It's Day 3 and we arrived 10 minutes into the American Football set bursting for the toilet, but as we made our way across the bridge, we could hear ‘Honestly?’ spurting from the speakers as the Barcelona sun set behind into the harbour. It couldn't have been more perfect — my favourite band were playing on the edge of the sea and the sun was gently beaming down.
They sounded glorious and were on fine form, just as they were at their London show a few weeks ago. The Pitchfork stage was the busiest I had seen it all weekend — and I had spent 75% of the festival at this stage. It may have been due to the lack of competition at the festival at this time; with just Fucked Up playing on the ATP stage, and two cup finals (FA Cup & Copa Del Rey) going on, it meant everyone else had flocked here, and they were in for a treat.
It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that I could probably watch this band everyday for the rest of my life — that's how strongly I feel about them. It perhaps wasn't the best set of the weekend for fun (Run The Jewels) or musical accomplishment (James Blake), but for me it was the most beautiful. I was in Spain in a glorious setting, right on the harbour, with stunning architecture and the sun setting around me, with one of the most beautiful bands playing. Was it the ice cold lemon Fanta sending chills up my spine or was it American Football?
During the festival, the spill of sound between stages had been good, but it became tiresome during American Football’s more delicate moments after 8pm and The Bohicas had started on the nearby Adidas Originals Stage. The spill of sound was terrible and I could hear more of The Bohicas instead, ruining what was supposed to be my post-sunset moment with American Football. Perhaps it's just me being selfish, but it's a small grumble in what was otherwise great sound throughout the festival.
After finishing up at American Football and still feeling the pains of yesterday, we retreated to a little grassy bank by the Ray Ban stage where Tori Amos was about to start. To be honest, I was there more for the grassy hill than I was for Tori Amos. That probably sums up my feelings towards her set: it was a little rest and interval before hitting up Daphni. The crowd however didn't seem to agree with me, as they proceeded to go absolutely mad for Tori Amos, especially as she simultaneously played two pianos at once and wailed over the top. I took two things away from the time I spent at her set: her fans are absolutely devoted and I liked her glasses quite a lot.
We decided to grab some food from the extensive food stalls at Primavera, covering every kind of cuisine and dietary requirements you could imagine. I didn't sample much over the weekend, but I do have to give a shout out to the vegan (disclosure: I'm not even vegan) stall and its Seitan Sandwiches, showing up the other countless burger and tapas stalls as not being that great, proving that meat isn't always key.
As it was cup final weekend for both us Brits and Spaniards, the festival had put up a massive screen in the food court for Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final — fans packed out the food court, moved tables and benches so that it faced the screen, and a sea of people sat on the floor as Barcelona chants rang around, once again showing the spirit of Primavera and this beautiful city.
After the food interlude, we headed over to Daphni — a Caribou side project — but as suspected, it was absolutely rammed, with not even a sausage being able to fit in. This was possibly a sign of things to come with Caribou on the Ray Ban stage at 3am too.
It definitely felt like the last day of the festival and I kept having to remind myself it wasn't a Sunday. As you can sense, Primavera and the night before had taken its toll on me, and there not being too much we were interested in playing at that point, we headed to the 'silent corner' which was one of the calm zones where you could sit on the stairs in the Parc Del Forum. It was laden with cushions and blankets for you to relax with and watch the world, and from this particular corner, the sea pass you by. I have to let on that at this point I was starting to become quite sick and had what was soon to be a cold coming on.
With that cold and sickness kicking in as I scrambled for cushions in the not-so-silent corner, and only really being interested in Caribou at 3am, possibly Dan Deacon, laughing at The Strokes being awful or seeing tUnE-yArDs before that, I instead decided to call it a night in an attempt to try and rid myself of the cold before wanting to explore the city further in the coming days.
On my way out I was asked by two people if I was coming back to the festival and wanted my wrist band, to which I said no and that they could have it. Two Spanish chaps came over with a pair of scissors, and after a little tweak and snip of the scissors failing, decided the best way to get it off was by forcing a plastic bag onto my hand and then forcefully yanking on my arm. "It's like butter," he said in Spanish. It wasn't butter. Not even close. After a five-minute struggle and lots of apologies from the people originally requesting my wrist band, I reassured them by saying 'it's fine, don't worry' with a smile (it wasn't, I was sick). They gave up and became interested in something else off in the distance, leaving me to give it a good yank out of frustration at the prospect of having a bag stuck over my hand for my journey home, and it miraculously came off. I handed over my card and wristband and told the girl to enjoy her evening more than I would have, and then she thanked me, kissed me on the cheek and wished me to get better soon.
I walked away a little perplexed. Initially checking to see if I had been part of some odd pick pocketing (see mum, I do think of these things) as the way it all happened was very surreal, but no, everything was in check with nothing missing. It was just two people looking to have a good time. I can only hope that she went and had a better night than I would have cackling at The Strokes and struggling to keep my eyes open until 3am for Caribou.
In the coming days I took a cable car up the hills of Barcelona, visited a castle, went to a beach, gorged myself on more tapas and drank more great Mojitos — one being a Mojito slushie — and resumed my holiday in the city.
I don't think it's necessary for me to summarise my feelings towards this city and festival — as if reading the diary and seeing the pictures hasn't convinced you that it was a beautiful week, then not much will.
See you in 2016, Primavera.
Words and Photography by Myles Palmer