The Primavera Sound Festival, is being held in Barcelona from 26 May to 1 June, brings together a long list of pop, rock and alternative electronica artists, staying true to the criterion that defines the event: quality.
The wide range of styles present at the festival can already be seen from the two acts that top the bill: the Brazilian singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso and Arcade Fire’s over-the-top pop. Cult band Neutral Milk Hotel, who have not been seen on stage for over ten years, the Pixies, one of the most influential bands of the 1990s, Nine Inch Nails and their industrial rock and Queens of the Stone Age top the billing. The programme stands out for its diversity, rounded off with a good variety of musical styles, such as hip hop with Kendrick Lamar; afrobeat, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, cosmic jazz from Sun Ra Arkestra, and the electropop of Helen Love.
Many of the groups in the 2014 festival programme are visiting Spain for the first time. They include Disclosure, Linda Perhacs, the jewel of the feminine folk scene, cult group Chrome, and Body / Head, the new project from Kim Gordon, former member of Sonic Youth.
But Primavera Sound’s trademark is that the lesser-known bands appearing at the bottom half of the list are just as important as the big established names. These artists include influential groups and new bands that are on the verge of becoming famous. Names such as Connan Mockasin, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Slowdive, Superchunk and Vatican Shadow. And to round off the night with a good dance, nothing better than DJ Laurent Garnier, followed by the German DJs Moderat, Jamie xx, revelation DJ Daniel Avery and, from Barcelona, Lasers.
The Vermuts del Primavera at Ciutadella Park are programming free concerts, and Primavera a la Ciutat will be holding a free session at the Fòrum itself on 28 May. The Fira Discogràfica record fair and Minimúsica, an activity for young children, complete the programme of one of the city’s flagship festivals.