The Best Primavera Sound Festival Yet

Words and photos by Rafael Gonzalez 

After two years of cancellations due to the pandemic, Primavera Sound festival returned for its 20th anniversary—its best and biggest to date, with 11 huge days that turned the city of Barcelona into the world capital of music… if only for a few days.

More than half a million people from 139 countries showed out to enjoy the lineup across 16 stages at Parc del Fòrum and venues across the city. Among the artists were Pavement (who made their debut at Primavera Sound a decade before) and The Strokes, who were scheduled to perform both weekends of the festival, but were only able to attend the second due to illness. The band made up for their absence on the first weekend by playing their greatest hits from their debut album Is This It (2001), all the way up to 2020’s The New Abnormal.

J Mascis

Elsewhere on the lineup were Tyler, The Creator, Kim Gordon, Dinosaur Jr, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Gorillaz, Yo La Tengo, Tame Impala, The National, Beach House, Yeah Yeah Yeahs (who were performing their only European show, and are about to release their new album Cool it Down at the end of September), and countless other artists. Put simply, the kind of lineup that caused multiple headaches trying to decide your viewing schedule for the day.

It was undoubtedly the best edition in the festival’s history, and from this year onwards, Primavera will be coming to even more cities across the globe, including LA, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Buenos Aires, and Madrid. Scroll on for a visual diary of this year’s 20th-year anniversary festival, shot entirely on film. Truly one for the books!

Kim Gordon
Les Savy Fav


Kim Gordon
Cartoonist drawing live performances
J Mascis
Les Savy Fav – how it started
Les Savy Fav – how it ended

Yo La Tengo
Tame Impala
Julian Casablancas, The Strokes
Pavement – Gold Soundz
Beach House

Colin Caulfield and Andrew Bailey from Diiv
Tame Impala

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