photo by Eric Pàmies
The truth is that there is not much more that I love more than international travel and festing. For years I have heard about a two weekend-long festival (across two countries) in Europe called Primavera Sound. This festival, located in the vibrant and bustling city of Barcelona, as well as the water town of Porto, is celebrating its 17th anniversary this year in 2018. The festival commences on May 31st in Spain and will end on June 9th in Portugal. What makes the festival so special, and how has it lasted the test of festival time? I am going to make the trek to both countries this summer to find out.
It is no surprise that the festivals who dig deep into the music are the ones who return year after year. Primavera Sound is no stranger to this concept and debuted its lineup in January with headliners such as BJORK, Vince Staples, Four Tet, and Lorde. This veteran festival has no qualms with clashing genres to blend a beautifully curated lineup. The first four days are packed with electronic, rap, indie rock and everything in between. The festival is known for tapping into underground sounds, and its best for attendees who are interested in discovering new music.
Location, Location, Location
Festing internationally is a completely different experience from festing in your own country. There are always some cultural differences whether its language, food, or fashion. Part of what makes Primavera Sound such a hotspot festival is the fact that it is situated in a major park in Barcelona and a small water town in Portugal. The location of both festivals allows its visitor’s downtime to explore each city and each country.
Breaking Down The BPMs
For the third year in a row, Primavera Sound celebrates dance music culture with Primavera Bits. Primavera Bits is increasing its eclectic range of music adding sessions by DJs and producers to create a festival within a festival. There will be 18 hours of daily-uninterrupted music on these stages. The stages are literally broken down by BPMs.
100-120 BPMS → XIRINGUITO APEROL
Four Tet, Floating Points and the Dekmantel festival will be the ambassadors of this new stage, on the sands of the Fòrum beach that will open its doors at midday and offer six hours of music to warm up at the water’s edge.
120-135 BPMS → BACARDÍ LIVE
When evening falls the programming will move to the two main stages of Primavera Bits. From 6pm Thursday to Saturday, the open air Bacardí Live stage will host some of the live acts that will mark the 2018 edition of the festival including bedroom R&B from Majid Jordan, the DJ set by a historical figure of hip-hop and Beastie Boy Mike D.
135-150 BPMS → DESPERADOS CLUB
From 6.30pm each day and until sunrise, the Desperados Club stage will turn Primavera Bits into a huge club that will offer sessions for lovers of undeniable electronic sounds. The main players will be the usual suspects when putting together endless nights of techno and house, such as Mano Le Tough, Honey Dijon, Marcel Dettman, Peggy Gou, Gerd Janson and the Hivern Discs posse (in charge of programming this stage all day Saturday), not to mention the Italian Master DJ Donato Dozzy, the back-to-backs by Hunee and Antal and Disco Sets by Seth Troxler and local hero John Talabot.
100-150 BPMS → BEYOND PRIMAVERA BITS
As always, electronic music will not be confined exclusively to Primavera Bits, but will reach every corner and stage of Primavera Sound. This will make it possible to experience Nils Frahm’s dreamy experimentation, the hypnotic live performance of Four Tet presenting his new album, sets by contemporary legends such as The Black Madonna and DJ Koze, invitations to dance from Lindstrøm, Ross From Friends and DJ Python, live acts by THE BLAZE and Delorean all around the Parc del Fòrum: each member of the audience will be able live their own adventure.
The countdown has begun! Grab your passports, your flights, and meet me in Spain for the first weekend of Primavera Sound 2018.