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Primavera Sound 2022


daveje

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8 minutes ago, Zoo Music Girl said:

Yeah that's fair. I think I was expecting something with a similar vibe but that was probably unfair. Primavera was a lot more like All Points East or similar to me.

Primavera is like two crowds in one, particularly as of this year.

The party goers, mostly just there to hang with mates and for the big act at Mordor. Often disrespectful and drunk. Disproportionately British (or at least not local).

= the All Points East set’

And then a majority of the people in the auditori or watching a gig at a smaller stage or an afternoon or city show. Generally there primarily for the music and warm and respectful to the performer and to others.

= the Primavera crowd of almost all of the last two decades

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My 7th Primavera, but my first since 2016. I did weekend 1 but have unfortunately been unwell since returning home, so just back up to speed now. 

The attendance was massive - do we reckon "oversold"?  I've been at Primavera for supposed sell out days before but it felt far busier. I think the potential capacity of BITS is now taken into account, and really a lot of folk didn't bother with the hike to get there.

I get how the twin stages at mordor are in theory excellent, as the big acts keep coming in quick succession, but in reality it has led to horrible overcrowding. 

Thursday was a car crash. Standing right up the back of the ray ban steps trying to see yo la tengo (!) was nightmarish. It was just such a different experience to the previous fests. Sad. Possibly a reflection of the relative weakness of Thursdays Bill. Most folk opted for the same things. 

The other days improved, but there are now crowds almost everywhere. Unless you're up for a battle and losing all your pals, you're not getting anywhere near the front of headline sets anymore. I was watching acts like Parquet Courts and Wet Leg, at the "smaller" stages, from almost behind pillars etc. I was halfway down mordor for tame impala, and in a sea of people. The boiler room looked comically flimsy. I hardly saw some friends who attended because of the crowds and intermittent phone signal. 

I enjoyed Caribou. I thought they put on a great show. Could have watched their drummer all night. My personal highlights were always going to be the return of Pavement, whose set list was fantastic, plus Nick Cave and Gorillaz on the Saturday night. Nick Cave was 2 hours of magnificence while Gorillaz gradually upped the ante - there can't be many better live acts on the planet. The crowd crush between Cave and Gorillaz was pretty crazy though. 

I also stayed on to see Tyler, 
and he was well worth it. But I did then have a bad time getting home. Nobody knew where the shuttle bus was, the metro queue was huge, and I eventually got a tram.

As a final point, trying to get a beer during Sharon van ettens lovely set, I found there was quite a hefty sheer drop over a low wall at the side of the Binance stage. If they're going to pile all these people into the venue, they need to stress test it much better. Otherwise, death or serious injury seems inevitable. 

I wont be back but I'm a 42 year old dad, and really I need to do more chilled out fests from now on, if at all. The acts are simply on way too late for me 🙂

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20 minutes ago, Bram said:

Don’t forget the crampped public transportation otw back from the festival.

I take the rental bike so forgot about that one. After hearing all the stories I am definitely doing that again next time. 

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6 minutes ago, xxialac said:

Primavera is like two crowds in one, particularly as of this year.

The party goers, mostly just there to hang with mates and for the big act at Mordor. Often disrespectful and drunk. Disproportionately British (or at least not local).

= the All Points East set’

And then a majority of the people in the auditori or watching a gig at a smaller stage or an afternoon or city show. Generally there primarily for the music and warm and respectful to the performer and to others.

= the Primavera crowd of almost all of the last two decades

Yeah it's partly the crowd, partly all the sponsorship and partly the going home and coming back each day. Makes it feel a series of disconnected gigs rather than a cohesive whole. To be fair, I did worry that's how a non-camping festival would feel so shouldn't have been a huge surprise!

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3 minutes ago, Zoo Music Girl said:

Yeah it's partly the crowd, partly all the sponsorship and partly the going home and coming back each day. Makes it feel a series of disconnected gigs rather than a cohesive whole. To be fair, I did worry that's how a non-camping festival would feel so shouldn't have been a huge surprise!

