fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Primavera Sound expected to expand for 2022 edition

Barcelona’s Primavera Sound is set to dramatically expand for its 20th-anniversary celebration in 2022, according to Reuters.

Reportedly, the festival will take place between 2–5 June and 9–12 June next year – double its usual length – and will host around 400 shows across two line-ups.

No decision has been made yet on whether to keep the new two-weekend format beyond 2022, according to Reuters sources.

Primavera organisers told IQ that they ‘could neither confirm nor deny’ the information.

In March, the flagship festival was cancelled for a second consecutive year due to the pandemic, shortly after the cancellation of sister festival NOS Primavera Sound, in Oporto, Portugal.

Primavera organisers told IQ that they ‘could neither confirm nor deny’ the information

As in 2020, all tickets remain valid for the delayed Primavera Sound 20 in June 2022. Ticketholders who would prefer a refund will be able to make a request from 2 June, when the 2022 line-up will be revealed.

Headliners for Primavera Sound 2021, which sold out in record time, were Gorillaz, the Strokes and Tame Impala, with FKA Twigs, Tyler the Creator, Iggy Pop and Disclosure also set to perform from 2 to 6 June.

Ahead of the 2022 event, Primavera Pro, the music industry conference, will take place in a ‘hybrid’ format (part physical, part online) from 2 to 4 June 2021.

Primavera Sound’s Primavera Weekender will also return, welcoming some 30 artists and around 1,000 attendees for the second edition of the resort festival in Benidorm, this November.

 


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.

We can’t afford to go back to pale, male and stale

Health passports, fast testing, social distancing, rapid screenings: the industry has been grappling with more medical concepts in the last year than it ever had to before.

Getting back to business; finding ways to reopen venues and stage festivals; getting technicians back to their sound desks and musicians back on stage, is all we’ve thought and talked about during the past 12 months.

But is that everything? All of it? Perhaps the question shouldn’t simply be when is the industry resuming but how and with whom?

Perhaps the question shouldn’t simply be when is the industry resuming but how and with whom?

Because we can’t afford to go back to pale, male and stale music festivals, to companies overwhelmingly ruled by men, to soundchecks where as far as the eyes can see it’s Johns and Jacks and Martins – not that we want them to disappear, we just want them to share their space with us Janes, Jackies and Martas.

It’s been two years since Primavera Sound sent a message to the world: a gender-balanced lineup can be achieved. When we released that line-up, we said that equality and dismantling gender barriers should be normal, and yet, in spite of the fact that we claimed that that edition would be the one in which everything changed… it didn’t.

Two years after becoming the first major festival with a 50/50 gender split, we haven’t seen much of a change. In fact, the situation has only got worse for women thanks to the pandemic. The biggest problem now is not only the ongoing systemic inactivity but the depressing thought that the pandemic can, and will, be used as an excuse to avoid taking the much-needed next steps.

It’s not about the lack of female artists or headliners: it’s the lack of willingness to book them or give them the rank they deserve

At Primavera, we know how challenging this process can be, maybe even more than the promoters and festivals that still refuse to be more diverse. In the end, we set our own standard: we have to live up to that past achievement, and keep honouring it.

2019 was an amazing year for music made by women: Rosalía, Janelle Monáe, Robyn, Erykah Badu, Chris from Christine & the Queens and many more, made it really easy for us. But was that programme just a once in a lifetime? Not really.

The next year proved us right, thanks to Lana del Rey, Bikini Kill, Kacey Musgraves and Brittany Howard. So it’s not about the lack of female artists, or even female headliners: it’s about the lack of willingness to book them or give them the rank they deserve. In the end, if they are the ones who chart the highest and win all the awards, shouldn’t they be also topping our line-ups?

In 2019, Primavera Sound’s [gender-balanced line-up] sold more day tickets than ever, up to 65,000

So, let’s talk business. Does a gender-balanced line-up translate into revenue? In 2019, Primavera Sound sold more day tickets than ever, up to 65,000. That Saturday, 1 June, Rosalía, Solange and Lizzo shared a line-up with James Blake, Jarvis Cocker and Stereolab, as well as the biggest Colombian reggaeton artist, J Balvin.

Isn’t this how real diversity should look (and be heard)? Even our partners at the UN SDG Action Campaign thought so.

