A Year Without Primavera Sound

One important perk of living in Barcelona is its live music scene. Hundreds of local and international acts are performed every year at many of the city’s venues. One very notable music event is the Primavera Sound festival, which has been held in the city every year since 2001. It is often considered one of the best music festivals in Europe, and for 2020, a great lineup was put together for the festival’s 20th edition. Bad Bunny, Beck, Lana del Rey, Massive Attack and Tyler, the Creator were some notable headliners planned for this year. But the COVID-19 outbreak came so the festival got cancelled and rescheduled for the following year. Some hybrid, very limited version of the festival was organised with local performers for the rest of the summer.

This year’s Primavera Sound was set for the first weekend of June, meaning the days leading up to such weekend were supposed to be focused on the stages and logistics preparation at the Parc del Fòrum venue for its expected 200.000+ attendees.

I stopped by Parc del Fòrum in late May and, instead of finding a fleet of the Primavera crew and heavy lifting machinery as you’d find during this time of the year, I found a deserted venue with a flat esplanade that would go for kilometers with no live music stages to be seen. The scene was saddening. I photographed the venue as it was, hoping to come back next year to enjoy live music again.