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Primavera Sound 2019

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Best of PS 2019

1. best concert - Janelle Monae. This is how I imagine a festival headliner. Great show, the band and the dancers were lovely and of course Janelle's performance was flawless. After the first song I realised that running away earlier to catch Suede is not an option.

2. second best concert / worst clash - Suede. At least there weren't many people moving from Janelle to Suede, so I was able to move there very quickly and enjoyed the brilliant 45 minutes of Suede.

3. best moment - when I realised (running from Sigrid and making my peace with missing the first few songs of Interpol) that Mordor is strangely quiet. Thanks god they were late. I was able to enjoy the entire Interpol show (and there was a lot to enjoy). 

4. discovery of PS 2019 - Dream Wife. Their show was full of energy and a lot of fun. Best new name that Primavera introduced me to this year.

5. biggest surprise - Yaeji. Not my favourite kind of music, I was just killing time before Maribou State, but what a surprise. I didn't know that a singalong at the house concert is a thing. :) Lots of positive energy, she was really adorable and seemed like she was enjoying it a lot. Hidden gem of PS 2019 for me.

Other performances I have enjoyed a lot (chronologically):

Shonen Knife

Sigrid

Maribou State

Putochinomaricon

Birkins (I wouldn't mind if there was another Bowie's album somehow involved in next year's line-up)

Jungle

Carino

Built to Spill

The Beths (what a nice way to end a festival... and what a nice feeling to get into bed before 1 a.m.)

and lots of others...

I am the first one to admit that I wasn't particularly happy with this year's line-up after it was announced, but I was very wrong. My third Primavera Sound was the best one so far!

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much much less stressful time for me this year. enjoyed it so much i've gone from "eh this'll probably be my last for a while" to "soooo who's in next year ?"

grass in mordor was a revelation. was able to dance to janelle monae in my socks

cup game was fun - i was in an apartment with 9 others so we managed to get all but 2009 and 2020 by saturday without effort. unfortunately one our lot did find a 2020 cup... but so late on saturday night/sunday morning it didn't matter in the end. ah well!

i'd counter with some posters that the friday night run at the main stages was one of the best prima have done in my 4 years there (different strokes tho). everyone having a great time, very gay friendly, i was expecting a bit of a car crash for miley cyrus too but she kinda killed it. and someone gave carly rae a sword ?

shout out to the chicken satay skewers from the se asian street food place. best festy food i've had in a long time

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Okay, after a few days to recover it's great to look back at this weekend. Like a lot of people, 2017 was my first year after missing out on the incredible 2016 lineup that got the festival's name into the mouths of every Pitchfork reader and beyond.

I loved it in 2017 and 2018 but this year was like something I have never experienced before. A lot of media are focussing on the success of a 50/50 gender split and as much as some people may think this is simply being used as a way for publishers to show they're in favour of gender equality, it fucking worked.

There wasn't a second that there was nobody I wanted to see play and the calibre of these acts was just incredible.

Just going to breakdown a few parts that some people who aren't sure about going can use for next year:

1. GETTING WRISTBANDS: Super easy with no issues. I got mine from Apolo on the Tuesday before Homeshake and Cate Le Bon. Took maybe 3 minutes.

2. ENTRY: Longest I waited to enter the main site was about 2 minutes and I was entering at about 6:30PM every day.

3. LEAVING: I got the tram every night from Wednesday to Saturday and never had an issue leaving at 5AM. This was one of the many ways back to the centre but they come every half an hour and take you to Glories where you can easily move to the metro or walk to where you're staying.

4. LAYOUT: This was the first time I got to experience the auditorium and fuck me, it's beautiful. I saw Julien Baker on the Thursday and it was just the perfect start before the impending organised chaos. I also got to spend a small amount of time over the bridge and that change there was a great call. The cube stage was perfect for acts like Joy Orbison where you can place yourself anywhere in the field and have great sound. The new Lotus stage on the beach was my favourite this year. I only saw Lizzo and Tierra Whack there but that was probably the greatest festival experience I've had in a long time.

5. THE MAIN STAGES: Normally, I stay away from the main stages because of the dusty ground but I spent way more than half my time there this year. The new fake grass was excellent as it meant your feet didn't take such a beating and it just looked so much better. Additionally, a lot of the acts had great sound. In previous years I've had some issues and despite some being a little quiet for my taste (first half of Tame Impala was far too quiet) I found that acts like Carly Rae and Courtney Barnett absolutely blew me away. Janelle Monae was the best show of the weekend but after Tame Impala started using those laser beams during Elephant I think it took me hours to pick my jaw off the floor.