Whilst I don’t pretend to be an expert on this matter, by any means, let’s ask Google how a more diverse and inclusive environment can and will improve any company.

I remember moderating a panel last year at Primavera Pro. We were already asking ‘What’s Next?’ because we suspected that 2020 could be the perfect time to pause and reflect on our work. In that panel, we were inspired by Fruzsina Szép (director of Lollapalooza Berlin and Superbloom Munich) and her approach to the pandemic: her whole team was taking much-needed time to take a deeper look at their festivals and to think how they wanted them to be, not how they had to be.

It’s not about being perfect, the real challenge is to do better

Why shouldn’t we use this crisis as an opportunity to fix systemic issues – that are more deep-rooted and insidious than a virus – instead of as an excuse?

We understand that competition can be fierce, but saying that line-ups prior to the pandemic have to be honoured feels cheap. Crazy thought: what if they had already been diverse in 2020? To all the festivals who pledged to achieve gender equality in 2022 and to all of those who were already trying to do better, please don’t take a rain-check due to the pandemic; you are doing a great job. It’s not about being perfect, the real challenge is to do better, no matter how small each step may seem.

We have this chance to start planting in empty fields, as nothing is written in stone anymore. If we don’t have a clue what it’s going to be like when we programme festivals again, if we lose all the benefits of a stable landscape, why should we inherit its problems?

 


Marta Pallarès is head of international press & PR for Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain.

Primavera Weekender 2021 is a go

Primavera Sound’s Primavera Weekender will return in November, welcoming some 30 artists and around 1,000 attendees for the second edition of the resort festival in Benidorm.

Primavera Weekender debuted in November 2019, ahead of the celebrations planned for Primavera Sound’s 20th anniversary in 2020, which would have also included festivals in Barcelona, Oporto and Los Angeles before Covid-19 struck. Ultimately, only Primavera Weekender 2019 went ahead, with the 2020 edition also called off.

Taking place once again at the Magic Robin Hood holiday park in Benidorm, on Alicante’s Costa Blanca, Primavera Weekender 2021 will aim to replicate, as much as possible, “what a festival was before the pandemic”, say organisers, who add: “We have been working for a long time to make it so.”

No artists have been announced yet, though the 2019 event featured performers including Primal Scream, Belle and Sebastian, Idles, Mura Masa, Squid, Cigarettes After Sex and Sleaford Mods.

Reflecting on the festival’s successful debut in 2019, Primavera Sound says in a statement: “The first weekend of the event at the Magic Robin Hood resort in Benidorm in November 2019 was supposed to be the starting point for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Primavera Sound… and it ended up being the only one.

“Primavera Weekender will once again be the beginning of many things”

“But what a celebration it was: some 3,000 attendees experienced a weekend in which the concerts shared the limelight with a community party; it was as if somehow we were saying goodbye to something for a while.

“When it was over, everyone who had been there was clear on one thing: it had to happen again. There was something magical in the atmosphere during that sort of musical camp with unforgettable concerts, lodges, unpredictable alliances and, of course, legends that will be talked about for years.”

Tickets for the festival, which include two nights in a two-person cabin and full board, start at €299pp and go on sale Tuesday (6 April) at local time.

Two years on, “Primavera Weekender will once again be the beginning of many things: the true 20th anniversary of Primavera Sound, and all the time we want to make up for,” add organisers.

The flagship Primavera Sound festival cancelled its 2021 edition earlier this month as a result of ongoing uncertainty around mass gatherings in Spain.

 


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.

Primavera Sound to hold in-person concert series

Primavera Sound has announced an in-person concert series, set to launch at the Coliseum Theatre in Barcelona, this April.

Organisers of the Spanish festival say that the concerts – which are co-produced with the venue’s owners, Grup Balañá – will take place “in the closest possible format” to a traditional seated show, whilst complying with current sanitary measures.

The series, dubbed ‘Coliseum Nights’, will see performances from Swedish singer-songwriter José González, Seville collective Califato ¾ and Derby Motoreta’s Burrito Kachimba.

Coliseum Nights will take place between 26 April and 2 May. Tickets cost between €18-30.

“When the sad first anniversary approaches since live music stopped sounding the way we were used to, we need to reconnect with the artists in an environment as similar as possible to before. With the majority of the concert halls still closed and at serious risk of disappearance, Primavera Sound will be installed for a whole week at the Coliseum Theatre in Barcelona for the Coliseum’s Nits,” reads a press release from the organisers.

