Dear Diary, we went to Primavera Sound Barcelona 2018
Side Stage Collective had a dream. It took us a few years but we finally made it happen. And of course! We are here to tell you (literally) everything about our incredible experience at Primavera Sound in Barcelona. We heard so many things about this amazing festival, however, we wanted to see it for ourselves. It sounded a bit utopian - a festival where people actually go for the music and don’t care about documenting how cool they are on social media, but the truth is - that actually happens and it’s a beautiful thing to watch.There are so many things that can’t be explained even if we try our best but we want you to feel like you were part of it - we’re a collective right? So here’s our honest and real review of the festival that we once thought it was only a dream (we weren’t allowed to photograph the bands so we hope you're not tired of our faces already). You can find Joana's review in we Blue and Raquel's in Green.
We are often called fairies but we saw THE QUEENS
You know that we are all about girl power (three women founded SSC…) but it’s not at every festival that we get to watch the females we look up to and are making the music of today.
Haim: Because the collective was originally three very stylish girls (humble brag) people used to - and still do - get us confused with Haim, which we always take as a compliment. We’ve been following them since the beginning and we haven’t seen them perform live since 2015 - it was due. This concert was bananas - everyone knew the freaking songs lyric by lyric and I got to go on my friend's shoulders and sing to 'The Wire'. Alana was very impressed by my balance and how we could definitely be a part of the band.
Lorde: I should let Raquel tell you about this one, right? Oh well before she does, I must tell you I didn’t know what to expect - I’ve always loved her music and our hair is (was I lost my curls) pretty much the same but she has an inexplicable force within her. Lorde can dance, who knew? I got to see her a week before in London, but I knew Barcelona would be pretty special. Actually, just remembered that on the day texted my friend something like 'Can't meet before watching Lorde. But I promise I will be back to normal after'. And just how it was expected: brilliant & vulnerable. Lorde will always be my nr1 Queen and the reasons were just there (In case you were wondering, I did get back to normal).
Ibeyi: I was waiting for that moment since I booked my amazing Ryanair flight to Barcelona in January. Ash is one of those albums that got stuck to me and I don't think it will go away anytime soon. The gig was a surprise: Lisa and Naomi totally rocked the Pitchfork stage (one of the best stages to be fair) with great messaging and visuals. 'Deathless' was one of the highlights of the whole festival (no doubt) and it was great watching Joana purposely burst a bubble in her foot to dance to their music.
Warpaint: My girls. These ones are like if rock n’ roll was a band personified. They actually kick major ass and they’re just. I don’t even know what to say because I love them so much. Their music is so relatable and obscure - the epitome of being lost to wander.
Bjork: You beautiful, amazing, talented little weirdo. So, the set was pretty much Shakespeare’s “Midsummer’s night dream” mixed with Japanese vibes - visually the performance is amazing and her voice sounds exactly the same - it’s ridiculous. It was definitely a different experience - she should perform in every festival - it was a whole symphonic experience.
Nick Cave, The Legend:
When you think music has no meaning now, just breathe in and remember that people like Nick Cave exist - artists, poets, lovers of sound. I cried during Nick Cave’s set, last time that happened was Patti Smith’s fault. They make me feel such raw sentiments, I can’t control myself. Sometimes it feels like it’s anguish - but it goes away, however for a minute I feel so relentlessly alone, and even though it is scary, I thank these artists, because they make you see the beautiful things even when life is hard. And it can be terribly hard.
And sometimes you just have to go for it
And we did! The third and last day was quite special but weird for us. The transition from Lorde to Arctic Monkeys (which you will find more about it very soon) and then to A$AP Rocky AND finally to Skepta included enough reasons to waste all the energy we had left (almost all the energy though - because we did have to walk all the way back to the hostel). Firstly, we had A$AP Rocky who gave us such a strong set that we didn’t believe we were actually enjoying that much till it was over and we got to watch the fireworks (Happy New Year!). What a legend! Finally, we had Skepta who was the surprise artist (we think) we deserved. So thank you for allowing us to lose out &%$& - I am getting the feeling we lost our shit a fair amount during this festival. It felt great - HELL YEAH, IT DID!
And sometimes you’re just not quite there… I guess?
It’s quite a coincidence both of these bands/artists name begins with an A.
Arctic Monkeys - maaaaan, I really wanted to enjoy their set, apparently, according to some of our friends, they’re the greatest band of our generation (I spat my drink during this segment). But they’re so boring live, I’m sorry - I absolutely love them and their music but live they are just robots playing instruments - I actually think Alex Turner actually turned into a robot - he didn’t even blink.
Ariel Pink: The sun was still out, the right crowd was invited but the sound was way too loud and the set didn’t make anyone excited - Am I poet???
What is a festival without a reunion?!
Rhye. Our beautiful friends. They make us so happy - we danced with the sunset in front of us, it was such a brilliant set - damn it. Milosh knows what he’s doing - the music is beautiful - and the strings maaaaaan. Tom and Claire are the bomb.
Raquel has a strange stomach but it was a successful festival!
Outside the festival. We had to make the most of what Barcelona has to give and one of these things is Tapas! Wherever we go in Barcelona there are little corner restaurants who claim to sell the best sangria and the best tapas. We ate so much, calamari sandwich, prawns (I love seafood), cheese so much cheese, huevos rotos and so much sangria - beautiful sangria.
What about the festival itself?
“So many great options” said two massive food lovers as soon as they entered the food area. Joana didn’t find any food safety hazard at all (because we all know I am a health freak….). The options were varied and rich in flavour (however I only ate Mexican food because I freaking love it). But actually, let’s talk about hygiene now: toilets in particular. We usually don’t have to use the general toilets (#vip) however we gotta live the full experience and let me tell you: amazing organisational system and use of space (it had a hand sanitiser dispenser just next to the door handle). Also a huge thank you to the Press Area staff who always gave me the best locker, smile and still water (and a cheeky glass of wine) when I needed.
Maybe we should rethink where we should relax.
It would be sort of a crime if we didn’t spend an afternoon at the beach. So we faced the heat and planned a relaxing morning at one of the beaches at Barceloneta. Everything was nice and smooth: we actually really appreciated the varied of services and products offered to us (beers, mojitos, massages, necklaces, water, samosas, henna tattoos, etc) but for once we just wanted to relax. We had ice creams though and it was nice. We’ll see you next year. Don’t try to call or text us, we’ll be too busy watching some great bands or chilling by the pool at one of those hotels near Parc Del Forum (<- we’ll see about this one) ;)No, we won’t see - we’re going to freaking book a hotel room right by the venue. And that’s it.
Raquel & Joana
Photos and Videos by: Omar Baldé, Joana, Raquel & Friends | Collages and Gifs: Raquel Candeias