Every year music lovers from all over the world convene in Catalonia.
When it’s Primavera Sound time you’re not only in for one of the greatest music festivals in the world, but the cultural offerings the city of Barcelona offers are second to none.
In fact, is there a festival of this caliber in a city like Barcelona?
Let’s see who’s playing, how to get your Primavera Sound 2018 tickets, and how to rock the rest of your stay in Barcelona with oodles of tips from a local.
Primavera Sound Festival
It’s hard to define this mega-festival in just a few words.
Primavera, as its called by its legions of yearly attendees, can only be described as an urban music festival celebrating rock, indie, pop, and dance music.
Quite the combination isn’t it?
I say it’s Europe’s answer to Coachella in the way it makes its own rules and dictates festival trends for all the rest – just take a look at the artists of Primavera past to see just how much of a flair it has for predicting what’s gonna be hot next year.
And did I mention the city of Barcelona has an amazing list of things to do?
Primavera Sound 2018 Dates
Our favourite Barcelona festival acts as an opening party of sorts for the European festival circuit, beginning at the end of May and going into early June.
The 2018 edition of Primavera Sound runs from May 30th to June 3rd.
With the festival traditionally opening on a Wednesday there is always a free concert open to the whole city. In 2018 it’ll be Belle and Sebastian headlining with a bunch of local groups.
From Thursday to Saturday we get the main part of the festival, each day hosting its own headliners and side stages with lesser known artists.
If you’re in Barcelona at any point in May it’s also a great time to check out the Primavera a la Ciutat, a free concert series run by Primavera Festival organizers at local community centres, bars, and clubs.
Primavera Sound 2018 Lineup
The headliners this year are gonna smash it!
For the first night of the festival (Thursday) you’ll be treated to eclectic Icelandic singer Bjork. Friday continues with America rock band The National while Saturday finishes in style with English rockers the Arctic Monkeys.
Other artists to keep an eye out for in the lineup for 2018: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Churches, Lorde, Beach House, Father John Misty, and The War on Drugs.
The electronic music offerings are also gonna rip it up with the likes of Four Tet live, The Black Madonna, Seth Troxler, and John Talabot.
Here’s a link to the full lineup.
Primavera Sound 2018 Tickets
If you’re looking to attend the festival you’ll have three ticket options:
- Full pass: €215.00. With this option you’ll even be able to pay in installments (€65.00 upon purchase, €65.00 the next month, €65.00 the following month).
- VIP full pass: €400.00. VIP access includes: entrance to every day of the festival, VIP zone access, access to the best viewpoints for each concert, access to backstage parties in the VIP area including pool and bar service, and skip the line access to off-site concerts (Primavera als Clubs and Auditori Rockdelux), a welcome pack.
- Primavera Pro: €250.00. Access to all the conferences, workshops, and meetings associated with the Day Pro Conference, access to the press zone and all the media tools, exclusive concert entry.
- Day tickets: €85.00 (plus fees). Select the day of your favourite artist without breaking the bank.
- Travel packages: €240.00+. On the website you’ll find ticket packages that include 3 nights camping, hotel, or apartment + shuttle passes to the venue.
Where to Sleep
If you’re in a festival mood and prefer spending your hard earned money on food, drink, and god knows what else it’s always best to find yourself a bunk at one of Barcelona’s best hostels.
The one I personally recommend is the rock n’ roll themed Sant Jordi Rock Palace. Not only is it one of the cleanest and most modern hostels in the city, but it’s got a rooftop swimming pool!
For a more utilitarian hostel that’s not going to break the bank yet still offer modernity and cleanliness there’s also a great option at Meeting Point Hostels.
For lodging close to the venue keep in mind that most hotels in the area will be mid-range hotels. That said, it doesn’t hurt to look and so I’ve created a Booking search to list all the hotels in the area with the best deals.
Click the button below for a list of accommodation near the venue:
If on the other hand the area doesn’t interest you I strongly recommend you read my article on the best areas to stay in Barcelona. It can mean the difference between a mediocre and a great trip.
Looking for a holiday apartment? I’ve got a guide on that too.