6. FOOD; As always, the selection was top notch and the prices were reasonable in most places. Queues weren't bad apart from before Rosalia and in other moments on the Saturday. The Impossible meatballs were incredible for anyone vegan/veggie so I hope they come back next year.

7. THE BARS: Yep, same as last year and as other people have said - such a terrible system. I have almost 20 plastic cups in my house now due to the new policy where you have to pay for a cup which you can then re-use. The issue is you can't then return the cup and get your euro back. I really hope they revise this for next year because rather than sorting out the plastic problem, they're just shifting the responsibility to the people who come to the festival. These cups aren't recyclable either so not sure what thought would happen.

8. TALKING: It was very much the same as always. Even at the smaller stages, unless you were near the front you were surrounded by people talking. The only time it was silent was during Rosalia and Nathy Peluso. I'm not sure what this says about the English and non-speaking fans and artists but it's just something you have to get used to

There's really so much more to say about this year but I am absolutely blown away. Probably the best weekend of my life and I'll definitely be back for my fourth time and their 20th anniversary in 2020.

TOP ACTS

1. Janelle Monae

2. Dream Wife

3. Jungle

4. Erykah Badu

5. Tame Impala

6. Tierra Whack

7. Courtney Barnett

8. Rosalia

9. Loyle Carner

10. Haru Nemuri (If this was a live band it would have been number 1)

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My 8th Primavera & after missing 2017 & 2018 I can say that this one is up there with the best.

Just for atmosphere alone it was something very special, my fear was it would be too crowded this year, but it was never difficult moving around, getting food & drink (i personally found the bars fine, just went to the stages with no music if too busy & kept hold of the cups we were given) & getting down the front even at the main stages.  I also didn't hear much talking, you could hear a pin drop at both Rosalia & Low, & stuff like Carly Rae Jepsen was just a full on party.  Also got right down the front for Solange & her set blew my mind.

It also helped that 2019 possibly had the most perfect weather of any edition yet.

But overall like mentioned above the 50/50 thing worked, it WASN'T a stunt, it made for the most diverse Primavera yet.  I mean in the space of the Friday I went from seeing Midori Takada to Snail Mail, Sons of Kemet to Carly Rae Jepsen, Chai, Low & Cybotron (on a beach!).  It's all over the shop in the greatest possible way.

I will say that the Aldous Harding set was so badly timed, was anyone down the front for that one?  She was getting drowned out & I wish she had played the auditori.

Highlights were The Comet is Coming (I liked that new Heineken stage but we were in there early & down the front, it was crowded & hot but that added to the intensity of their performance for me), Solange, everyone shutting up for Low (seriously, it was like they were playing indoors!), Chai, Haru Nemuri (so much fun), dancing in the sun to Sons of Kemet & their 4 drummers, & of course the return of Stereolab.

Bring on 2020!!

 

 

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It was my 8th Primavera. Last year I did a lap of Forum on the Saturday because I thought I wouldn't be back. Then they announced Stereolab and Guided By Voices and I thought I would give it another go. I'm glad I did, this was best in years.

The New Normal gave a breadth to the music and genres. I see there's a facebook debate sparked by BBC article on 50/50 bills and people are worried that there wouldn't be enough female acts to merit a place. But the reality was the opposite in fact only Dream Wife seemed overpromoted and even then they just need another year's gigging.

The crowd seemed nicer this year, fewer people seemed to have made the trip because they like one or two bands and fancy the idea of a festival by the beach.  So that meant less discussions during bands and less of the endless shifting of groups of mildly interested people between stages.

Great to have three days at the Auditori again - Midori Takada, the Bulgarian Choir etc were fab.

The Wednesday, Day Pro, and Sunday felt downgraded this year. The days of LCD Soundsystem warm-up gig in BARTS or Fucked Up / Oh Sees in Apolo or Mudhoney at the museum are over I think.

Only ventured to Morder twice - half a set each of Erykah Badu and Janelle Monae. Both excellent, creative and bonkers.

Favourites were - Stereolab, Guided By Voices, SLF, Shonen Knife, Swervedriver, Sons of Kemet, The Beths, Liz Phair, Low, Suede, Aghost, Primal Scream. Listening to the Champions League commentary whilst Shellac played The End of Radio, which I like to think is what John Peel would have done.  

I could have done with more impossibly loud guitars at three am.

Saw a rapper singing a song called "I Can't Wait Until Morrisey Fucking Dies" whilst holding a baguette, what was that all about? Was it a beef baguette?