But that’s half of the charm! We always book great restaurants, go to the beach, have a dip in the pool. Visit an incredible city (liked Moco & that glen e Friedman expo). Beats waking up in a over heated tent at 10am every time!

Agree on sponsorship but that’s at most festivals nowadays, no?

Edited by Rhak
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1 minute ago, Rhak said:

But that’s half of the charm! We always book great restaurants, go to the beach, have a dip in the pool. Visit an incredible city (liked Moco & that glen e Friedman expo). Beats waking up in a over heated tent at 10am every time!

Agree on sponsorship but that’s at most festivals nowadays, no?

I'm glad I gave it a go but I think for me I'd rather do a festival OR go on holiday. We were too tired to do anything else on the festival days and while I enjoyed some time in Barcelona afterwards I found everywhere so busy because of the festival that I'd rather come back another time.

I know sponsorship is everywhere, but usually the festival has a bit of its own character alongside it in the branding. Didn't feel that way at all to me. I felt like I was in a car park!

 

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19 minutes ago, xxialac said:

Primavera is like two crowds in one, particularly as of this year.

The party goers, mostly just there to hang with mates and for the big act at Mordor. Often disrespectful and drunk. Disproportionately British (or at least not local).

= the All Points East set’

And then a majority of the people in the auditori or watching a gig at a smaller stage or an afternoon or city show. Generally there primarily for the music and warm and respectful to the performer and to others.

= the Primavera crowd of almost all of the last two decades

Well, I found those Primavera crowd at Mordor, with several of them crying when Nick Cave sang into my arms. 🙂

But totally agree with your opinion.

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like everyone else i just got covid (for the first time) however other than that had a great time. l went W2 and like others had some issues with the setup of the crowd and bars. but ultimately, the music is where it matters.

i thought the sound was great at all the stages i went to and the performences were great. lorde, strokes, dua lipa, the smile, tame impala, black koffee, pheonix  were all excellent.

the bar staff were hillarioulsly under trained or trained by someone whos never done a festival in their life and trained them over zoom or something. the water running out on the last day was like just a shrug your shoulders and just laugh about it. 

The crowd control or lack of it seemed dangerous on the main stages. i didnt like the lack of crush barrier , though it never caused any issues for me even though i was at the front it just didnt *look* safe enough. im no expert but seemed it could have been dangerous. why these festivals make you take your lid of your water bottle when its 30c and ppl are off their tits is crazy. more likely to die from dehydration than a watter bottle hitting you.

 

The vip bridge situation was dumb too. we got locked out of grimes when you could cleary see their was space and my mates who were their messaging telling us theres loads of space.

 

but ultimately we had a great time as always at primavera. we got lucky with our flat which was a 5min walk to the front gate which really helped our experience massively.

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Really interesting reading all the comments after this year, & happy (or hope) that people aren't TOO bummed out after all the Thursday craziness (especially those on here for who it was their first time).

I've never really been a camping festival person, never done Glastonbury & Coachella was probably enough to put me off doing the camping thing again (and yes, I'd still moan if the weather was rubbish!).

Primavera has always been a bit of a greatest hits for me, the early days you had the ATP stage, then Pitchfork came in, reminds me of the bigger fests like Coachella / All Points East (for better or worse), but then also SXSW with the city shows, and then you have the Auditori which makes it unique, such a beautiful venue with the best sound.

I also love how all over the place the music is, I'm pretty sure I saw (or could have seen), every genre going these past 2 weekends.

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Feel like a lot of issues could be solved with better crowd control.

A few options they could utilise:

  1. "Zigzags" or sectioned queuing for bars or access to Mordor etc.
  2. Better informed staff who can direct festival-goers to the nearest free bar, different sections of the same bar.
  3. More bars nearer main stage and try and expand access to and from the busiest areas
  4. A ciutat-esc live capacity option on the Primavera app which shows which stages/bars are less occupied at any times, even if it's just a rough estimate.
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15 minutes ago, livenstu said:

Really interesting reading all the comments after this year, & happy (or hope) that people aren't TOO bummed out after all the Thursday craziness (especially those on here for who it was their first time).

