Primavera Sound‘s long-awaited 2022 edition is now over, with the 12-day festival coming to a close with a techno-laden ‘Brunch on the Beach’ on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
It’s fair to say that the festival, at Barcelona’s Parc del Fòrum was far from perfect – the event was clearly oversold (most notably on the second Friday), and the long queues at the bar during weekend 1 (not to mention lack of water taps) leaving a bad taste in many festival goers’ mouths.
When the dust settles, however, Primavera Sound 2022 played host to an incredible showcase of music, with all genres – from K-pop to country and western, and from reggae to raw techno, catered for. The 909originals team was on-site for the second weekend, and while it’s difficult to pick out highlights given the broad quality on offer, here are our top five performances.
The Strokes, Friday
With singer Julian Casablancas’ COVID diagnosis scuppering The Strokes’ previous weekend’s performance, their gig on Friday 11 June was always going to be well attended – and was probably the biggest crowd of the festival. Longstanding fans were treated to classic tracks like Reptilia, Someday, Hard to Explain and New York City Cops, along with inter-song ramblings from Casablancas, musing on the differences between Spanish and Catalan and whether “animals find us cute”. Never change, Julian.
John Talabot, Thursday
This was a local performance for the Barcelona-based Talabot, and a demonstration of how the Catalan DJ is one of the best selectors in the business. Weaving from house to progressive to techno, it’s testament to his pulling power that over the course of the two-hour set, the crowd at the DICE arena went from relatively small to absolutely packed. Joyous.
Special Request, Saturday
With Paul Woolford’s alter-ego taking to the stage at 1am on the final day of the festival, it was always likely that Special Request would bang it out, and he didn’t disappoint, kicking off with bass-heavy speed garage before migrating into straight-up hardcore rave – with a smattering of ‘hands in the air’ trance for good measure. When he dropped the title track from his recent Spectral Frequency EP, it seemed like the venue was about to take off.
OK, confession time – going to M.I.A. wasn’t originally part of the 909originals team’s plans. But with the set kicking off with some favela-style baile funk, we were hooked, and ended up staying for the whole gig. There had been some complaints over the sound quality from the main stage area during the festival, but M.I.A.’s engineers had everything tuned optimally, with Ms. Arulpragasam treating the crowd to a three-act sonic voyage, featuring a 20+ strong vocal choir and an incredible ‘Paper Planes pop mashup’.
SPFDJ and VTSS, Friday
You want hard techno? You got it. Finishing off the Friday night at the DICE arena were two female DJs at the top of their game – Sweden’s SPFDJ, followed by Polish artist VTSS. With one night still to go, we had planned on leaving a bit earlier on the Friday night, but ended up staying until the sun came up – it was simply impossible to leave. Smiles all round. 🙂
Honourable mentions…. Few knew what to expect from Grimes’ DJ set at the Tous arena, but she absolutely rocked it (and yes, Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You got a brief airing)… 2 Many DJs treated us to a live video mashup (including a Wet Leg remix that we heard on at least two other occasions during the weekend)… Khrungabin set the tone for the weekend with their sunset set on the Thursday (featuring a guest appearance from Mos Def)… Goldie wrapped up the festival with a masterclass in drum ‘n’ bass… Slowdive‘s soaring rhythms were ideally suited to the amphitheatre-like Cupra arena… as were Mogwai’s… Gorillaz brought some serious energy to a rammed main stage area on the Thursday… Black Coffee got the crowd vibing with a classic house set… and much much more.
What also makes Primavera Sound special is the people, so here’s a selection of our favourite crowd photos from over the two weekends. Photos by Clara Orozco Sharon López, Christian Bertrand, Dani Canto, Gaelle Beri, Eric Pamies and Santiago Sepúlveda. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones and Márcia Costa. Gracias, Primavera Sound! 🙂