“We need to reconnect with the artists in an environment as similar as possible to before”

Primavera Sound was forced to cancel its 2020 festival, despite rescheduling from June to August, but organisers reported that this year’s edition of Primavera Sound Barcelona sold out of all full festival tickets and day tickets in just ten days.

Even in the absence of its flagship event, Primavera has been busy hosting one-off concert series and test events in Spain.

Last year, the Spanish promoter hosted an outdoor concert series at the Parc del Fòrum outdoor amphitheatre in Barcelona, where the flagship festival would typically take place.

The 70-show series was specifically designed to comply with all social distancing regulations, capacity and hygiene rules.

Dubbed ‘Fòrum Nights’, the event launched at the end of June and featured performances from the likes of Hinds, Mala Rodríguez and Dorian.

A few months after wrapping the series, Primavera teamed up with Hospital Germans Trias in Barcelona and the Fight AIDS and Infectious Diseases Foundation to organise a concert at Barcelona’s Sala Apolo to show whether rapid testing could hold the key to staging concerts without social distancing.

The clinical trial found that a live music concert performed under a series of safety measures, including a negative antigen test, is ‘not associated with an increase in Covid-19 infections’.

Primavera Sound’s Marta Pallarès will be discussing how the festival continually achieves a gender-balanced line-up at this year’s ILMC session Gender Equality: The Next Level. Register for the conference here.

 


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.

PRIMACOV: Results of Spanish clinical trial published

Spain’s PRIMACOV clinical trial found that a live music concert performed under a series of safety measures, including a negative antigen test, is ‘not associated with an increase in Covid-19 infections’.

The study – organised by Primavera Sound in association with Hospital Germans Trias in Barcelona and the Fight AIDS and Infectious Diseases Foundation – involved a concert at Barcelona’s Sala Apolo (cap. 1,608) on 12 December to show whether rapid testing could hold the key to staging concerts without social distancing.

The study achieved its primary endpoint after organisers found that none of the 463 participants that were randomly selected to enter the concert were infected with Covid-19 during the trial.

One of the researchers involved, Boris Revollo, believes that the list of conditions included in the study could be easily reproduced for other events.

All 1,047 participants – which were between 18-59 years old, had no comorbidities, were not living with old household contacts, and had not been diagnosed with Covid-19 during the 14 days preceding – were screened before the concert and had a negative antigen result.

Of them, 463 were randomly selected to enter the concert and 496 remained in the control group with no access to the concert venue and completed the follow-up visit.

Boris Revollo believes that the list of conditions included in the study could be easily reproduced for other events

The 463 granted entry were given a certified N95 cloth mask at the venue entrance, which they were required to wear during the entire event, except when drinking.

No physical distancing was required in the concert room, where singing and dancing was permitted as well.

All airflows and room ventilation were optimised in the two indoor rooms and air exchange was monitored throughout the entire event.

The flow movement of all the participants inside the venue was previously defined and marked, clearly delimited, and observed by the security crew during the event. Measures were implemented to avoid queues in toilets, entries and exits.

The concert, spanning five hours, included two DJ sessions and two live music performances with local artists Marta Salicrú, Unai Muguruza, Mujeres and Renaldo and Clara.

The show followed a similar trial in Germany, dubbed Restart-19, which found that live shows could take place safely under “specific conditions during a pandemic”. Several ‘Back to Live’ pilot events will also take place in the Netherlands, with the government’s backing, in January.

 


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.

Spanish promoters react to sweeping restrictions

Spain’s live music sector is reckoning with a whole host of new restrictions imposed by the Spanish government and its various communities.

Earlier this week, prime minister Pedro Sánchez and his cabinet declared a six-month state of emergency, set to remain in force until 9 May, with periodic reviews.

The decree will allow Spain’s regional governments to order an overnight curfew to run from 11 pm to 6 am, or to begin and finish an hour earlier or later.

Yesterday (29 October), Catalonia went one step further, ordering the suspension of cultural activities for 15 days, starting from today.

“After some months of lockdown, postponing or cancelling all shows, we had a slight restart with many restrictions and reduced capacities,” says Albert Salmerón of Producciones Animadas.

