Attendees post multiple complaints after Primavera Sound Festival’s first weekend back

Barcelona festival Primevera Sound returned after a two year hiatus this past weekend. The festival, which takes place annually at Barcelona’s Parc del Fòrum, has become one of Europe’s major music events since its inception in 2001. Both the 2020 and 2021 editions of the festival were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While there has been much anticipation leading up to the festival’s return, the festival faced difficulties following multiple complaints from attendees on their opening day. Many deemed the festival an organisational misfire after multiple complaints about overcrowding, long queues, and lack of access to water. 

Reporting for The Quietus, Christian Eede noted that multiple social media posts surfaced on June 2, the opening day of the festival, with reports from attendees of bottlenecking at festival sites and an inadequate number of water stations. Security guards reportedly took away water bottles from attendees at entrance points, and there were only three water stations available on site. Bar queues had a reported waiting time of up to two hours. There were also multiple complaints regarding the layout of this year’s festival, which granted VIP ticket holders easier access to festival sites and stages while regular ticket holders had to take longer routes to reach various parts of the festival. This caused bottleneck issues, and made access to stages difficult. 

Writing on Twitter, attendee David Thorpe posted: “Primavera Sound is not safe. Oversold, no water access points, crushes / bottlenecks everywhere making it near impossible to get from stage to stage. Unsure what can be done to fix this by tomorrow but it was by far the worst festival experience I’ve ever had.”

In response to the complaints, Primavera Sound’s organisers increased the number of water points from three to six, and brought in extra bar staff to mitigate the long queues. In a statement shared to the festival’s social media on June 3, Primavera Sound acknowledged the complaints. “Today marks the second day of Primavera Sound. We are aware of the problems in the bar services yesterday and we apologise for them. We are working tirelessly to solve them so that we can all enjoy the coming days as we deserve. See you this afternoon.”

This year’s festival is headlined by acts including Massive Attack, Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, The National and Autechre, amongst others. The festival takes place over two weekends, with the second weekend opening from Thursday, June 9 to Sunday, June 11. 

Watch Charli XCX and Rina Sawayama perform their hit, Beg For You at Primavera Sound’s opening weekend, uploaded by user Mark Flaix below.