I've never really been a camping festival person, never done Glastonbury & Coachella was probably enough to put me off doing the camping thing again (and yes, I'd still moan if the weather was rubbish!).

Primavera has always been a bit of a greatest hits for me, the early days you had the ATP stage, then Pitchfork came in, reminds me of the bigger fests like Coachella / All Points East (for better or worse), but then also SXSW with the city shows, and then you have the Auditori which makes it unique, such a beautiful venue with the best sound.

I also love how all over the place the music is, I'm pretty sure I saw (or could have seen), every genre going these past 2 weekends.

Yeah, I find it interesting to read the different experiences too. I know I'm being a negative Nelly, but it's only because I had really high expectations after being told for years how great it was, so it's interesting for me to unpack which bits of those are down to the festival itself and which are just my preference. Probably a fair smattering of both, I think. It's taught me a fair amount about what I look for in a festival experience, especially after not having a proper one in so long!

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1 hour ago, Zoo Music Girl said:

I'm glad I gave it a go but I think for me I'd rather do a festival OR go on holiday. We were too tired to do anything else on the festival days and while I enjoyed some time in Barcelona afterwards I found everywhere so busy because of the festival that I'd rather come back another time.

I know sponsorship is everywhere, but usually the festival has a bit of its own character alongside it in the branding. Didn't feel that way at all to me. I felt like I was in a car park!

 

Fair enough: we were old timers so prepared for no sleep for the meek attitude. The city was definitely more busy than other times, I guess a Jubilee/public holiday on Monday in catholic Europe + 2 weekends made for a sold out city in general. 

And we hadn't been since 2017 so PS hadn't really changed it's looks (leaning on that incredible setting of auditori/cupra, view on the city from mordor, that huge solar power system, view of the sea) but it's true that since 2017 other festivals definitely have stepped up (BKS a great example) in 'dressing up' the grounds.

This in general is what strikes me most: it's as if PS' bookers/organisational people don't visit other festivals, they're not up to speed with how to run a bar (not even after 20 years - and all of a sudden there was a system during Cave which was utterly puzzling / still my main issues being: separate orders/paying/pouring drinks and preferably have different bars for cocktails) and don't have an idea what modern festivals look like (although i guess with their popularity that's mainly a cost cutting thing). Meanwhile I saw bookers from multiple venues/festivals in Belgium at Primavera... Two of them said: if they'd let us run things here, we'd be making so much money 😉

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First timer here who went for both W1 & W2 and had a fabulous time. I won't go into too much detail as a lot of it has been covered but my thoughts generally

Positives
* None of the 'lad culture' or aggressive behaviour you get at UK festivals and gigs
* A lot less pushing and shoving in and out of crowds. Generally, when you are in your spot, you can comfortably stay there for the show. In the UK, people will be pushing in and out throughout. Felt so much less on edge than I usually do.
* Beautiful weather
* Loved the location - the convenience of it being in the city centre and yet still being on the sea is something really special. The walk along the beach each day to get to the festival was so lovely.
* Bars - first day was a shit show but after that I found them to be really great
* Toilets - VIP area was nonsense but the general admission toilets were great. I know people had to queue for some of the toilets and so I speak only as a urinal user and I did not queue for the urinals even once - straight in every single time. And actual sinks and mirrors (although no handwash)
* Lineup - Stacked. Even with all the dropouts and changes, I still managed to see so many great sets from so many different genres.
* Entry - We arrived early and so it was obviously quieter but it was always a breeze getting in
* Free water - Handing out free bottles/cans of water after the complaints of the first day was a great move.
* People - the crowd were just generally really pleasant and easy-going.

