Primavera Sound is fast becoming one of the most respected alternative music festivals in the world. The Barcelona event, held annually at the Parc del Forum, has played host to acts such as Pavement, The Fall, Sonic Youth and The Vaselines in recent years.
Ticket information can be found on their official site (Primavera Sound). But don't go there until you've read a little more practical information about the event.
1. Blur Will Be Headlining Primavera Sound 2013Other headliners include Phoenix, The Postal Service, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and My Bloody Valentine.
2. Choose Between Barcelona or Porto
Primavera Sound is getting bigger every year. After expanding to five days in recent years in two venues in Barcelona (see below), Primavera Sound also went to Porto in Portugal in 2012 - and they'll be returning in 2013. Dates and prices are as follows:
Primavera Sound Barcelona
Dates May 22-26, 2013 (with events before and after)
Ticket Prices 145€ at the time of writing (see below)
Optimus Primavera Sound Porto
Dates May 30-June 2, 2013
Ticket Prices 80€
3. Weather in Barcelona in May
Predicting the weather in May in Barcelona can be difficult. We're nearly in summer, but it's early enough to have some cold days and spring showers are always possible.
See also: Weather in Spain in May
4. For Cheap Primavera Tickets, Get Them Early
Primavera tickets, especially for Barcelona, creep up in price as the festival approaches. At the time of writing, tickets are 145€ for the Barcelona event. If you are sure you want to go, buy tickets now or you will pay more.
There is also a deal this year whereby you can pay for your tickets in three instalments of 50€, if you make the first payment before October 31, 2012.
You'll see that Primavera Porto tickets are a lot cheaper than Primavera Barcelona tickets. Porto's event is a new festival with less stages and less bands.
5. Pre-Parties and Post-Parties at Primavera BarcelonaNot only does it take up the whole of the Parc del Forum for three days, but these dates are bookended by concerts elsewhere in the city. These two venues are at opposite ends of the city, with shows at both venues on the Wednesday.
Where this is important is your accommodation choice. If you want to stay close to one of the venues, go with the Parc del Forum. The concerts go on later here and you'll be thankful for the shorter journey home. Read more about choosing the best Primavera Sound Accommodation
Check out some of the bands playing one each day with my Primavera Sound Preview
6. A Word on the Primavera Sound Barcelona Venue
The Parc del Forum venue has some of the best acoustics I have heard at a music festival. Not only is the sound quality on any one stage quite excellent, there is also virtually no noise pollution between stages, which is surprising considering how closely packed the stages are.
The downside to the venue is that it is mainly built out of concrete. This is not a festival for tree huggers. The chill-out areas are confined mainly to some benches around the food tents.
7. Taking Alcohol on Site
This is a big no-no. The Spanish patron saint of beer, San Miguel, forbids it. You will probably be checked as you enter the site and your drinks will be confiscated.
Beer prices in the venue are cheaper than at most music festivals.
8. The Event is LATE
Spanish time is famous for being one hour ahead of the UK on paper but several hours ahead in terms of when people actually do things. The Spanish host their parties late and Primavera is no exception. Nothing happens until around 5pm and there are bands playing until around 5am! The headline acts are at a similar time to what you might expect at a sensible festival, at around 11pm, but a band I was really looking forward to one year didn't play until 4.30am! I was too exhausted to dance and ended up leaving mid-gig.
The timing of the festival will probably affect where you decide to stay. Read more about Primavera Sound Accommodation for my advice on where to stay during the festival.
9. Style of Music at Primavera Sound
Primavera Sound is a strictly 'indie/alternative' festival, (with a small smattering of hip-hop for variety). We're not talking Muse and Kings of Leon here, either. Think Of Montreal, Interpol, Flaming Lips, bands like that. If you've never heard of these bands, this festival is probably not for you. Try Benicassim, Spain's other big festival.
10. No Campsite
Yes, in most European festivals, sleeping in a tent and not washing for days is all a part of the 'fun'. But not at Primavera Sound. The festival is in the city, so you're going to have to book some proper bricks-and-mortar accommodation.