“And now with the current situation, we have to postpone again the new shows we were programming following all the health and safety rules of the new normality. This means that we will have to keep our companies without any income for a very long time. This is a terrible situation and it’s essential that the Spanish government makes a plan to save the live music industry providing enough budget to cover costs of this lockdown and of the cancellations of shows.

“The expectations were not good but now they are even worse”

Juan Antonio of rock and metal promoter Madness Live agrees, adding that the new measures present a “very hard situation”.

“The expectations were not good but now they are even worse. For Madness Live and so many other companies in the music industry in Spain, which only work with international artists, it’s almost impossible to do anything. Since 11 March we were not able to organise any concert and unless the situation changes drastically, we think it would take much longer,” says Antonio.

“In the end, I think the governments will have to allow us to work coexisting with the virus… How? I don’t know. Maybe when the vaccine is out there for the most vulnerable part of the population, with the fasts tests or a cure. But until then, many employments will be – are being – destroyed, many venues will close and many promoter/booking/management offices will close. Unfortunately, the light at the end of this long tunnel is still far for us.”

Robert Grima, president at Live Nation Spain, however, is determined to charge ahead, working around the restrictions.

“The curfew does not affect the current situation for shows with reduced capacities at seated clubs and theatres, and therefore we will keep working on shows at that level. I am optimistic as concerts and events have not been a point of transmission and we are working with health authorities for test shows to certificate and create protocols to get back to the business asap,” says Grima.

“Unfortunately, the light at the end of this long tunnel is still far for us”

Neo Sala, founder and CEO at Doctor Music, suggested the new restrictions may even have a “positive effect”.

“The current state of emergency is much softer than the one applied last spring as it does not allow the government to lock down the population at home. It does not make any difference as “real concerts” – those with full capacities and no social distancing were not allowed anyway, even without the state of emergency.

“In fact, in the long term, it could have a positive effect for the live music industry as the more contained the people have been, the more hunger there will be for live entertainment when the Covid crisis is over. Our team is going through this situation together and with good spirit, ready to rock as soon as we can,” Sala concludes.

Es Música, the national federation, estimated that the losses in the live music sector due to the pandemic could exceed €1.2m after a year. While The International Monetary Fund recently said that Spain will be one of the developed countries worst affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

 


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.

The New Bosses 2020: Camila Salinas, Primavera Sound

The New Bosses 2020 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 93 this month revealing the twelve promising promoters, bookers, agents, A&R and production experts that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cream of the crop a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2020’s New Bosses, to discover their greatest inspirations and pinpoint the reasons for their success. Catch up on the previous New Bosses interview with Kedist Bezabih, a promoter at FKP Scorpio in Norway, here.

Our next New Boss is Camila Salinas (26), a booker for Primavera Sound in Spain. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Salinas moved with her family to Madrid aged five, leaving Spain 15 years later to seek her fortune in London.

“I started flyer-ing, doing doors, repping shows for different companies,” she explains, “which led me to do a few internships. However, it never really led to a job with a decent salary, so when I couldn’t handle the economic instability I moved back home.”

Back in Spain, Salinas started doing production work for a management and booking company. Then, one day, the call came from Primavera Sound: they wanted her to join their booking team.

 


What are you working on right now?
We’re working on rescheduling the headline shows we had confirmed for the autumn and winter, and finding creative ways to be able to do shows until the venues can open like normal.

What are some of the highlights of your career to date?
It might sound pretty basic but working with bands that I love with all my heart is the biggest reward of them all, and seeing with your own eyes that a bunch of people are having the greatest time because that band is playing in front of them and you helped to make that happen is the best. Big Thief playing my favourite venue in Madrid, the city I grew up in, would definitely have to be a highlight.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt working in live music?
Patience. It didn’t come naturally to me but over the years I learnt the great art of patience in every aspect of my life.

Did you always want to work in the festival business?
Not really, because when I started to feel like music was something that I wanted to dedicate my life to, I wasn’t aware of that entire universe… [but] once I [had] spent my first summer going to festivals, obviously that changed.

“We used Primavera’s amazing space to put on around 60 shows with national bands this summer”

When I started to develop a bigger interest in music, when I was around 14, and I started to pay attention to all the soundtracks from the shows I was obsessed with – Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill and The OC – I definitely decided that I wanted to work with all these bands that made me so happy, and help them to go to places. And, if it was possible, to go to those places with them!

