The big one: Primavera Sound

We look ahead to the weekend's biggest festival, Primavera Sound in Barcelona.

What is it?

Meaning ‘Spring’ in Spanish, Primavera Sound is as much a holiday as a music festival, boasting a rich and diverse line up of bands that bear similarities to an All Tomorrow’s Parties line up. Only it’s not held in some rain-soaked holiday home in a coastal town that time forgot.

When and where?

The three-day event is set in Spain’s party heart, Barcelona, kicking off on Thursday night (29 May) and carrying through until the early hours of Sunday morning. With late starts you have time to recover and/or enjoy the attractions of the Catalan city before hitting it hard for another late night.

Five to watch

MGMT – (Thursday, Rockdelux Stage) – Kicking off the festival with psychedelic swagger and a nod of the weird and wonderful things to come over the next three days.

Public Enemy – (Thursday, Rockdelux Stage) – Playing their seminal album ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’, you’ll be able to set the time by Flava Flav’s neck wear.

A Place To Bury Strangers – (Friday, Vice Stage) – New York art rockers will play one of the loudest sets of the weekend, finding frequencies previously unknown to man.

The Sonics – (Friday, Rockdelux Stage) – Original guitar thrashing pioneers, set the mould for future legends like Iggy And The Stooges. A rare outing.

Les Savy Fav – (Saturday, ATP Stage) – Blistering, well crafted indie rock from another American import. Things will be climbed and probably broken.  

One to miss

Lightspeed Champion – (Saturday, Vice Stage) – It’s not that Dev’s nu-folk outfit isn’t brilliant, it is, it’s just the fact he’s bloody everywhere. See him somewhere else. 

Playing a rare festival date

Portishead – (Friday, Rockdelux Stage) – See the masters of doom-hop play the last date of their all too short tour in support of their incredible new album ‘Third’.

Inside tip

El Guincho – (Friday, Vice Stage) – Chopped up afro-beat and and Tropicana from one of the best Spanish acts on show.

Worst clash

Fuck Buttons vs Cat Power – If only they were actually playing together. Now that would be something to write home about. 

Be at Primavera Sound if you like…

All Tomorrow’s Parties, Tapas, opinionated indie geeks, late nights, flying Easyjet, Estrella Damm beer.

Avoid if you like

Camping, a line up based on melody, picking fights with Spaniards, water from taps.   

Festival tactics

Get the best out of your holiday by checking out the Barcelona sights before taking a well deserved siesta. Get up early evening and head to the festival site to crack on until the early hours. See some bands you’ve never heard of and speak to some Spanish people. Repeat for three days.

Fashionista or folky?

Somewhere in the middle. There will be some full-on nerds, generally leftovers from the last couple of ATP who’ll embark on their third outing of the year before hibernating to learn Shellac songs on their accordion, but hopefully some sexy, stylish Spaniards will up the class.

Alcohol of choice

Estrella Damm. The Spanish beer are sponsoring the festival and there are rumours that some freebies will be give out throughout the weekend so keep an eye out. It’s pretty good stuff and with the pound/Euro exchange the way it is you’ll need every freebie you can get.

Take your mum score

9/10. She may not have a clue what the music’s all about but stick her in front of Rufus Wainwright and she’ll be happy for at least a couple of hours. During the day she can check out the stunning architecture and history of Barcelona while you sleep off your hangover. 

Primavera Sound takes place in Barcelona from 29-31 May.