led by Nick Cave Grinderman, the Scots Belle & Sebastian or the colourful show of the veterans The Flaming Lips, and the performances of other heavyweight bands like the British PJ Harvey or the experimental pop magicians Animal Collective. But surely the key event that weekend was the comeback of the band Pulp, which struck on Friday with a concert full of hits such as “Babies”, “Disco 2000” and “Common People”, a song that its leader Jarvis Cocker dedicated to the participants of the camp in Plaza Catalunya evicted that morning, and joining himself to the protest by declaring himself “indignado” (outraged).
The classics also shone brightly. Cult groups like The Monochrome Set and Pere Ubu, the post-punk of P.I.L. or John Cale’s performance together with the instrumental group BCN216, playing the entire album “1916” in the Auditori Rockdelux, proved that seniority is only a degree. As usual, the festival was a platform for emerging bands. Friday’s concerts brought us two of the most awaited artists, James Blake and Twin Shadow, and both proved that they are here to stay. Sonny & The Sunsets, Big Boi, Of Montreal or Spanish bands Lüger and Toundra were other highlights on the musical days.
Primavera a la Ciutat started to be more than a musical appetizer. Great number of performances scheduled in various locations and in unusual formats that flooded the centre of Barcelona with great music for more than two weeks and brought together over 5.000 people. The bulk of the programming had been focused on new proposals born in the city, such as Violet Lades, Desmond, Vistalegre and many more, but also had guests like Darren Hayman and Eli Paperboy Reed.
The last edition has once again left us with unforgettable moments in the form of concerts, like the incredible comeback of the Swedish band Refused, the performance of the lead singer of Neutral Milk Hotel, Jeff Mangum in the Auditori Rockdelux and a new demonstration of power and sensitivity from the Americans Wilco, one of the Primavera public’s best loved bands. Hits from the British bands Franz Ferdinand and The xx, pop with ethnic overtones from Zach Condon with Beirut, the power of Napalm Death and new names like Grimes, Danny Brown, Other Lives and Kindness are some of the other champions of Primavera Sound 2012.
Without a doubt the crucial moment of the festival was the concert by The Cure, who led by Robert Smith gave a monumental three-hour concert looking back over his long career, delighting thousands of people with immortal hits like “Friday I’m In Love”, “Boys Don’t Cry”, “Just Like Heaven” and “In Between Days”. The national bands also shone as usual and the audience was able to enjoy great concerts, like Bigott from Zaragoza reinforcing his position as someone to watch out for, the irresistible analogical sound of the duo Pegasvs, the live debut of the Catalan John Talabot, one of the big names in electronic music of the year, Refree from Barcelona going over the best moments of his career and the performance of pop with southern aromas from the band Grupo De Expertos Solynieve. As usual some of the best moments came from classical names and well established artists. The class of Marianne Faithfull, dark rock from The Chameleons, brusque soul rock from the Afghan Whigs on incredible form and the concert by Nick Garrie with an orchestra formed for the occasion were some of the key moments of this edition.
The eight stages of the Parc del Fòrum hosted the majority of the programme, with 201 concerts gathering more than 117.000 spectators in total. On the other hand, Primavera a la Ciutat considerably increased its programme of free activities with a programme of 69 concerts in various venues around Barcelona spreading the Primavera spirit across the city.
Primavera Sound 2013 hosted on its multiple stages an incredible number of unforgettable concerts for the public. The Postal Service’s comeback, the confirmation of the French band Phoenix as stars, the spectacular show of the Australians Tame Impala, the crowning of Deerhunter as the kings of contemporary indie rock and the performance of the charismatic Nick Cave accompanied by his band The Bad Seeds are among the most outstanding moments of this edition. The festival reached its high point in the Parc del Fòrum with the concert of the British band Blur, the band led by Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon drew an impressive crowd and played great hits such as “Girls & Boys” and “Song 2”, but the extensive line up of the festival left us with many other moments to remember. Bob Mould, ex-Sugar and ex-Dü, revisiting his brilliant career, exquisite electronic pop from the young James Blake, hip hop from Wu-Tang Clan, the intensely loud My Bloody Valentine, Los Planetas from Granada playing “Una semana en el motor de un autobús”, the hedonistic Hot Chip, the performance-concert of the Scandinavian band The Knife, the exuberant set by Solange Knowles, unclassifiable rock by Kurt Vile with The Violators, indie pop from California by Local Natives and African jazz by Mulatu Astatke are just some examples of the 260 concerts programmed at the thirteenth edition of the festival. Like every year a big part of the line up was dedicated to national bands, and among the most memorable was the presentation of Barcelona band Manel’s third album, the explosion of dynamic instrumental rock from the Madrid band Toundra, Fred I Son’s highly stylised pop, The Free Fall Band and La Brigada, the then new electronic airs from La Bien Querida and the comeback of El Inquilino Comunista from Bilbao. The Barcelona event once again broke its own record in reaching an attendance of 170,000 counting the four days in the Parc del Fòrum and the activities in the framework of Primavera a la Ciutat.
Primavera Sound closed its fourteenth edition with a superlative selection of artists. The Canadians Arcade Fire performed in the Parc del Fòrum demonstrating why they are the independent band of the decade, Pixies also communed with the masses with tracks that have marked several generations, The National gave a lesson in dark rock and the cult band Neutral Milk Hotel effected one of the most celebrated comebacks of the last few years. Although the festival’s line-up had so much to choose from, among some of the most popular concerts for the spectators were Charles Bradley’s soul demonstration, the hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar, the Americans Nine Inch Nails, the Brazilian Caetano Veloso, the garage house for the masses from the British band Disclosure, the powerful rock by Queens Of The Stone Age, the sounds of the eighties by Future Islands and the impressive and always arresting St. Vincent. There were also huge moments to remember outside the area of pop and rock: the power of the polyrhythmic orchestra Antibalas, hardcore from the Americans Touché Amoré, modernised metal by Deafheaven, free jazz by Sun Ra Arkestra, Wolf Eyes’ noise and organic electronic music from the duo Darkside. Electronic music also had its place at the festival filling the site with a master class from the French DJ Laurent Garnier, Julio Bashmore from the UK and live acts by the Germans Moderat (collaboration between Modeselektor and Apparat), The Haxan Cloak and Factory Floor or the nationals John Talabot, Angel Molina, Dj Fra, Dj Zero, Pional, Shelby Grey and Dj Coco. And as usual there was room for veteran artists such as Dr. John and The Nite Trippers with their Cajun sound and incredible folk by Julian Cope. Folk with American roots by Joana Serrat from Vic, experimental pop by the Mallorca band Oso Leone, kraut electronic music by Valencia’s Jupiter Lion or the Barcelona band El Último Vecino were some of the discoveries of this last edition, at which national artists were superbly represented. The festival put an end to its fourteenth edition with a total of almost 350 concerts and 190,000 visits spread over the different venues that hosted the programme during the whole week and which filled Barcelona with live music and complementary activities.
Prizes and awards
- Prizes of the Independent Music 2011 (organized by UFI): Better festival
- Altaveu 2011 Award
- Greener Festival Award 2012: in the category "Highly Commended"
- European Festival Awards: Artists' Favourite Festival in 2014
- Reward Waves of the Music 2014: Better musical spectacle
- Premi Continuarà-Vespre to La2 of Culture 2015