What impact has Covid-19 had on your job?
A big ugly one. Our job is to put a lot of people in the same place at the same time to enjoy and see someone on stage, so it’s been difficult, but at the same time we’ve had to think other ways to keep doing our job. We used the amazing space we have for the festival to put on around 60 shows with national bands this summer and all the security measures to be able to do it.

It’s been a really nice oasis in the middle of this drought and it kept us active – not just the bookers or us as promoters, but all the people that are behind a show, the bands, production team, logistics team, sound technicians, tour managers, the people behind the bars…

Do you have a mentor in the industry?
I have more than one, but a person that I’ll always look up to is Clemence Godard, who runs Bird on The Wire along with Tim Palmer, a promotion company based in London. When I arrived in London I started an apprenticeship there and it was my first proper step into the industry.

I truly admire her because in London she’s one of the few women who runs a promotion company. The heads of the promotions companies (or any company really) tend to be men and the other plus for me is that she’s not from the UK, which might seem a silly detail but as an immigrant with a clear accent I tell you, it’s really not.

“I truly admire Clemence Godard because in London she’s one of the few women who runs a promotion company”

I also have learnt so much with my colleagues at Primavera – Ivone, Arnau and Abel on our booking team. It was my first time working for at the core of a festival with this dimension and since the minute one, they have been the best colleagues to do it with.

What can the live music industry do better?
It needs more diversity in every aspect. More open doors for women, for people of colour, for the LGTBQ+ community, for people who are not wealthy enough to do hundreds of internships for free in order to get a real job. That is something that really needs to change.

What advice would you give to someone who’s new to the business?
To persist, to ask questions, and to be a sponge everywhere you go.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a festival booker?
To be original and fast, and to deal with the egos.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
It changes every day since the pandemic started. These circumstances make you change your perspective depending on what might happen with our industry. So right now I’m not able to think far ahead, the only thing I can think of is that in 2021 the whole festival season can go ahead normally. If that happens, everything could be possible again.

 


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.

New festival formats: Who dares wins

This year, many greenfield festival organisers were faced with two choices: adapt or perish. With ever-changing legislation, capacity restrictions, lack of cancellation cover and low financial viability to contend with, many chose the former – pivoting to virtual events or pledging to return next year with a bigger and better event.

As this year’s festival season draws to a close, IQ looks at some greenfield festivals that dared to adapt their IRL events, taking the restrictions in their stride and seizing the opportunity to go back to the drawing board in order to deliver to their fanbase.

Electrisize in Erkelenz, Germany, is one such event. Rather than compromising its brand with a socially distanced spin-off (a concern expressed by many organisers during the Interactive Festival Forum), the festival decided to scrap its three-year-old model altogether.

The organisers chose instead to use coronavirus measures as a framework on which to build a brand-new event, rather than a set of limitations that would diminish the experience its fans had come to expect.

While outdoor events in Germany were restricted at the time of planning, campsites with attractions were permitted to open.

“At first we thought, that’s unfair,” says executive director Raphael Meyesieck. “But the longer we thought about it, the more we understood that we had found a loophole for the event industry.”

Thus Electricity was born and its “cake-shaped campsite” concept was conceived, planned and built within five weeks.

“Eeverything that was installed because of the corona regulations didn’t feel like a limitation or disruption”

The campsite, located on the grounds of Hohenbusch House, was divided into six camping sectors – or “cake pieces” – and featured a 360-degree stage at the centre which could be seen from each sector.

Each sector had several demarcated areas in front of the stage for up to ten people, in order to observe social distancing measures.

And the 100-capacity sectors were colour-coded, with corresponding wristbands to ensure festivalgoers stayed within their allocated sector.

Bars, food tents and “sanitary clusters” lined the border of each sector (thus serving two sectors at once), sewage collectors came to dispose of the waste and generators provided power. But Meyesieck says that the key to the corona-compliant campsite was simple: space.

However, it seems that flexibility was also an important trick Meyersieck kept up his sleeve. The director says the event hired spare staff for any unpredictable event and were prepared to adjust the capacity of sectors should coronavirus guidelines change.

Fortunately, the event went undisrupted for four weekends and only a few minor tweaks to the opening times of the amenities and the check-in welcome routine were necessary.

“All told, it was perfect. We had an inspection by the authorities during the first evening of the first weekend and they were overwhelmed at how good the concept worked,” says Meyersieck.

