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.

CNA / Pau Cortina / Gaspar Pericay Coll

May 30, 2011 10:45 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona became the world’s 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’s 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’s 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’s climax was Pulp’s 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 ‘PrimaveraPro’, and a second offering original proposals across city venues called ‘Primavera a la ciutat’.

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’s former venue, the ‘Poble Espanyol’ in Monjuïc. 5,300 people listened to the opening concert with Caribou’s electronic magic, Echo & The Bunnymen’s classic pop, Comet Gain’s 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’s 22@ district. In the Primavera Sound’s 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, ‘Belle & Sebastian’ offered a concert that was not as special as their previous appearance in Barcelona eight months ago.

Pulp reunites for Barcelona’s Primavera Sound

Despite the great concerts held, the festival’s climax was Pulp’s 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 ‘Babies’, ‘Disco 2000’, but ‘Common People’ make the crowd go wild, especially after the band’s lead singer’s words. Jarvis Cocker dedicated the song to the people camped in Barcelona’s Catalunya Square, the “infuriated” protesters who the same day were hit by the Catalan Police in an attempt to remove them from the square. Cocker said it “infuriated” 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 ‘1916’ in the Forum Building’s Auditorium, called Rockdelux for the festival.

PrimaveraPro’ and ‘Primavera a la ciutat’

The festival had a parallel programme for music professionals called ‘PrimaveraPro’. 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 ‘Primavera a la ciutat’. 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.