Primavera Sound: bigger than ever
In recent years, Primavera Sound has become one of Barcelona’s largest annual tourist draws. However, this year’s event was especially alluring, marking the long-awaited return of the festival to the city after the pandemic hiatus—not to mention the festival’s 20th anniversary edition that had originally been planned to take place in 2020.
Apart from 674 acts, 16 stages, 14 additional venues and almost half a million guests, the festival also featured exclusive VIP areas hosted by the likes of London-based private members’ club Soho House and Spanish sports car brand CUPRA, among others.
Featuring a swimming pool, exclusive performances and DJ sets, a food and drinks menu by Soho House’s chefs and mixologists, as well as a showroom spotlighting trending designers, the Primavera Pro VIP area by Soho House provided the ultimate space to chill out and recharge during the festival.
Meanwhile, CUPRA partnered with online music broadcasting platform Boiler Room to deliver an electronic music streaming service. It also hosted an outdoor amphitheater and an exclusive VIP space overlooking the main stage, both under the banner “The Impulse of a New Generation”.
Twelve days of live music
The festival’s main acts included Dua Lipa, Lorde, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Charli XCX, Gorillaz, Megan Thee Stallion and The National, to name just a few. Instead of the usual three days, this year’s Primavera Sound spanned two weekends at the main venue in Parc del Fòrum and an additional six days of “Primavera a la Ciutat” events taking place at 14 stages spread across Barcelona.
“Our energy is here after the three years since we were last together in June 2019,” the organizers explained. “We thought organizing all the shows around the city would be amazing, like a way to reconnect with people and friends we haven’t seen in so long. And also because we wanted to pay homage to the venues that had suffered so much during the pandemic.”
Barcelona hotels “close to full occupancy”
According to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, events such as Primavera Sound have once again brought Barcelona’s hotels “close to full occupancy, mainly with American, French and European tourists” during the month of June. The article forecasts a “better” tourism season for Barcelona than even before the pandemic, with the hotel sector already predicting around 85% occupancy during the summer months, based on current reservations.
Primavera Sound alone is estimated to have delivered an economic impact of €349 million ($367 million) to Barcelona, according to festival organizers.
Laura Marney, a program manager from London, traveled to Barcelona for Primavera Sound with a group of friends and spent a full week in the city.
“I’ve been wanting to go to Primavera Sound for years and was very excited when my friends had a spare ticket,” she said. “I think the most appealing thing is the location: I love Barcelona and I love festivals, so, for me, it’s a match made in heaven.”
Growing the festival from some 220,000 attendees in 2019 to almost 500,000 in 2022 was not without challenges. But while there were some initial crowd-control issues during the first weekend, the organizers took swift action to address them.
Going forward, Primavera Sound has its eye on even bigger things. The festival is expanding internationally, with events confirmed in Porto (Portugal), Los Angeles (California), Santiago de Chile (Chile), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and São Paulo (Brazil)—all before the end of the year.
Primavera Sound Los Angeles
Although the Los Angeles edition—a three-day event taking place September 16-18 2022 at L.A. State Historic Park and headlined by Arctic Monkeys, Lorde and Nine Inch Nails—had already been planned back in 2019, the pandemic created an opportunity for the organizers to look to the future.
“The expansion to L.A. had already been announced,” the Primavera Sound team commented. “And some of the conversations with Chile were already happening. But the pandemic was what gave us the time to think and to prepare—not just for the upcoming edition, but for the bigger picture.”
For now, the bigger picture for Primavera Sound is looking brighter than ever.