“We asked ourselves: how could we offer our audience a taste of Deer Shed whilst adhering to social distancing rules”

Meyersieck says the event was such a huge success because there were no comparable offers for festivalgoers at the time.

Deer Shed in the UK had similar ideas to Electricity, using camping as the focus of its socially distanced family camping weekender, Base Camp.

The “camping weekender” took place between 24–27 July at Deer Shed’s usual home of Baldersby Park in North Yorkshire.

The site comprised 320 15×15-metre pitches, each with its own portaloo and space to park a car. Families were contained within their own square, thereby maintaining social distancing, but could request to be allocated a pitch next to friends.

The festival provided some food and ice-cream vendors but families were encouraged to bring their own food and drink to minimise Covid risk and to make the festival more economically viable.

However, the masterstroke of Base Camp’s concept was broadcasting live music through an FM channel so families could listen on their own radio at their own pitch.

The programme included performances from artists including The Howl & The Hum, Shadowlark and Low Hummer, as well as spoken word, comedy, a Sunday paper review, bedtime stories, DJ sets and pre-recorded shows.

“The genius part of Electricity is that it’s the first and only concept that makes a virtue of necessity”

“We asked ourselves: how could we offer our audience a taste of Deer Shed whilst adhering to social distancing rules?” said Deer Shed director Kate Webster at the Interactive Festival Forum.

“The creative aspects, delivering the essence of Deer Shed, and managing expectations of our audience took a lot of thought.”

Initially, the festival put the feelers out to see if its regular festivalgoers would be interested in a socially distanced camping weekender and according to Webster, people were supportive from the off.

Like Electricity, Base Camp was unaffected by changing legislation around Coronavirus; however, Primavera Sound wasn’t so lucky with its project Nits del Fòrum.

In the absence of its flagship festival, the Spanish promoter organised a series of outdoor concerts throughout the summer specifically designed to comply with all social distancing regulations, capacity and hygiene rules.

The 70-show series was launched at the end of June, taking place from Tuesday to Sunday each week at Primavera’s Barcelona home of the Parc del Fòrum outdoor amphitheatre, and will close on 20 September.

The series has featured performances from the likes of Hinds, Mala Rodríguez and Dorian.

With all things considered, cancelling a small portion of a 70-show series takes little away from organisers’ triumph

Alongside programming from Primavera Sound, local promoters and organisers including Caníbal (Sala Apolo), Arte por Derecho, Somoslas and Churros con Chocolate, also helped with the billing and to make the event as diverse as possible.

All gigs are seated and guests are assigned a demarcated spot on the tiered amphitheatre, 1.5 metres from the next.

Similar to Electricity, the organisers accounted for a flexible capacity, designed to be adaptable to the changing health regulations of the local government.

However, a spike in infections in the region brought the series to a grinding halt between 18–31 July. The festival resumed on 1 August, with some shows rescheduled and others cancelled altogether. But, with all things considered, cancelling a small portion of a 70-show series takes little away from organisers’ triumph.

Deer Shed reported similar success with Base camp, with tickets selling out immediately. And though Webster says the turnover was only 8% of what they would’ve taken in an average year, she says it went some way to making up for the losses in 2020.

With Electricity 2020, however, Meyersieck and his team seem to have landed on a model they could build on post-pandemic.

The director reported that the festival was economically sustainable and the team is even thinking about adopting the new features for the Electrisize festival campsite when things are back to normal.

“The sectors, the cages and everything that was installed because of the corona regulations didn’t feel like a limitation or disruption – they were a feature.”

“The genius part of Electricity is that it’s the first and only concept that makes a virtue of necessity,” he says.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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.

Outdoor events in Barcelona avoid renewed ban

Festival organisers, concert promoters and venue operators in Barcelona have managed to overturn new regulations that would have forced all events and venues to close down again amid an increase in Covid-19 cases.

Due to a recent spike in cases, Catalonian health minister Alba Vergés urged residents on Friday (18 July) to stay at home for the next 15 days and only go out to buy food, go to work or for health reasons. The government also announced that cinemas, theatres and nightclubs would once again be forced to close, with gatherings of over ten people banned.

The reintroduction of more stringent measures in the metropolitan area of Barcelona and in the province of Lleida follows previous stay-at-home orders that affected around 400,000 Catalans earlier this month.