Parc del Forum: How to Get to the Festival
The Parc del Forum is found in the Barcelona city limits in an area called Sant Adrià de Besòs.
You can also get there using the following buses: H16, H14, 143, 7, 36, N6, and N7.
Keep in mind that the metro closes during the week (for Primavera Barcelona the nights of Wednesday and Thursday) at midnight and re-opens at 5:00. On Friday it closes at 2:00 am while on Saturday the metro runs all night.
In the event you’ve missed the last train and need to get to the festival there are shuttle buses running directly from Plaza Catalunya every 10 minutes and cost €2.00. Or take either of the ‘N’ buses listed above.
I’ve been to Primavera Festival and can attest that it’s an absolute mess leaving the festival grounds at the end of the day. If you’re going to get a taxi I suggest downloading the MyTaxi app so you can order one ahead of time and don’t end up queuing an hour.
This behemoth of an open-air venue was built in 2004 for the Fórum Universal de las Culturas and many other of the city’s great music festivals: Festival Cruilla, the concerts of La Mercé, the Catalonian April Fair, and naturally Primavera Sound.
Inside the park you’ll find around a dozen stages, a food truck area, a chill out space, toilets, bank machines, and various tents selling all sorts of goods. And to boot the venue has a spectacular sea view.
At the end of the day though don’t worry: losing at least one friend throughout the day is super standard and gives you a great excuse to meet new ones!
Primavera Sound History
The story begins in 2001 when a group of local music movers and shakers decide to get Barcelona it’s very own festival to rival Glastonbury, Roskilde, Rock am Ring and others.
The first one went off at Poble Espanyol and had 5 different stages hosting a few rock groups with a few DJs spinning techno. As the years went on steady growth lead the original 10,000 attendees to number over 200,000 spectators in 2017.
Naturally they moved to a bigger venue: Parc del Fòrum.
The festival still maintains its origins with a lineup mix of rock legends and emerging artists covering a broad spectrum of genres like rap, folk, R&B, and more.
Here’s a few Primavera Barcelona lineup staples over the past years: Pixies, Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age, The National, Nine Inch Nails, Portishead, Radiohead, Pet Shop Boys, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Franz Ferdinand, The White Stripes, LCD Soundsystem and The Cure.
Again, the 2018 lineup has headliners Björk, Arctic Monkeys and The National!
Primavera Sound FAQ
It’s sold out and I want second hand tickets for Primavera Sound, what do I do?
If you’re looking at buying one second hand make sure you minimize the risk buy buying them at a legitimate resale site like the Safe Marketplace created by Redtkt.
Can I bring my own booze and food to the festival?
Unfortunately it’s prohibited to enter the festival with drinks/alcohol however you’re free to bring as much food as you want!
Can I bring a video camera?
Is there a storage locker for me to leave some belongings?
Right off to the side of the main entrance (additional fees apply).
Can I buy cigarettes on site?
No, but there are plenty of convenience stores/off licenses in the vicinity – remember before you go in!
Will the vendors accept debit/credit card?
All of the main food and drink vendors associated with the festival accept both cash and card, though some food trucks may not. I suggest bringing a small amount of cash just in case.
Are there any discounts for youth?
Children under 14 get in free as long as they’re accompanied by a paid guardian.
How do I get the festival timetables?
They will be handed out via flyers at the festival, or you can check the official website or download the app.
Can I leave the festival grounds and come back?
Concertgoers will be given a stamp and allowed to come back as long as it is done before 3 am.
What is the weather going to be like?
Since late Spring in Barcelona can range anywhere from moderate to fairly hot it is advised to pack yourself some summer clothing (hat, t-shirt etc.) and some sunscreen. As nighttime temperatures could drop it’s also wise to bring a light jacket or hoodie.
Will I need to bring ID?
You must have an identity card or passport to pickup the tickets – in the cases of non-Spanish attendees a copy of the documents will suffice.
Get More Information by Harassing Me!
Yes, I may have got you ready for Primavera Sound 2018 but it’s very likely I’ve missed something: if you have any comments or questions regarding your Barcelona holiday make sure you write me in the comment section below.
Keep on rocking in the free world 🙂