It’s already been more than a decade since it started, and I must admit I haven’t attended every year. But since its very beginnings at the Poble Espanyol de Montjuïc times, this has been the only let’s say massive festival that’s allowed you to go in and out of your everyday life into the festival [...]
It’s already been more than a decade since it started, and I must admit I haven’t attended every year. But since its very beginnings at the Poble Espanyol de Montjuïc times, this has been the only let’s say massive festival that’s allowed you to go in and out of your everyday life into the festival chip in an easy, cool way. This happens thanks to a great line up on every edition, but also to the fact that it all happens inside the city but within its own capsule of atmosphere. Yes, full access with no drama via public transport, and being able to go back home and take a proper shower and have a decent sleep counts a lot.
This year, although hyper expected star Bjork cancelled at the end, and line up may not have been as powerful on a first sight, Primaversound proved once again to be the nowadays most effective, eclectic and spread around music festival happening in Barcelona, and probably in Spain.
Almost one full month with live performances and presentations in different bars and clubs all over the city, the festival packed with highlights at the Fòrum and an open air program of concerts in diverse stages located at emblematic Barcelonan sites, have made Primavera an event that goes beyond its own essential limits. This should not seem that revealing in a town that’s often more a brand than a living space, but the true fact is they’re probably the only ones making it by means of their structure, empowering different independent local projects instead of just using them under the excuse of reputation making. And yeah, this may not be an immediate profit resource, but it’s certainly a much stronger benefit on a middle and long term project strategy. At the end it’s not only the establishment and the brands and corporations involved, but also the audience and the whole artistic community that supports it and feels truly engaged with it as a part of our city’s desirable identity.
Back at the Fòrum, one could hardly say there’s a better spot to have such a massive event and still keep it to be so handy and decompressed as a shared social experience. Great landscapes, decent although long distances, changing sounds and visions, and a true mixture of proposals, fields of work, states of career and origins harmonically collapse. Also, permanent respect for indie rock and electronic scenes, besides mere upraising vast and brainless consumerism of dancefloor, remark a level of sophistication and commitment one can only agree about and thank for.
It indeed becomes clear when you see how different brands and media have sponsored or been godparent to each of the stages, providing the specified programs a link with their communication strategies. Yes, for some people that might sound as a horrifying commodity that takes on true culture and son on but, come on, that’s the way of the world, and there are many disgusting ways of doing it and examples that prove it, being this not the case.
I was in first place asked to write a review on Primaverasound which I just refused to do in musical terms. I love music and I’ve been a cultural journalist for years but I’m an art curator, and I certainly don’t have the will -and who knows if I still have the skills- to review all of the music shows put together in such a huge event reflecting a field, that of music, I don’t have a fully deep permanent overview of. So I offered up this point of view, in regard of ten years of constantly measuring Barcelona’s cultural pulse, and on behalf of my own interest in how the cultural, the corporate, the institutional and the social can join together, and gather into common projects representing a true win-win situation for all of the agents involved.
So I hope this has not been just some sort of uninteresting tale, but maybe a note to take into account when it comes to the importance of feelings like belonging or loyalty in projects that involve market, creation and the making of citizenship. Other impressions, such as Primavera as one of the few left places in Barcelona where coolhunters could save loads of time through intense compact gazing sessions, or the still yet to come huge possibilities for the inclusion of art projects onto the structure, should deserve quite some separate lines.
And, as a final tip: four hours of The Cure live, again, amazing Lee Ranaldo, Yo La Tengo, Justice, or Wilco on stage, Yann Tiersen closing the whole marathon at Arc de Triomf, or the very end of the Fòrum program with the old good times of the Barcelona indie scene revival at ATP stage, will certainly not be easy to forget.
by Papo Waisman
Text by Alex Brahim