Primavera Sound is a trendsetter in the urban music festivals scene. Known for showcasing star-studded line-ups in pop, rock, and underground music, it has become one of the Europe’s largest and most prestigious festivals.
The festival began on a small scale in 2001. Since its modest beginnings, Primavera Sound cultivated its strong commitment to bringing in the best beats – which is one of the reasons it became a lusted-after festival.
Urban and bold, Primavera Sound is the brainchild of Pablo Soler, a music fan who wanted to bridge the gap between renowned artists and upcoming talents.
Translated to “spring’s sound,” the festival is an annual music celebration takes place during the last week of May.
When the Primavera Sound season kicks in, the festival takes over Parc del Fòrum, a public park in Barcelona that is home to a long list of events.
With nothing but a never-ending love for top-tier artists, the festival books the biggest acts across genres such as electronic, hip-hop, indie, alternative, folk and country.
Here’s everything you need to know about Primavera Sound.
Primavera Sound Festival had a humble beginning
Although Primavera Sound is part of the blue-blooded festivals’ club, the music celebration hadn’t always been the mammoth event we know and love today.
The concept had existed during the 1990s under the form of a party series that took over Barcelona’s clubs. It wasn’t until 2001 that Primavera became a full-fledged festival with an organised agenda.
Taking place in Poble Espanyol, Primavera Sound was a one-day event that attracted 8,000 attendees with artists like UNKLE and Manta Ray. In 2005, it relocated from the Poble Espanyol to Parc del Fòrum, a vast urban landscape that seems purpose-built for the fest.
The festival found its home in Parc del Fòrum
Since it grew in size and popularity, Primavera Sound had to pack its bags and hunt for a space that could accommodate its ever-growing audience. Located on the waterfront in Barcelona’s north, Parc del Fòrum fitted the festival’s needs like a glove.
Featuring both indoor and outdoor areas, the public park is a huge concrete complex that houses many large-scale events.
As one of the city’s most iconic leisure centres, music festivals like Off Week and Festival Cruilla chose Parc del Fòrum as their go-to venue.
Success led to an expansion to Porto in 2012
After years of success in Barcelona, the festival was organized for the first time at the Parque da Cidade in Porto, Portugal, to take advantage of musicians on tour.
International names from all over the world take the Primavera stage
Primavera Sound is a pro at delivering jaw-dropping lineups, as previous editions showcase major league names from the music industry. The long list includes the likes of Miley Cyrus, Arctic Monkeys, A$AP Rocky and J Balvin, further highlighting Primavera’s commitment to diverse beats.
Along with the biggest global artists, the festival takes pride in promoting new music and upcoming bands. Artists like Shygirl, Jane Fitz, and Wet leg are just some of the budding talents that used Primavera Sound’s stages to showcase their talents.
There are 16 stages at Primavera Sound Festival
During the festival, several stages are named after the festival’s sponsors, such as Seat, Pull&Bear, Rockdelux, Adidas, and Heineken.
Two main brand-sponsored stages where the headlining acts are performed, draw the largest crowds. The Primavera, Auditori del Fòrum and Seafront Stages are a venue for the B-list artists.
The soon-to-be big artists and various DJs perform at Village Stage, Lotus Stage and Your Stage.
The festival witnessed a three-hour concert
While most artists spend an hour on festival stakes, Primavera Sound has a history of hosting extensive performances. The longest concert that Primavera attendees witnessed was a three-hour The Cure performance.
The band headlined the festival in 2012 and showed off some of their biggest hits, including Boys Don’t Cry and Friday I’m in Love, making history as the longest performance ever given at Primavera Sound.
Primavera Sound set a benchmark for equal gender representation
Primavera Sound 2019 edition attempted to showcase a gender-balanced lineup with equal numbers of female and male performers. Primavera’s head of press, Marta Pallarès, told The Guardian “We need to change the ‘pale, male and stale’ paradigm.”
The festival’s initiative created a reference point for festivals that strived to reflect equal gender representation on their lineups. Acts by women artists at the festival in 2019 included icons like Cardi B, Rosalía, Robyn, Carly Rae Jepsen, Charli XCX, and Lizzo.
Primavera Sound is the winner of many awards
The music festival won many important awards like the Greener Festival Award for the Highly Commended category in 2012. Primavera didn’t stop at one award as it scored European Festival Awards‘s title Artists’ Favorite Festival in 2014.
The festival is synonymous with 52 hours of live music
Primavera Sound is a mecca for music lovers, as the first performances generally start at 12 PM and end in the wee hours of the morning. That sums up to 17 and a half hours of music everyday.
Over the course of three days, only a hardcore music lover can expose his ears to a 52-hour beat session – don’t forget to bag your festival earplugs though.
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