Primavera Sound Barcelona

Primavera Sound. Coachella’s way cooler older cousin or the party with the ‘cool kids’. Kaya Strehler can’t decide which metaphor she likes better for the great Summer festival in Barcelona.

So picture this. There’s a party, not just any party, one of those parties that go on for days but sadly seem to flash by. One of those parties that people reflect upon back in their boring normal lives. One of those parties that all the ‘cool kids’ go to and cohabitate the event with us measly minions. One of those parties where good vibes are flowing and by golly! Is that? Yes it is! There’s a Ferris wheel! One of those parties that has delicious ocean spirit and city hustle, you can hear either, depending on what you prefer. One of those parties that you wake up and think ‘did that actually happen?’

I am of course referring to the reputable Primavera Sound music festival in Barcelona. Sure it’s a ‘festival’ but you say tomato, I say party. The event last year was my first time partying with the Spaniards (and the rest of the visiting world) and it was, well, you get it by the intro right? I didn’t even have to resort to alcohol to assimilate more fun. I completely forgot about that whole factor of the event. I was, as those idiots say, ‘high on life’.

Fear not. You too can get high on life with the ‘cool kids’. And in case I was a little bit too ambiguous before, cool kids was a metaphor for the god-like musicians transcending their god-like terrain to party with the minions (us). Since its first year in 2001, Primavera has built this reputation as a hot commodity. Let me throw some numbers at you. In 2001 only 7700 punters came to watch 19 bands. Last year, over 170 000 people flew in from around the world to witness 235 bands across a multitude of genres.

Not like a typical festival where it catches the hottest acts at the time, Primavera Sound brings bands out of retirement to play, teams big names with the unknown – they even had The Cure play in 2012 for God’s sakes! It also creates an annually unique graphic campaign each year and enlists people like director Alex Julià to create the most epic way possible to announce a festival’s line up. ‘Line Up’ (featured above) is a 26 minute short film about a dude working in a record store who ends up listening to a mysterious record and weirdness ensues. Throughout the film the names of the participating bands are cleverly placed on pretty ladies t-shirts, background posters, laundry signs, throughout the guys kick-ass loft. You get the point. Band names everywhere including Arcade Fire, The National, Kendrick Lamar, Nine Inch Nails, Pixies, Volcano Choir, CHVCHES, Cut Copy, Foals, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Haim, Warpaint, Sky Ferreira, Blood Orange and SBTKT just to boast a few.

If you can’t commit to the whole 26 minutes, they offered up also a 3 minute lazy person version. Or you could just check out the Primavera Sound site.



Words by Kaya Strehler.