Across the Pond: Primavera Sound

Bertie Magit / June 6, 2012
Primavera Sound, all photos by Bertie Magit

Let me start by saying that this will be the final abroad edition of Across the Pond. I am relocating back to my home in the United States and will be very much on the same side of the ‘pond’ as SSG and Seattle. With my last remaining days over in Europe it seemed like an epic conclusion to my year abroad was the only option. To shake up an old saying: I would have to go big, and then go home. After very little deliberation, Barcelona’s Primavera Sound became the vessel for my final European hurrah.

The Drums at Primavera Sound

Primavera Sound is located on the edge of Barcelona with the Mediterranean Ocean serving as one of the festival’s boundaries in the most literal sense. For example, see if you can spot the boat in the following picture of the crowd at Jaime XX.

Jaime XX at Primavera Sound

Like Lollapalooza in Chicago, Primavera’s close proximity to the city and in-and-out privileges keeps the festival and its attendees from separating into an entirely new musical dimension. Some people though, like Neon Indian singer Alan Palomo, did get caught up in the surreal quality of the festival when he admitted he forgot what day it was, and that he had “no concept of time or space.”

Baxter Dury at Primavera Sound

If it wasn’t for the back to back, jam packed lineup which led to obsessive set time checking, it would be very easy to completely lose track of time. Since the festival did not start until around 5pm and ran until about 6am, the majority of the festival was drenched in darkness. This lack of sun, to hint at the time, too easily allowed for 11pm to become 5am in what seemed like a matter of minutes.

Wilco at Primavera Sound

Primavera, unlike many of the other festivals out there, seems to understand its audience. One of the more dreaded aspects of festivals is dealing with conflicts in the lineup. It makes sense to pit bands against each other in this way because it spreads out the audience preventing overcrowding. For the most part Primavera fought the set time battles by allocating multiple time slots for individual acts. Bands like Peter Wolf Crier, Bleached, Jeff Mangum, Bigott, Black Lips, Beach Beach and many more played at least twice.

Bigott at Primavera Sound

Having spent all year exploring the music scene in London and other parts of Europe, I am determined to do the same in the United States. I will, however, miss the accessibility and abundance of music on this side of the pond. As for Primavera Sound, I have decided that now is the perfect time to start saving up for next year!

Peter Wolf Crier at Primavera Sound


Bleached at Primavera Sound

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *