One of the most popular global events of the year for music lovers has come to an end in Barcelona. Over the course of 12 days, Primavera Sound Barcelona – Sant Adrià 2022 brought a total of 674 concerts and nearly half a million visitors from 139 countries to the Catalan capital.
Primavera Sound: bigger than ever
In recent years, Primavera Sound has become one of Barcelona’s biggest annual tourist spots. However, this year’s event was particularly attractive, marking the festival’s highly anticipated return to the city after the pandemic hiatus – not to mention the 20th anniversary edition of the festival originally planned for 2020.
As well as 674 acts, 16 stages, 14 additional venues and nearly half a million guests, the festival also featured exclusive VIP areas hosted by the likes of London-based private members club Soho House and Spanish sports car brand CUPRA.
With a pool, exclusive performances and DJ sets, a food and drink menu by Soho House’s chefs and mixologists, as well as a showroom highlighting trending designers, Soho House’s Primavera Pro VIP area provided the ultimate space to relax and recharge during the festival.
Meanwhile, CUPRA teamed up with the online music broadcasting platform Boiler Room to deliver an electronic music streaming service. It also housed an open-air amphitheater and an exclusive VIP area overlooking the main stage, both under the banner “The Impulse of a New Generation”.
Twelve days of live music
The festival headliners included Dua Lipa, Lorde, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Charli XCX, Gorillaz, Megan Thee Stallion and The National, just to name a few. Instead of the usual three days, this year Primavera Sound spanned two weekends at the main venue in Parc del Fòrum and six additional days of “Primavera a la Ciutat” events taking place on 14 stages across Barcelona.
“Our energy is here after the three years since we were last together in June 2019,” the organizers explained. “We thought it would be great to host all the shows in town, as a way to reconnect with people and friends we haven’t seen in so long, and also because we wanted to pay tribute to the locations that suffered so much during the pandemic.”
Hotels Barcelona “almost full occupancy”
According to the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, events such as Primavera Sound once again brought Barcelona’s hotels “close to full occupancy, mainly with American, French and European tourists”. The article predicts a “better” tourist season for Barcelona than even before the pandemic, with the hotel sector already forecasting an occupancy rate of around 85% during the summer months, based on current reservations.
According to the festival organizers, Primavera Sound alone is estimated to have an economic impact of €349 million ($367 million) on Barcelona.
Laura Marney, a program manager from London, traveled to Barcelona with a group of friends for Primavera Sound and spent a full week in the city.
“I’ve wanted to go to Primavera Sound for years and was really excited when my friends got an extra ticket,” she said. “The most appealing thing for me is the location: I love Barcelona and I love festivals, so for me it’s a match made in heaven.”
Growing the festival from around 220,000 visitors in 2019 to nearly 500,000 in 2022 was not without its challenges. But while there were some initial crowd control issues over the first weekend, organizers took swift action to address them.
In the future, Primavera Sound has an eye for even bigger things. The festival is expanding internationally, with events confirmed before the end of the year in Porto (Portugal), Los Angeles (California), Santiago de Chile (Chile), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and São Paulo (Brazil).
Primavera Sound Los Angeles
Although the Los Angeles Edition — a three-day event taking place September 16-18, 2022 at LA State Historic Park and headlined by Arctic Monkeys, Lorde and Nine Inch Nails — was already scheduled for 2019, the pandemic created an opportunity for the organizers to look to the future.
“The expansion to LA was already announced,” said the Primavera Sound team. “And some talks with Chile were already underway. But the pandemic gave us time to think and prepare – not just for the upcoming edition, but for the bigger picture.”
For now, the bigger picture for Primavera Sound looks clearer than ever.