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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Primavera Sound 2012: a personal overview


I gave myself some time in order to clarify ideas and not write in "a rush", and with a little more perspective, I have to say this overview now is so easy to do.

I missed Wilco, Beach House, Yo La Tengo, half of The Cure show, Saint Etienne, Rufus Wainwright, The Afghan Whigs, Spiritualized and many more... In which other Festival could you miss such names and still say it was an extraordinary experience? I believe that very few, if any. Only at Primavera Sound you'll have such a never-ending line-up (and I'm not including the already impressive offer during May, prior to the Festival itself). I could demand no hip-hop, metal bands or way less electronic proposals, but these are just my personal tastes. The truth is that the Festival is such a unique opportunity of hearing so many bands/artists in few days I feel any debate about the quality of the PS is nuts, and any comparison with anything that's made in Spain, is simply ridiculous. 

Last year there were some sure-fire names (Pulp, The National, PJ Harvey) that made it unforgettable, but this 2012 edition has been even better. This year I have discovered The Wedding Present and Baxter Dury. Lee Ranaldo, Sharon Van Etten, Real Estate gave astounding concerts, confirming the greatness of their latest records. The Walkmen were great again. Kings of Convenience surprised me with a joyous performance, a pure pop delight. And I was lucky enough to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime music experience: the Big Star’s Third tribute. All this music wonders in a much more comfortable Festival (part personal experience avoiding as much as possible the Mini stage or sacrificing headliners, part an evident improvement on the management of the Fòrum space by the organization), with better sounding in all stages (few exceptions) and almost always in very good company.

Only have minor complains (e.g, Flatstock was disappointing, matter of taste again), majority of them having nothing to do with Primavera, but with the conduct of people. My only real worry/doubt for the organization is the Arc de Triomf (massification, and weird line-up on Sunday), although I do understand the Festival’s goal of opening itself to the city. Because, despite not everyone seems to get it (maybe they just want to create controversy), for me it’s obvious: the Primavera Sound Festival is a gift for indie music lovers, and a reference, a very prestigious symbol for Barcelona. In fact its so unique it should be declared a fundamental part of the Catalonian Cultural Heritage. And as music is universal, also part of the World Heritage.
A small collection of pictures from the Festival. Photos: Bloodbuzzed.

For Spanish readers, here are the links of the articles on the Festival written for Hope you like them!

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