Negatives
* VIP - Generally speaking I think VIP areas don't belong at festivals and wouldn't normally pay for them. The Primavera one seemed so good and so we decided to treat ourselves but it was not worth it. Based on the people in the area, I fully appreciate why they would not want them at the front of the stages as it could bring the atmosphere down. However, the change should have been communicated at the time of purchasing the tickets. The VIP area was so terrible - right at the back so could barely see unless you were at the front of it, bar and toilet queues in there were absolutely horrendous, sometimes it was quite difficult/scary to actually get Into it because they kept changing the entrance/exit and so many people crowded around it. It was an eyesore and I think made things more difficult for people in General Admission. We abandoned it most of the time and had a much better time in GA.
* Sound - main stage sound was quite poor for some sets. Fortunately, crowds were decent enough that it wasn't too bad but a chattier crowd could definitely have drowned out some of the sets
* Subdued crowd - whilst I appreciated having a crowd that wasn't unnecessarily rowdy, sometimes we were too far at the other end of the spectrum - no singing, no dancing, just a lot of people stood completely still watching in silence. 
* Lack of a sense of community - I think this is just the downside of non camping festivals, it didn't feel like a 'festival' where we were all in it together with wild abandon. 
* The chaos on Day 1 but I give them credit for fixing everything overnight.
 

Overall, it was just a beautiful time. It doesn't top Glastonbury for me but I can certainly see myself trading other UK festivals for European ones in the future.

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And here's a list of everyone I saw.

Weekend 1
Tame Impala, Charli XCX, Kacey Musgraves, Joey Bada$$, Fred Again, Otoboke Beaver, Black Midi, Faye Webster, Rombo, Caribo, Beach Bunny, Weyes Blood, Mariah The Scientist, Beck, The National, Caribou, Jamie XX, Enny, Les Amazones D'Afrique, Mavis Staples, Jorja Smith, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Gorillaz, Tyler The Creator

Weekend 2
Dua Lipa, Bicep, Bad Boy Chiller Crew, Working Men's Club, Big Thief, Jay Electronica, Squid, Dry Cleaning, Future Utopia, Alex Cameron, Agoraphobia, Marta Knight, CMAT, Sampa The Great, Brittany Howard, Lorde, The Strokes, Burna Boy, Remi Wolf, Genesis Owusu, Angel Bat Dawid, The Weather Station, Celeste, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mura Masa, Jessie Ware, Megan Thee Stallion

Primavera a la Cituat
Rina Sawayama, Teto Preto, Wet Leg, The Linda Lindas, Jamila Woods, Fenne Lily, Keiyaa, Mike, Ibraham Bouloum, Phoenix, Khruangbin, Ride, Magdalena Bay, Pom Pom Squad


Top 5
1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
2. The National
3. Gorillaz
4. Fred Again..
5. Lorde

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Here's my tuppence as a W1 attendee and second time at Primavera overall (1st 2011).

We had an absolute nightmare when we arrived into Barcelona to find our accommodation had been cancelled so after a fairly hectic, and very expensive hour, we arrived pretty late to the festival, pretty much only in time to queue for nearly an hour for a beer before catching Tame Impala, where I thought the sound was way too quiet, but had a great time nontheless. What struck me straight off the bat was the sheer volume of people - I dont recall it being like that the first time round.

Second and third days did seem to improve on the queuing front but a lack of soap at the tail end of a pandemic seemed crazy if not negligent...

Queues for the metro for those first trams of the day were soul (and sole) destroying - will be trying to find a closer hotel for sure next time.

Didn't get to see nearly as many artists as I had planned but what I did I thoroughly enjoyed (shout out to Gorillaz who I watched with zero expectations and only really radio coverage as priors but was blown away.)

The walk to BITS after Jamie XX was frightening - felt fairly certain that scaffolding thing wasnt built for the number of people on it and even though I was high as a kite I was pretty frightened.

Anyhoo, all in all, myself and my 6 mates had a great time and are already sowing the seeds for next year. The ability to sleep in a bed, have a wee mojito on the beach and a dip in the sea, and of course a world class lineup, are all reasons this is the only festival for me.

x

Edited by BA_Barrabus
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4 hours ago, xxialac said:

Primavera is like two crowds in one, particularly as of this year.

The party goers, mostly just there to hang with mates and for the big act at Mordor. Often disrespectful and drunk. Disproportionately British (or at least not local).