But the absolute best moment was sat on the steps of the RayBan, eating Ramen whilst Jarvis played and crying because Liverpool were Champions of Europe and I was about to see Stereolab.

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This was my sixth in a row, they've all been great, this one no exception.

The festival is definitely changing, in good and bad ways.

Good

The New Normal makes it a much more diverse festival, and this is necessary, otherwise the festival just becomes a time capsule for white guy music and will die. Being a white guy myself I love the white guy stuff we're offered, but my festival closers were Jarvis Cocker, Primal Scream, Stereolab, and Roisin Murphy, and all were great, but had their finest moments over 20 years ago. Next year's big announcement is for a band who haven't released any new material in 20 years.

More colour in the audience.

The cups were fun.

Grass in Mordor. My feet are eternally grateful.

It was a lot easier to get around this time.

Seeing the Necks in a big auditorium, two weeks after seeing them in a small club. Seeing Stereolab again. Seeing GBV again. Janelle and Erykah Badu. Seeing all three Japanese girl bands! The Nordic pop perfection that is Sigrid.

Bad

The Pull and Bear shop was an abomination. Moving the traditional stalls to a crappy location to make way for it was horribly disrespectful to people who have been part of the festival for years.

Night Pro was ruined. It's normally one of the highlights of the festival for me, and I didn't go there because the location was awful.

I couldn't understand the point of the OCB Paper Sessions stage when it was used just three times, and one of the bands - CHAI - only played for 20 minutes.

The bars. They need to get a time and motion consultant in, or failing that, someone who isn't a total idiot.

Not seeing the inevitable confrontation between the pro- and anti-Morrissey t-shirt wearers.

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There's no such thing as white/black guy music. Music is music and anyone is free to play what style they like.

Unless you have synesthesia you're going to get music through the medium of sound and vibration, not color. 

Statements like that come across pretty regressive for a diverse person like yourself. 

 

Sigrid is pretty cool though and going to check out Janelle next month. 

 

Edited by Rico_Pliskin
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47 minutes ago, daveje said:

This was my sixth in a row, they've all been great, this one no exception.

The festival is definitely changing, in good and bad ways.

Good

The New Normal makes it a much more diverse festival, and this is necessary, otherwise the festival just becomes a time capsule for white guy music and will die. Being a white guy myself I love the white guy stuff we're offered, but my festival closers were Jarvis Cocker, Primal Scream, Stereolab, and Roisin Murphy, and all were great, but had their finest moments over 20 years ago. Next year's big announcement is for a band who haven't released any new material in 20 years.

More colour in the audience.

The cups were fun.

Grass in Mordor. My feet are eternally grateful.

It was a lot easier to get around this time.

Seeing the Necks in a big auditorium, two weeks after seeing them in a small club. Seeing Stereolab again. Seeing GBV again. Janelle and Erykah Badu. Seeing all three Japanese girl bands! The Nordic pop perfection that is Sigrid.

Bad

The Pull and Bear shop was an abomination. Moving the traditional stalls to a crappy location to make way for it was horribly disrespectful to people who have been part of the festival for years.

Night Pro was ruined. It's normally one of the highlights of the festival for me, and I didn't go there because the location was awful.

I couldn't understand the point of the OCB Paper Sessions stage when it was used just three times, and one of the bands - CHAI - only played for 20 minutes.

The bars. They need to get a time and motion consultant in, or failing that, someone who isn't a total idiot.

Not seeing the inevitable confrontation between the pro- and anti-Morrissey t-shirt wearers.

I have to agree on a lot here. I absolutely love being so exhausted on my way out but being brought back to life while geeking out about all the merch and prints by the entrance/exit. Really need to get rid of that shop and bring back the tunnel of merch!

Also, I forgot to mention in my review. I got the bus service a couple of times and it changed my festival. Right after Rosalia (I think the biggest crowd of the weekend) me and four friends walked to the far corner of the main stage and got the bus to the beach with no waiting at all. It took ten minutes, saved my feet and meant we could see most of Lizzo!

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Really interesting reading everyones reviews! I just got home last night and I'm straight back to work today so bordering on suicidal. Please forgive all spelling/grammatical errors, my body has grown accustomed to Strawberry Daq's for breakfast at 11am each day, porridge simply hasn't cut it this morning.

I've been the last 4 years and this was by far my favourite (the general consensus in my group of 15 or so), the best festival I've ever been to (including Glastonbury) and I would go as far as saying one of the best weeks of my life! I'm really glad to see that so many other people had a great time.

