And after the fallow, the binge. The open bar and the buffet to overflow. Two years and a perfect anniversary have been enough for the Spring Sound has come out of its 20th birthday turned into something else: what in 2019 was a great festival is now a great festival. Gigantic. Colossal. An appointment that, now yes, seems to look at itself without too much squeamishness in the mirror of Coachella, double weekend included, and that has said goodbye this weekend to the Forum with more than 500,000 spectators. Pharaonic figures, with 220,500 in the first weekend at the Forum, 240,000 in the second and 40,2000 in concerts in venues, with which the festival wants to claim like never seen. “It has been the largest musical production ever made in the city”, Alfonso Lanza, co-director of the festival, celebrated during a balance press conference capitalized on the future of the festival and its continuity in Barcelona.
And it is that, after weeks of rumors and announcing that next year the festival will be held in Barcelona and Madrid, it was urgent to clarify things. «Our will is to stay in Barcelona. Our success has been given to us by the artists, yes, but also by the city of Barcelona, which is an incredible claim”, assured the co-director of the event, Gabi Ruiz. What’s more: according to Ruiz, this very week the contract will be signed so that Primavera Sound stay in the Catalan capital until at least 2027. Four more years in which, he highlighted, the mediation of the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has played a key role. «We had a meeting with her and we raised the problems we had, which are not economic. The mayor asked us to trust her and we have no reason to distrust, “explained Ruiz.
Among the stumbling blocks that remain to be resolved, the dates for the 2024 edition (Spring does not want to move to May, where, they say, hiring bands is complicated) and the request for a single dialogue – the Forum site depends on the Port Authority, the Sant Adrià del Besós City Council and BSM – to avoid last-minute problems such as those that have affected this year to the BITS area, a space located next to the port of Sant Adrià which, Lanza revealed, underwent a last-minute change in capacity. «The license was reduced from 30,000 to 15,000 people and scenarios and programming had to be changed. We were also denied the use of the bridge,” Lanza recalled.
On the problems of the first day at the Forum, with queues at all the bars and crowds, Lanza has acknowledged that they were caught by surprise. “What happened on Thursday was frankly unexpected, with that massive influx of visitors,” he said. To avoid future collapses, the organization also demands more time to set up and test the Forum site. The real litmus test will come in 2023, when the festival opens a double venue in Madrid and Barcelona. «Our will is to go to Madrid and stay forever. Until they kick us out, “Ruiz said. From the Catalan capital, it seems, it will be time to speak again in 2027.
Until then, the festival can draw on reports like the one that pinpoints the economic impact of the festival on €349 million, or a musical program that was happening this Saturday for the resurrection of Antonia Font. A big day for galactic pop that, lacking the pull of the great international stars, waved the flag of the lunar anthems and the retrospective celebration on one of the main stages. The Mallorcans began with ‘Un minut stroboscòpica’, from their latest album, but in their first official concert in almost a decade, they couldn’t miss any of the songs that made them great. And, indeed, there was no shortage: from ‘Me sobren paraules’ to ‘Dins aquest igloo’, from ‘Alpinistes-samurais’ to ‘Alegria’, from ‘Clint Eastwood’ to ‘Wah Yeah’, theirs has been a joyful celebration of one of the most unique pop talents here.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism