Barcelona’s biggest music festival, Primavera Sound, is back for its 16th edition. Nearly 200 artists will perform at Barcelona’s Parc del Forum between Thursday June 1st and Saturday June 3rd, while hundreds of concerts have filled the Catalan capital throughout the month of May thanks to the ‘Primavera als Clubs’ initiative. Bon Iver, Grace Jones, Arcade Fire, Van Morrison, and The XX are some of the most outstanding names in the line-up, which merges different music styles, from metal to electronics, all the way to indie pop and R&B. Eight different stages will offer non-stop music from 5 pm in the day until well into the next morning. Last year, more than 207,000 people attended Primavera Sound and nearly half of them came from outside of Spain.
Thursday: Bon Iver to conquer the Forum
North American folk singer and songwriter Bon Iver will be one of the most awaited performances tonight at Parc del Forum, located on Barcelona’s coast line. Iver’s last visit to Barcelona was in 2012. A decade after his debut with “For Emma, Forever Ago” Bon Iver, whose real name is Justin Vernon, has just completed the e unclassifiable “22, A Million”, a puzzle of pop synth, electronic foundations, and distorted voices that confirm that the Wisconsin artist is one of the most ambitious talents on the alternative scene.
Solange, whose career started when she was only 16 as part of Destiny’s Child, will also perform at Primavera Sound on Thursday. Her status has been solidified with the release of “A Seat At The Table”, a committed and intense album that reached the top of all of the charts and best of the year lists and with which she has become the undisputed queen of neo soul.
Another outstanding band that will perform on Thursday is The Afghan Wings. Coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of “Black Love”, the Cincinnati band is back on the road to prove that their live shows are still overwhelmingly intense.
Friday: The XX own the night
British electronic trio The XX will be one of Saturday’s headliners, presenting their latest album “I See You”. The XX fans will be in luck since the brain behind the band, Jamie XX, will also perform on Saturday. Jamie Smith released “In Colour” in 2015, one of the most important electronic albums of recent years with which he perfectly defined the new status of pop and electronic music while simultaneously sounding timeless, earning himself a Grammy nomination.
Saturday: Time for music legends
The most famous names will perform on Saturday. The indefatigable diva, Andy Warhol muse, haute couture icon, dazzling actress, innate provocateur and symbol of disco music Grace Jones will celebrate her stage comeback at Primavera Sound.
Canadian band Arcade Fire have not only consolidated their profile as giants moving with great elegance and ease but they have done so without sacrificing their experiments in sound. It is this inquisitiveness that is perfectly reflected in the path that goes from “Funeral”, a debut full of heart wrenching epic, to “Reflektor” that is generous in electronic textures and Haitian rhythms. This has all led to larger-than-life and visually impeccable live shows, making the band fronted by Win Butler and Régine Chassagne the standard bearers of a whole generation.
Music legend Sir Van Morrisson, with nearly 40 albums released, will also be at Primavera Sound, renewing his alliance with folk and soul and presenting his latest recording ‘Keep me singing’.
An international reference point for indie fans
Primavera Sound has taken place in Barcelona since 2001 and has established itself as a model for urban festivals that is internationally regarded as a musical event that is not to be missed. Pixies, Iggy & The Stooges, Nine Inch Nails, Kendrick Lamar, Neil Young, Sonic Youth, Radiohead, Pet Shop Boys, Lou Reed, Brian Wilson, Pulp, Patti Smith, James Blake, New Order, Marianne or Blur are just a few of the many artists who have played on the stages of the festival to date.
Moreover, it is considered the most international musical festival in Southern Europe and a global point of reference in the realm of urban music events, particularly among indie and pop fans.
The number of festivalgoers has also grown exponentially through the 15th editions. From 8,000 people who attended the festival when it was just beginning in 2001, the event welcomed more than 207,000 in 2016.
At the same time, the international roster also draws a fairly international crowd. Nearly half of the ticket holders attend from outside of Spain: the highest number of foreign participants came from the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, and Germany. In the last two editions, the organizers of the festival have also a noted a growth in attendance of people from Italy, Germany, the United States, and Mexico.
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