Primavera Sound

The sound of spring includes The Cure, Björk, Franz Ferdinand, Wilko, Laura Marling, Rufus Wainwright, The xx, Refused and The Rapture

Primavera Sound is Barcelona’s biggest annual music festival, usually held in late May or early June and which likes to focus on upcoming indie bands of no particular genre, though generally focused on rock, pop and electronic sounds. But the menu always includes a selection of more established headline acts.

It was originally based in the Poble Espanyol, and the first edition in 2001 attracted some 8,000 people. By 2004 attendance was up to 40,000 and somewhere larger was required. In 2005, Primavera Sound was held for the first time at its current venue at the Parc del Forum, which in true festival fashion now allows punters to drift between different stages. Numbers have risen on an annual basis ever since, with figures for 2011 varying, depending on who you listen to, between 130,000 and 177,000. About 60% of these were from outside of Barcelona – with most of the foreign visitors arrving from the UK.

From its relatively humble beginnings, it now attracts the media in its thousands, some of the biggest names in the business, and music lovers from all around the world coming to enjoy the shows while at the same time getting to enjoy a bit of the sunny Barcelona vibe as well.

Acts that have appeared at Primavera Sound in the past include Pixies, Neil Young, Sonic Youth, Portishead, Lou Reed, The Flaming Lips, Billy Bragg, De La Soul, Saint Etienne, Pet Shop Boys, The XX, My Bloody Valentine, Pulp, Arcade Fire, Public Enemy, Television, The White Stripes, Wilco, Teenage Fanclub, Primal Scream, Franz Ferdinand, The Wedding Present, Tindersticks and New Order. The great thing is that as Primavera Sound doesn’t particularly focus on any specific genre of music, and brings together both future prospects, current stars and blasts from the past there is always something there for everybody to enjoy.

This year, for the first time, there is also a sister festival, Optimus Primavera Sound, being held in Oporto, Portugal, at which many of the main acts playing in Barcelona will also be appearing. This year’s edition also includes a free concert next to the Arc de Triomf on the first and last night.


Wednesday May 30, 2012 at Arc del Triomf (FREE CONCERT)

Black Lips, Jeremy Jay, Saint Etienne, The Wedding Present, No More Lies

Thursday May 31, 2012 at Parc del Forum

Franz Ferdinand, Death Cab For Cutie, Wilco, The xx, Refused

A$AP Rocky, A Storm of Light, Baxter Dury, Beirut, Bombino, Danny Brown, Doble Pletina, Dominant Legs, Erol Alkan, Field Music, Friends, Grimes, I Break Horses, Iceage, Jamie XX, Japandroids, John Talabot, Kleenex Girl Wonder, La Estrella De David, Linda Martini, Mazzy Star, Melvins, Milagres, Mudhoney, Pegasvs, Peter Wolf Crier, Rustie, Sleep, Spiritualized, Sr. Chinarro, The Afghan Whigs, The Field, The Olivia Tremor Control, Thee Oh Sees, Unicornibot, White Denim, Wolves In The Throne Room

Friday June 1, 2012 at Parc del Forum

The Cure, The Rapture, Marianne Faithfull, Rufus Wainwright, Codeine, The Drums, Death In Vegas, Napalm Death

A.A. Bondy, Aeroplane, Afrocubism, AraabMUZIK, Beach Beach, Benga, Big Star’s Third, Bigott, Chavez, Christina Rosenvinge, Chromatics, Cuchillo, Death Grips, Dirty Three, Fasenuova, Forest Swords, Girls, Harvey Milk, Jeff Mangum, Laura Marling, LFO, Liturgy, Lower Dens, Main, Matías Aguayo, Mayhem, Milk Music, Nick Garrie, Obits, Orthodox, Other Lives, Picore, Rebolledo, Siskiyou, Sleigh Bells, Tall Firs, The Chameleons, The Men, The War On Drugs, Trash Talk, Wavves

Saturday June 2, 2012 at Parc del Forum

Björk, M83, Justice, The Weeknd, Yo La Tengo, Kings of Convenience, Neon Indian

Anímic, Archers Of Loaf, Atlas Sound, Atleta, Beach House, Bleached, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Demdike Stare, Dirty Beaches, Dominique A, Father John Misty, Girls Names, Godflesh, Grupo de Expertos Solynieve, Hanni El Khatib, Hype Williams, James Ferraro, Jeff Mangum, Josh T. Pearson, Lee Ranaldo, Lisabö, Michael Gira, Mujeres, , Numbers showcase: Jackmaster, Oneman, Deadboy, Spencer, Redinho, OFF!, Pional, Purity Ring, Real Estate, Refree, Sandro Perri, Scuba, Senior i El Cor Brutal, Sharon Van Etten, Shellac, Sleepy Sun, The Pop Group, The Right Ons, Ultramagnetic Mc’s, Veronica Falls, Washed Out,

Sunday June 2 at Arc de Triomf (FREE CONCERT)

Joe Crepúsculo, Nacho Vegas, Richard Hawley, Yann Tiersen, Lorena Álvarez


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