Wonderland.

PRIMAVERA FESTIVAL 2017

Max Cocking heads to Barcelona.

Amongst my friends, Primavera was this summer’s festival du jour, and so like a call to arms around 30 of us hopped on the nearest Ryanair to get the party started. With its sun soaked Parc del Fòrum setting and legendary billings, it gives music-lovers something refreshingly rare – a uniquely special identity in a world of bland festival uniformity.

Standout sets from the weekend included a beautiful all red performance from Solange, Skepta shutting the entire Heineken stage down, a surprise 3am set from Haim, Run The Jewels, and other legends such as Aphex Twin, Slayer and Grace Jones (is it even a festival if Grace Jones isn’t performing? I don’t think so). Bon Iver and Arcade Fire, admittedly, stole the show, but the beauty of Primavera is that away from the headliners the rest of the line-up is the furthest thing from faltering in terms of quality, a testament to the superb taste of its much respected booking team.

The undeniably brilliant Henrik Schwarz and Bicep took me to another planet (I ended up just having to dance around a palm tree to calm myself down), while further personal highlights were electrifying shows from Innervisions stars Âme and Dixon, playing their Berlin brand of techno on the incredible Bowers & Wilkins Sound System, and a secret set from Local Natives at the backstage bar (soz Taylor for never getting you that drink). Primavera was marred by the Frank Ocean no-show, but Jamie xx stood up to the plate and did a mesmerising performance (following an earlier xx show).

Whether you’re a drug free indie vibe or a hard core techno head, Primavera has you covered, but just remember to try and stay as close to the festival as possible: cabs basically don’t exist. Which doesn’t matter so much if you head straight to the beach for a sunrise swim at 6am, along with the rest of the all-night revellers. I even caught perhaps the most secret set of the whole festival; Jamie xx doing a 10am DJ set from his iPhone on the beach. Until next time Primavera!

Photography
Ben Andrewes
Words
Max Cocking
PRIMAVERA FESTIVAL 2017

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