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Primavera Sound will not return to Madrid in 2024

Promoters describe this year's debut in the Spanish capital as "one of the most complicated events that Primavera Sound has ever had to face"

By James Hanley on 21 Jul 2023

image © Christian Bertrand

Primavera Sound Madrid will not take place in 2024, it has been confirmed.

The festival debuted in the Spanish capital last month, featuring acts such as Kendrick Lamar, Depeche Mode, Four Tet, Fred Again.., Skrillex, Rosalia, Calvin Harris, Maneskin and St Vincent. However, its first day proper was cancelled for “safety reasons” amid “persistent severe weather”, which impacted pre-production at the 96,000-cap Ciudad de Rock (City of Rock) in Arganda del Rey. There were also complaints from fans about long queues on the other two days of the event.

Explaining their decision not to proceed with a Madrid sequel, organisers cite “external difficulties… in the final stretch of pre-production”, which led to “one of the most complicated” editions of Primavera Sound ever.

“Although the evaluation of the festival was more than satisfactory on a musical level, the expectations we had were not fulfilled and the experience of the festival-goers due to several logistical aspects was not the desired one,” says Primavera Sound Madrid director Almudena Heredero.

“Inside the Ciudad del Rock, we experienced a festival full of great musical moments, but we are not oblivious to the annoyances. And that leads us to understand that, now, the conditions are not right for Madrid to have a Primavera Sound as it deserves in 2024.”

Promoters add that the city “does not have a site able to host an event of this magnitude and format” in 2024. Primavera Sound director Alfonso Lanza elaborates on the issues with the venue, which previously hosted all three editions of the Rock in Rio Festival Madrid, in an interview with El Pais.

“It has been a first edition from which we have learned many lessons and we don’t want to ignore them for the future”

“The venue has an obvious access problem and it has also been shown that it cannot hold up against persistent rain,” he says. “Of the 40 days of pre-production, it rained 35 and that caused all the bus and car spaces to be flooded and the mobility plan was not what we originally planned.”

The 2023 instalment marked the first time the festival had been held in two different Spanish cities across two weekends. The first weekend was staged at its usual location of Parc Del Fòrum, Barcelona from 1-3 June.

The team has announced that Primavera Sound will return to Barcelona (30 May-2 June) and Porto (7-9 June) in 2024, and Lanza insists the door remains open for the festival to return to Madrid in the future.

“We will continue to study the possibility of holding a Primavera Sound in Madrid because we are maintaining a continuous and constructive dialogue with the institutions of the city,” says Lanza. “The determination to continue this relationship by all the parties involved exists, and the relationship with the city, which has existed for a long time, has only grown closer over the last few months.

“The thing is that, right now, there are no guarantees that it will be possible to organise a festival in 2024 that meets the quality standards that Primavera Sound is used to offering. It has been a first edition from which we have learned many lessons and we don’t want to ignore them for the future.”

Primavera Sound launched in Barcelona in 2001 and has expanded internationally in recent years with sister events in Los AngelesChile, Argentina and Brazil.


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