= the All Points East set’

And then a majority of the people in the auditori or watching a gig at a smaller stage or an afternoon or city show. Generally there primarily for the music and warm and respectful to the performer and to others.

= the Primavera crowd of almost all of the last two decades

Porto was like that this year too 😕 I haven't been for 6 years, but before you'd only get a small gathering of Brits who were there for the music. Hopefully it's just a post covid one off.

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1 hour ago, FakeEmpire said:

* Subdued crowd - whilst I appreciated having a crowd that wasn't unnecessarily rowdy, sometimes we were too far at the other end of the spectrum - no singing, no dancing, just a lot of people stood completely still watching in silence. 

Yes, yes, and again, yes. I got a fantastic spot for The National, front and middle, probably 6 rows from the barrier, and I was the only person singing for a considerable amount of songs. There were a hard-core gaggle of fans to ny right that kept me going, but it's immensely frustrating to get a great spot for a World Class live band, only for everyone around you to stand and 🙂 with no enthusiasm.

Crowd for Tyler W2 was the only time I got genuinely annoyed all weekend. Halfway through Earfquake, me and my pals were literally louder than the soundsystem, and not another person was making a peep. I got rather frustrated, and let out a little 'fucking hell, does anyone else even want to be here?'. We didn't have the most amazing of spots, but it was absolutely good enough for their to be a good atmosphere. Feels like a lot of people attended mainstage acts just because they could, as opposed to wanting to. 

Atmosphere for Cupra acts was amazing though, and the festival in general was miles better than Rock Werchter 2019, which remain to this day, the most boring, lifeless crowds of my life. People stood clapping along to BMTH and Muse is rather frustrating, never again

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9 minutes ago, JayDiesel said:

 

Atmosphere for Cupra acts was amazing though, and the festival in general was miles better than Rock Werchter 2019, which remain to this day, the most boring, lifeless crowds of my life. People stood clapping along to BMTH and Muse is rather frustrating, never again

Welcome to the Belgian crowds. For us, primavera is 'crazy' hahaha. But Werchter is the worst coz it's a 'you have to be there' / 'event' kind of a festival. Way too many people not there for the bands, they just show up and sit in front of that mainstage forever.

That said: pavement was a party even when i had to pee desperately and we ended up near behind the PA area with other friends. People singing & dancing everywhere

Edited by Rhak
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2 minutes ago, Rhak said:

Welcome to the Belgian crowds. For us, primavera is 'crazy' hahaha. But Werchter is the worst coz it's a 'you have to be there' / 'event' kind of a festival. Way too many people not there for the bands, they just show up and sit in front of that mainstage forever.

That said: pavement was a party even when i had to pee desperately and we ended up near behind the PA area with other friends. People singing & dancing everywhere

To be fair, I had some really good times at Mordor too, Lorde and Tame Impala had fantastic crowds, and seeing The Strokes is bucket list for me. Its just a shame so many of the acts felt a little 'diluted' in the crowd

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6 minutes ago, Rhak said:

Welcome to the Belgian crowds. For us, primavera is 'crazy' hahaha. But Werchter is the worst coz it's a 'you have to be there' / 'event' kind of a festival. Way too many people not there for the bands, they just show up and sit in front of that mainstage forever.

That said: pavement was a party even when i had to pee desperately and we ended up near behind the PA area with other friends. People singing & dancing everywhere

I was literally going to say... reminds me of Rock Werchter lol:

Rows of people stood still arms folded for Metallica and System of a Down, come on now!

Didn't get too much of that at Prima, generally easy to go past the boring people to get to the hardcore fans at the front.

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This talk of boring RW crowds isn't filling me with enthusiasm for my first time 😅

Not like I'm going moshing to Pearl Jam but I'd still appreciate some sort of liveliness in the crowd 

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11 minutes ago, BenG92 said:

This talk of boring RW crowds isn't filling me with enthusiasm for my first time 😅

Not like I'm going moshing to Pearl Jam but I'd still appreciate some sort of liveliness in the crowd 

It's still a good festival. Lineup is always killer. Just I personally wouldn't go back.

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