Some of my experiences:

Queuing:

- I was extremely critical last year. The line up was close to perfect for me but I had the worst time. Getting in was a pisstake, literally every bar was a complete joke - I went to MadCool last year and I thought that was better organised! This year I was in within 5 minutes every day. I didn't queue for longer than 5 minutes for a drink either, the only exception was when a headliner was on a mainstage (I was happy to miss a few Miley songs which I was forced to go to with mates) but I'd just scope out one of the Heineken bag guys to avoid having to go to the bar on most occasions. I vaguely remember Primavera saying that they were hiring more staff for this edition, I'm not entirely sure if it was that OR a smaller capacity/less tickets sold but whatever it was it really worked for me!

Crowd:

- The capacity was much better than any year I've been. I couldn't believe I was literally getting between acts like Solange to Primal Scream in 5/10 minutes, it meant I was able to see more acts than I ever have and I didn't need to prioritise acts on what stages they were on instead of how excited I was to see them. With the progressive nature of the gender split line up it felt like the general audience demographic was a different person, there was a huge LGBTQ+ presence which (without trying to stereotype, if anyone is offended by this I'm sorry!) meant the whole place felt funner and dancier than I've seen it. It was such a good vibe to look around seeing people dancing everywhere in multicoloured kimonos rather than standing glumly holding a pint, wearing a black flag tshirt (not trying to offend but I'm much less scared of the black flag community so come at me). Granted there were the same issues with talking (mainly at the main stages) but I'd either move to a quieter spot or politely ask people to stop, it didn't bother me as much as it normally does. I managed to get a good spot at every stage without having to push through anyone or arrive ridiculously early.

Cup system:

I didn't have the energy to collect them all but that was a cool idea. What was the deal with the 20th cup, was it easy to find or a whole golden ticket thing? I managed to get a cup for the 4 years I've been to take home as a souvenir which was so cool. Also it helped with the littering so much! The whole site seemed a lot cleaner and obviously the real winner here is the planet.

Playing 5 a sides at Mordor:

How did it take them so long to figure out this was essential? Just being able to sit or lay down on the grass listening to someone like Kurt Vile playing was incredible, it was so great for people in our group who weren't too fussed about certain artists, they could just comfortably sit back in the sun enjoying each others company instead of being forced to stand near the front on concrete to be with everyone.

Transport:

- My hotel is a 30 minute walk from the festival so if there's a huge taxi queue I'll just walk instead, can't really weigh in on this.

Some of my favourite acts:

- Alice Phoebe Lou (Mind blowing, she's going to take over the world)

- Ama Lou

- Big Red Machine (Bringing Julien Baker out was a highlight as she was a clash that I couldn't make)

- Boy Pablo (I had no interest in going to see them as they've never stood out to me, but I chummed a friend and honestly it was the most wholesome thing I've ever seen. The synchronised dancing took me out of any hungover funk I was still in!)

- Janelle Monae

- Pond

- Pusha T

- Robyn

- Solange

- Tame Impala

Some other great moments:

- The Pavement announcement at Primavera stage right before Pusha T came on was such a cool touch, me and my friends were going insane!!!! I was pissing myself when they scored out Frank Ocean's eyes.

- Bumped in to both Hatchie and Lucy Dacus at the bar and they were super cool.

- Pond dropping a cover of Ray of Light, sorry to anyone within a 100 metre vicinity who heard me screaming.

- I was considering leaving James Blake as I was a bit bored for that time of the night but the set suddenly burst in to a huge rave

- Having a drunken cigarette with Mac outside the apolo on Wednesday night at 3am was wild, picture below.

- All the completely weird and outrageous people I met along the way, I think I've came home with about 30 new followers on instagram.

Only real negative for me:

I drank Heinneken when at the main stages but generally I prefer spirits. You get really great measures at the fest BUT it seems very over the top to pay 8/9 euros for one! My liver is eternally grateful but my bank balance is not.

Next year:

At the end of 2018's festival a lot of our group dropped out, the rest that did come bought a ticket last minute and rather reluctantly (it took a bit of convincing on my part). Every single one of us this year is a 100% to be back. They did a fantastic job imo and it's only served as making me more upset that I have to wait a whole year to be back!

 

mac demarco.PNG

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51 minutes ago, Rico_Pliskin said:

There's no such thing as white/black guy music. Music is music and anyone is free to play what style they like.

