How’d you sum up a festival that stretches over a week and features almost 300 performances? The honest answer is you can’t, truly. But we’ll try. This was the
Loud And Quiet lens on Primavera Sound 2019 which took place between 30 May – 1 June at Parc del Fòrum, Barcelona (and in the city centre at CCCB). The weather was great, the Aperol was chilled and the highlights were abundant. Wednesday 30 May. After a few pre-main event shows in the city centre, Primavera Sound opened with a free night of music at Parc del Forum. Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National) headlined with a rare outing for their Big Red Machine project. It was quite noodly, and quite good. Julien Baker sang with them. Primavera Sound were the first major festival to deliver a 50:50 gender split in their line-up this year. They’ve called the initiative The New Normal and there was loads about it around the site. Things kicked off properly on Thursday night. The merch stand was snazzy. For all your snazzy merch needs. The bit just past the entrance to the site was much greener this year. Stephen Malkmus. Here saying “I know literally nothing about the fact that later in the weekend there’s announcement about Pavement headlining next year’s festival.” He’d already done a slightly weird talk about films earlier in the day at Primavera Pro. Instead of booking headliners Primavera just booked loads of big artists this year. Christine And The Queens was the first major performer. Chris had moves. In news that’ll mean absolutely nothing to some people, the area between the two main stages is now covered in fake grass. Big Thief decorated the stage in graveyard flowers. The only thing better than Erykah Badu’s massive hat was her performance. There was a new indoor stage this year, too. It was going off in there for The Comet Is Coming. Rico Nasty’s late night set down in Primavera Bits was a riot. FKA Twigs. Briefly before she danced with a sword and swung 25ft up in the air on a pole. Sons of Kemet XL brought four drum kits as they opened up Friday’s music. This woman was doing interpretive hula hoop dancing all the way through it. DIY clashfinder. Not available in the shops. Why did this person bring a bike? Anyway… People sitting down at a festival (Just Mustard playing the Pitchfork stage in the background). It’s a solar panel or a way of communicating with aliens depending on how many wines you’ve had. Pop was big at Primavera 2019. Carly Rae Jepsen showered everyone in ticker tape. Aldous Harding didn’t but that’s absolutely fine. You won’t see a better show than Janelle Monae. Strong branding. Miley Cyrus played after replacing Cardi B on the line-up. It was very Bon Jovi. Kate Tempest was typically intense. While Miley covered ‘Jolene’ Low were busy playing music that sounded like the end of the world. Robyn gave everyone the tingles. Particularly one of our writers. He had to have a lie down. The final Saturday was the most people Primavera had ever had on site in one day. Nilufer Yanya was there playing to a large crowd early on. OMG you got the 2014 recyclable line-up cup, that’s the one I wanted! The crowds for Rosalia, Solange and James Blake were enormous. All your gig poster design needs covered. No mud, just Med. Shellac played. Obvs. Loyle Carner was playing at the same time as his beloved Liverpool in the Champion’s League final. It got announced across the site. See, that Malkmus, he knew. Rosalia was the homecoming hero headliner. In amongst all the photographers in the pit there was a guy sketching – yes, sketching – the performers. Jarvis Cocker, performing as Jarv Is, gave sweets to the crowd before asking them about their worst nightmares. Very entertaining. J Balvin and his little fluffy clouds. People were into it. 2am on the final night. There’s always one reunion at Primavera. Stereolab played their first big gig in about a decade. JPEGMAFIA brought the chaos down by the sea. The last walk back. Primavera Sound 2019. Next year they’ll mark their 20th birthday with Pavement headlining, and a new festival in Los Angeles. Additional photos by: Eric Pamies, Sergio Albert, Sharon Lopez, Paco Amate.