Primavera Festival 2012 – Review

primavera festival

By Chris Hall

It didn’t rain. Not once.

Music festivals conjure a mixture of opinions amongst my friends as we sit around and discuss our horror stories; waist high mud, queues a mile long and the dreaded long drop facilities you need a radiation suit to endure. But, in Spain they approach it all a bit differently.

The Primavera Festival breathes fresh sea air into the stale festival format, held at the Parc Del Forum; a ridiculously huge area of outdoor concrete auditoriums by the Mediterranean Sea. The main event, hosted over three days, had acts from across the world, covering almost every genre imaginable. The atmosphere is incredibly different from UK festivals. You don’t rush to stages, people don’t push past racing to see Paramore for the 45th time. It’s all more relaxed, with some brave souls having naps in the quieter parts of the venue.

However, this relaxed attitude meant some of the smaller artists struggled to get energy out of the crowd, but the pros had everyone worked into a state of mass hysteria. Impressive sets from French Techno artists Justice, whose light show dazzled through even the most expensive pair of Ray Bans. English lipstick smearers The Cure dished out their own brand of post punk mellow drama and Leeds’ own Wild Beasts stole the show, with ‘Watch Me’ echoing out onto the med.

“Barcelona by day, dancing by night”

Besides music, Primavera offers plenty more to tuck into. An impressive array of market stalls pushing everything from hand-drawn Brudenell Posters to 20 year old Polaroid cameras. One of my favourite additions were the Smint girls who insured my breath was minty-fresh throughout.

Primavera doesn’t offer camping facilities so it does mean you have to shell out a bit extra for a room, but with the festival attracting people with itchy feet from across the world, the Hostels and Hotels are buzzing with life.

Starting around five in the afternoon Primavera avoids the blistering heat of the midday sun and instead benefits from the warm Mediterranean nights Barcelona is renowned for. Barcelona’s excellent Metro system made journeys to the festival a doddle and with the right ticket would only cost one Euro per trip. Once inside you have seven stages to choose from but, in my opinion, the best places to be are knee-deep in a sweaty crowd at the Main stage or catching your breath on the auditorium steps with a cold San Miguel.

With stages leaving huge dance artists like Benga and Erol Alkan until the early hours of the morning, its not a surprise that people are still dancing when the sun rises and basks the arena in sunlight. The rare combination that is a festival and holiday makes Primavera one of the best festival experiences you can have – catching the sites of Barcelona by day and dancing by night, add Primavera to your bucket list.

Words and pictures © Chris Hall


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