Sign up for IQ Index
The latest industry news to your inbox.
Director Alfonso Lanza details the Spanish festival's debut in Brazil, Argentina and Chile as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations
By James Hanley on 18 Nov 2022
Primavera Sound director Alfonso Lanza has given IQ the lowdown on the “incredible response” to the festival’s South American debut.
The Spanish institution debuted in São Paulo, Brazil (5-6 November), Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile (both 12-13 November) to commemorate the event’s 20th birthday. Headliners included Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, Lorde and Bjork.
Lanza tells IQ that more than 300,000 people – an average of 50,000 a day – came together across the three editions.
“The numbers matter less to us than the incredible atmosphere we have been able to enjoy,” Lanza tells IQ. “We have had an incredible response that has even exceeded our expectations, and it has been very exciting to be able to experience it live.
“We are very happy to have celebrated our 20th anniversary with so many people from all over the world. There is a Primavera Sound community all over the planet. It was very different in each country, but it was definitely the most passionate audiences I have ever seen.”
“We wanted to take our festival model to other parts of the world, because we have moulded it for 20 years and we trust in it”
Lanza is also full of praise for co-promoters Live Nation Brazil, DF Entertainment in Argentina and Rock Santiago in Chile.
“They have had the challenge of taking the Primavera spirit to very different places and promoting the events locally and they all delivered,” says Lanza. “We wanted to take our festival model to other parts of the world, because we have moulded it for 20 years and we trust in it, and they have helped us to achieve it. The real integration into the cultural scene of each city has been easier this way.
“Each country has its own reality and we have managed to adapt to it while maintaining our essence. In addition, the back to back between Argentina and Chile in the same weekend has been a big challenge in terms of production: it has been necessary to be attentive to every detail to ensure that everything was ready and on time.”
Primavera also held its maiden US edition in Los Angeles earlier this year, welcoming 50,000 attendees from 50 countries to the State Historic Park in September, and organisers were convinced the timing was right to expand the brand to the region.
“For some time now we have felt that Primavera Sound is becoming more and more important in this part of the world,” says Lanza. “We noticed it in networks and also among the people that came from LatAm to our festival in Barcelona, so we didn’t hesitate when we had the opportunity to land in the three countries.
“We have tried to bring the spirit of Primavera Sound here, but we also took away things we learned from the experience. For example, the bolder we are with the proposal, the better response we get because the uniqueness of Primavera is well understood. We also have to keep paying attention to the local scene and the Primavera in the City programme because the public values it.”
“Considering the outcome and the incredible response from the audience, we would love to continue if circumstances allow”
Primavera Sound closed the biggest edition in its 20-year history in June, welcoming nearly half a million people to the Spanish city of Barcelona after a two-year hiatus.
Next year, the flagship Primavera Sound Barcelona will take place from 1-3 June, while Primavera Sound Madrid will be held from 8-10 June. Primavera Sound Porto is set for 7-10 June. And while the South American expansion was part of Primavera’s anniversary celebrations, Lanza is open to a return.
“Now it’s time to evaluate and draw lessons, but obviously, considering the outcome and the incredible response from the audience, we would love to continue if circumstances allow us to put together a solid project again,” he says.
Primavera Sound has also just announced the extension of its exclusive mobile-only ticketing partnership with Dice.
The multi-year partnership, which began in 2019, will see Dice continue to provide tickets for all Primavera Sound events in Europe, including Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona and Madrid, as well as its Portugal edition in Porto.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.