Few festivals command as much respect on a global scale as Primavera Sound. The Barcelona festival is now undeniably one of Europe's finest, but it hasn't always been the eclectic and expansive giant that it is today. Here's how it got where it is today.
2001 - A Modest Debut
Primavera Sound had existed as a concept during the 1990s in Barcelona as a series of club nights across the city. But it was in 2001 that the festival as we know it today was born. Held on a single day in the Poble Espanyol – an open-air architectural museum built in the style of a historic Spanish town – the debut attracted around 8000 fans with performances from the likes of Armand van Helden, UNKLE and a number of Spanish acts including Los Planetas and Manta Ray.
2002 – Two Days
Following the success of the debut edition, the festival expanded to two days in their second year. With that change came a bigger lineup that included Pulp, Aphex Twin, Spiritualized, Echo & The Bunnymen, Andrew Weatherall and Green Velvet.
2004 – Three Days
In just their fourth year the festival upped the scale yet again, transforming the event into a three-day affair for the first time, something that has been maintained to this day. Highlights included PJ Harvey, Primal Scream, Wilco and the first European performance in twelve years from alt-rocks icons Pixies.
2005 - A New Home
By the fifth edition, Primavera Sound had outgrown it's Poble Espanyol home and it was time to move. The destination: Parc del Forum, the festival's home to this day.
2008 – Primavera als Clubs
After increasing their audience and earning a growing number of international fans, 2008 saw the addition of a new feature of the festival that is still going strong over a decade later. Paying tribute to the festival's roots in the clubs of Barcelona, an additional programme was added that saw artists perform across the city in the days leading up to the main festival.
2010 – A Six-Figure Audience and Primavera Pro
The start of this decade brought a landmark edition for Primavera Sound, not only did audiences across the weekend top 100,000 for the first time in the festival's history – watching the likes of Pet Shop Boys, Pixies, Pavement, The xx, Beach House and more – but the Primavera Pro concept was born.
This side of the festival brought together labels, agencies, promoters and other industry figures for a programme of talks, panels and workshops focused on the issues facing festivals and the broader music industry as whole. The 2019 edition marks a 10th anniversary for the concept.
2014 – Artists' Favourite Festival
In 2014, following a memorable edition that featured headline sets from Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age, The National, Pixies, Nine Inch Nails and Kendrick Lamar, Primavera Sound earned itself the accolade of 'Artists' Favourite Festival' at the annual European Festival Awards.
Speaking about the festival, Interpol's Daniel Kessler said that "Primavera Sound is one of those events that all musicians look forward to playing. It’s not just another festival."
2017 - 200,000
Now undeniably sitting at the top table of European festivals, Primavera Sound welcomed crowds of over 200,000 for the very first time in 2017. And despite Frank Ocean pulling out of his headline appearance, the festival was nonetheless a success with the likes of Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Aphex Twin, Solange, Van Morrison, Grace Jones, The xx and Slayer putting in memorable performances.
Tickets for Primavera Sound 2019 will go on sale very soon, join our waiting list to be first in line when they do