Yeah of course, but the history of the festival is basically white-guy fronted guitar bands. Look at the headliners from 10 years ago (one of the nice things about the cups). 13 names, all white, only two fronted by women. Complete turnaround this year: the top 9 names included five women headliners, three of them black.

I was chatting to a black woman from London on the metro, asked her who she was her for. It was Erykah and Janelle, mainly. Another example: I was walking to Mordor and there was a group of black women behind me, and when they heard the band that was currently on (Mac demarco maybe), one of them said "wow, this is white people's music!" You wouldn't have seen them at the festival 10 years ago, there was simply no-one that spoke to them.

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Sometimes I think people have become so diverse in their commentary that they don't realize how segregated their comments truly are. 

And then mention a group of black women to validate it, even though they equally just come across as inane saying similar things like 'this is white people music'. 

It's like some sort of two way mirror where only one person can see clarity and the other person just see's a reflection which echoes their idea back to them thus validating it further.

People unwittingly perpetuating racism under the guise of being inclusive and diverse.

I'm in the Upside down now.

That doesn't take away from the fact that i'm glad that people are listening to the music that they like and are enjoying themselves, long may it continue.

P.S it's nothing personal, I can tell from the way you write you're a nice person. I just don't understand some things these days. :)

 

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23 hours ago, Gnarler said:

8. TALKING: It was very much the same as always. Even at the smaller stages, unless you were near the front you were surrounded by people talking. The only time it was silent was during Rosalia and Nathy Peluso. I'm not sure what this says about the English and non-speaking fans and artists but it's just something you have to get used to

 

I can't believe everyone here is saying this, I have no idea where you were standing but for me the audience completely ruined Rosalía's concert, I went there after seeing Tim Hecker at the Auditori and I arrived there a couple of minutes after the concert has started, I tried to get through the crowd and get a decent spot but it was impossible, it was full of Spanish people talking everywhere, like literally, in the middle, at the back, everywhere! There wasn't a single person who was actually listening to Rosalía singing, after 20 minutes of changing places I just gave up and went straight to the Seat stage to get a good spot for Solange (I ended up standing in the front row, best decision ever). It was the only concert at the whole festival where I had this problem, all the other shows were enjoyable even when I wasn't at the front, but I'm kinda sad about this as I don't think I'll be able to see Rosalía outside of Spain...

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18 hours ago, kitkat129 said:

I can't believe everyone here is saying this, I have no idea where you were standing but for me the audience completely ruined Rosalía's concert, I went there after seeing Tim Hecker at the Auditori and I arrived there a couple of minutes after the concert has started, I tried to get through the crowd and get a decent spot but it was impossible, it was full of Spanish people talking everywhere, like literally, in the middle, at the back, everywhere! There wasn't a single person who was actually listening to Rosalía singing, after 20 minutes of changing places I just gave up and went straight to the Seat stage to get a good spot for Solange (I ended up standing in the front row, best decision ever). It was the only concert at the whole festival where I had this problem, all the other shows were enjoyable even when I wasn't at the front, but I'm kinda sad about this as I don't think I'll be able to see Rosalía outside of Spain...

Oh wow, I'm really sorry to hear that. Like you said, everyone I spoke to seemed to find it very quiet.

I arrived about 2 minutes before she came on after running from Loyle Carner and squeezed in so I was near the first bar in the middle to the left hand side and there was a good amount of space. The loudest people there were my friends (who I had so shush constantly). 

Really sorry you didn't get a good experience because she put on a great show. I believe she is playing Somerset House in London this summer but I can't imagine she has many fans in Budapest :(

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10 minutes ago, xxialac said:

RIP Dr John.

Thank you Primavera for bringing him to Europe. What a man.

Very sad news.  I remember his set a few years back being great.

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5 hours ago, daveje said:

Guardian obituary appropriately has a photo from the Primavera set in 2014. Real privilege to be there.

Was magical. Life doesn't get much better than being at the Rayban in the sun with your friends, looking out over the med and watching Dr John do his glorious thing.

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Pre-Early birds on sale on Monday. Anybody know what time? They go very quickly.

 

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On 6/15/2019 at 12:07 PM, Boris said:

Pre-Early birds on sale on Monday. Anybody know what time? They go very quickly.

 

The Tickets that will be on sale on Monday are the Pre-Early Bird. They will be on sale until July 3rd, and they're only for the 2019 full festival ticket holders (at the cost of 145€). I don't think that they'll run out of those tickets in few hours. It could happen to the Early Bird ones, on sale from July 4th and until they sell out. They'll cost 150€. No sale start time was specified anyway

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