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Primavera Sound 2024 celebrates record numbers

A record number of visitors attended Primavera Sound’s 2024 edition, organisers have revealed.

The festival returned to Barcelona’s Parc Del Fòrum for its 22nd edition from 29 May to 2 June, headlined by Pulp, Vampire Weekend, Justice, Lana Del Rey, The National, Disclosure, SZA, PJ Harvey, Mitski and Charli XCX.

In total, the weekend’s 253 concerts drew an overall attendance of 268,000, including 130,000 unique visitors – 15,000 more than last year. Fans attended from 134 countries, with more than half (59%) coming from outside Spain.

“This makes us the biggest festival in Spain and one of the biggest in Europe,” says Marta Pallarès, Primavera Sound’s head of press, as per Catalan News.

Pallarès adds that 40,000 ticket-holders were Barcelona residents. “We are not a festival that lives only from external visitors,” she points out.

Speaking to IQ last month, Pallarès said: “We are still one of the cheapest festivals compared to our direct competitors. The median price is around €280 if you compare early bird up to the last batch of tickets – €5 cheaper than last year. Taking into account recession and inflation, it’s quite impressive.

“We are very well aware of the fact that it’s not easy times for anyone financially. People are choosing to spend their time and money with us so we have to work till we can give them the best experience. I always like to say that we work all year long to give the audience the best weekend of that year.”

“Primavera Sound is the second most economically important event in Barcelona, after Mobile World Congress”

Meanwhile, co-director Alfonso Lanza predicts the festival’s economic impact on the city will be in the region of €200 million, up from €180m in 2023.

“Primavera Sound is the second most economically important event in Barcelona, after Mobile World Congress,” he says.

He adds that festival staff pulled out all the stops to minimise disruption for local residents, saying they “worked particularly well” to address concerns around sound and cleanliness, adding that the people who live closest to the venue were “very satisfied with the level of control”.

Primavera Porto starts tomorrow at Parque da Cidade, Porto, with Lana Del Rey and SZA heading a female-dominated bill, as Primavera continues to pave the way for gender-balanced festival lineups. Mitski, PJ Harvey, Kim Petras, Pulp, The National, Justice, Ethical Cain and This Is The Kit are also among the 48 names due to perform at the 11th edition, scheduled for 6-8 June.

Primavera Sound Barcelona 2025 has been confirmed for 5-7 June. The festival took place in both Barcelona and Madrid in 2023, but organisers described the latter as “one of the most complicated” editions of Primavera Sound and chose not to proceed with a sequel.

The brand is also returning to Latin America in 2024 after attracting close to 350,000 people across its events in the region last year. Primavera Day Montevideo will premiere on 21 November, followed by the third editions of Primavera Sound Buenos Aires (23-24 November) and São Paulo (30 November-1 December), with Primavera Day Asunción set for 29 November.

Plus, Bogotá, Lima and Santiago will again host Road to Primavera concerts.

 


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Primavera Sound will not return to Madrid in 2024

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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‘Incredible response’ to Primavera South America

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.

 


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