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Primavera Sound consolidates its position as a star music festival

Pulp, PJ Harvey, Belle & Sebastian, P.I.L, The White Stripes, Interpol, The National, Sufjan Stevens or Nick Cave were some of the participating artists. Barcelona’s indie music festival ended its largest edition with a record audiences, number of concerts and space occupied. The Primavera Sound music festival was held in Barcelona from Wednesday evening until Sunday.

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30 May 2011 10:45 PM

by

ACN / Pau Cortina / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona became the world\u2019s gravity centre of independent music for five days. 221 bands and 140,000 people participated in the tenth edition of the San Miguel Primavera Sound, breaking records and consolidating the festival as a must see in the world\u2019s indie pop panorama. The music festival took place in Barcelona from Wednesday May 25th until Sunday May 29th, although Thursday, Friday and Saturday were the days of maximum intensity and the event\u2019s main days. On those days the festival was held at the Forum Park by the sea. PJ Harvey, Belle & Sebastian, The White Stripes, Interpol, The National, Sufjan Stevens, Nick Cave, Low, The Flaming Lips, Animal Collective or P.I.L, from the former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon, were some of the artists that played in one of the eight stages at Forum Park, three of which were large. Over those three days, simultaneous concerts were held non-stop from the afternoon until the next morning. Despite the variety and the large number of bands present, the festival\u2019s climax was Pulp\u2019s concert on Friday evening, in which the mythical Brit pop band reunited again, ten years after their split up. Besides, the festival had a parallel programmes: one for music professionals and specialised journalists, with conferences and showcases called \u2018PrimaveraPro\u2019, and a second offering original proposals across city venues called \u2018Primavera a la ciutat\u2019.


The three evening sessions at the Forum Park were the festivals core, when it displayed most of its performances. The opening on Wednesday evening was an appetiser, held at the festival\u2019s former venue, the \u2018Poble Espanyol\u2019 in Monjuïc. 5,300 people listened to the opening concert with Caribou\u2019s electronic magic, Echo & The Bunnymen\u2019s classic pop, Comet Gain\u2019s indie pop and the Japanese band Nisennenmondai. A similar number of people attended the closing party, organised on Sunday afternoon at the Parc Central de Poblenou, in Barcelona\u2019s 22@ district. In the Primavera Sound\u2019s final session Mercury Rev, BMX Bandits, My Teenage Stride and Me and the Bees played.

Despite kicking off on Wednesday, the festival really took off on Thursday afternoon, with the beginning of concerts at the Forum venue, where eight stages were available for some of the world´s most famous bands. More than 120,000 attended the Forum on one of the three nights. The Forum venue hosted around 44,000 people at the same time. On Thursday evening, \u2018Belle & Sebastian\u2019 offered a concert that was not as special as their previous appearance in Barcelona eight months ago.

Pulp reunites for Barcelona\u2019s Primavera Sound

Despite the great concerts held, the festival\u2019s climax was Pulp\u2019s 90 minute concert on Friday night. The British band played again on stage after splitting up ten years ago. Pulp wowed the audience with hits such as \u2018Babies\u2019, \u2018Disco 2000\u2019, but \u2018Common People\u2019 make the crowd go wild, especially after the band\u2019s lead singer\u2019s words. Jarvis Cocker dedicated the song to the people camped in Barcelona\u2019s Catalunya Square, the \u201Cinfuriated\u201D protesters who the same day were hit by the Catalan Police in an attempt to remove them from the square. Cocker said it \u201Cinfuriated\u201D him, and he sympathised with those wanting to change the system and take part in the #Spanishrevolution.

Apart from Pulp, the festival had some much awaited concerts on Friday, such as James Blake and Twin Shadow. Saturday reserved top artists, such as the indie pop muse PJ Harvey. John Cale, together with the instrumental band BCN216 who played all his album \u20181916\u2019 in the Forum Building\u2019s Auditorium, called Rockdelux for the festival.

\u2018PrimaveraPro\u2019 and \u2018Primavera a la ciutat\u2019

The festival had a parallel programme for music professionals called \u2018PrimaveraPro\u2019. More than 1,000 professionals from 36 different countries and around 1,200 specialised journalists gathered together for a series of showcases that offered a sample of bands making their debut, in order to project them internationally. Besides these restricted concerts, conferences and networking events were also organised.

Finally, the music festival wanted to project its activities across the city of Barcelona via the \u2018Primavera a la ciutat\u2019. Starting some ten days before the festival kicked off, scheduled performances took place in several spots throughout the city, most of them in unusual formats. More than 5,000 people attended these activities, which were mainly focused on bands from Barcelona, such as Violet Lades, Desmond, and Vistalegre, although international artists such as Darren Hayman or Eli Paperboy Reed also participated in this initiative.

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  • Jarvis Cocker, Pulp's leading singer, at this year's Primavera Sound (by P. Cortina)

  • The National playing at the 2011 Primaver Sound (by P. Cortina)

  • One of the large format stages, with the sea at the back, moments before The National's concert (by P. Cortina)

  • Another moment of Pulp's concert at the 2011 Primavera Sound (by P. Cortina)

  • Around 140,000 people attended this year's Primavera Sound (by P. Cortina)

  • Jarvis Cocker, Pulp's leading singer, at this year's Primavera Sound (by P. Cortina)
  • The National playing at the 2011 Primaver Sound (by P. Cortina)
  • One of the large format stages, with the sea at the back, moments before The National's concert (by P. Cortina)
  • Another moment of Pulp's concert at the 2011 Primavera Sound (by P. Cortina)
  • Around 140,000 people attended this year's Primavera Sound (by P. Cortina)