In response to the announcement, representatives from Barcelona festivals including Festival Cruïlla, Festival Pedralbes and Grec Festival, as well as the the association of Catalan venues (Asociación de Salas de Conciertos de Cataluña – Assac), took to social media using the hashtag #CulturaEsSegura (Culture is safe) to protest the re-closing of venues and festivals throughout the region.

“95% of Asacc venues have been closed since March, with no programming scheduled due to the uncertainty of reopening dates. The few that have opened have done so with minimal capacities for musical performances,” reads a post on the Asacc Twitter page.

“We cannot place the responsibility of new outbreaks on venues and not keep track of street gatherings, raves, private parties and beach bars. Enough stigmatising of clubs, music and culture!

“Venues are not the origin of new outbreaks.”

Following the complaints, Catalan civil protection society Procicat (El Pla territorial de protecció civil de Catalunya) posted new guidelines, approving the carrying out of cultural events in “exceptional circumstances”.

“Venues are not the origin of new outbreaks”

According to the guidance, events in Barcelona and other parts of Catalonia are still permitted to go ahead provided they are in remote areas; take place outdoors; have previously been assessed and approved by Procicat; maintain social distancing; implement track and tracing systems; and take extra hygiene precautions.

It is also noted that organisers must be willing “to make maximum capacity requirements more flexible, if the health authorities require more restricted conditions.”

The exceptions allow for the Cruïlla XXS shows, over 200 open-air events organised by the Cruïlla Festival team, to go ahead this month, along with performances by Van Morrison, Diana Navarro and Paco Ibanez, as part of Fes Pedralbes. Barcelona’s Grec Festival is also taking place, with a programme of dance, theatre and music.

The Sala Barcelona concert series, which is taking place in the grounds of the Montjuïc Castle, has also been given the green light to host performances over the coming weeks. Upcoming concerts at the venue include DJs Ikram Bouloum and Santa Marts, pop band Los Retrovisores, folk group River Omelet and film score composer Niño de Elche.

However, the new restrictions saw the team at Barcelona festival Primavera Sound cancel the next two weeks of its Nits del Fórum series due to “the uncertainty provoked by contradictory recommendations and restrictions”.

“Despite complying with all the required safety requirements, despite being a concert series lauded by the authorities and despite the warm welcome received from fans over the past few weeks, Nits del Fórum has decided to take a break,” reads a Primavera Sound statement.

Organisers state they have voluntarily suspended activity until 31 July, in anticipation of “a clearer and more definite framework of limitations and recommendations for all”.

All affected concerts will be reprogrammed for new dates.

Elsewhere in Spain, outdoor events with up to 800 people are permitted, with concert series promoted by Live Nation and the Music Republic, as well as shows at the Wizink Center and Ifema exhibition centre taking place over the coming weeks.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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.

Record sell-out for Primavera Sound 2021

The 2021 edition of Primavera Sound Barcelona has sold out of all full festival tickets and day tickets in just ten days.

The Barcelona event joins Denmark’s Roskilde Festival to report a quick sell-out for next year. Only 15% of the 80,000 festival tickets sold for Roskilde 2020 were returned for a cash refund, rather than retained for 2021, and were resold in a matter of hours. The remaining 5,000 Roskilde day tickets will go on sale in autumn 2020.

Primavera Sound, which was forced to cancelled its 2020 edition despite rescheduling from June to August, released tickets for its 2021 event on 3 June, the same day it revealed the first line-up details for next year’s festival.

“[Fans] have shown that there is hope for massive live music events and have decided that their passion for music is stronger than the fear of uncertainty”

Organisers have since gone on to confirm many more acts, with many acts from the 2020 billing, including Massive Attack, Iggy Pop, Tyler the Creator, the Strokes and the National reconfirmed for 2021, as well as new additions such as Gorillaz and Tame Impala.

The Primavera Sound team thanks “the vast majority” of 2020 ticketholders who kept hold of their tickets for 2021, as well as the new buyers, “who have shown that there is hope for massive live music events and have decided that their passion for music is stronger than the fear of uncertainty”.

The team adds that the sell-out, which was done in record time, would not have ben possible without commitment from artists, and work from sponsors, collaborators and partners.

Primavera Sound 2021 will take place form 2 to 6 June at Parc del Fòrum, Barcelona.

 


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.