Primavera Sound will stay in Barcelona at least until 2027
Attendees at Primavera Sound, this Friday.
Attendees at Primavera Sound, this Friday.Alejandro Garcia (EFE)

Primavera Sound will stay in Barcelona until at least 2027 and the organization, according to Gaby Ruiz, director of the festival, hopes to sign the agreement next week. As Ruiz himself pointed out, during these days the mayor Ada Colau visited the festival “and showing affection, proximity and understanding that pleasantly surprised me, we were talking and reached an understanding”, he clarified before being “very grateful” for the role of the first mayor.

Gaby Ruiz has indicated which were the pending problems of solution and the main one is the one of the dates. “The artists tour the United States in May and arrive in Europe at the beginning of June, so it is important to keep these dates to guarantee the quality of the poster,” she clarified. Getting a reasonable capacity in Sant Adrià del Besós would be another of those problems – this year they had one of 30,000 people and it was reduced to 15,000 two months before the festival – and the third is to achieve a single dialogue that avoids the multiplicity of authorities involved in the problem solving. “Despite the fact that these problems are not resolved, we remain, we are aware that Barcelona functions as a pole of attraction for the international public and I reiterate that I believe in Ada Colau’s will to seek solutions”, she stressed. The director of the festival has taken the opportunity to publicly congratulate Dani Granados, the council’s Cultural Rights delegate, “for his invaluable collaboration in mediating between all those involved”.

Primavera Sound, which has confirmed the double edition in Barcelona and Madrid for the next few years, has completely ruled out the format of two weekends in Barcelona for the future, and has not guaranteed the maintenance of the Spring to the City as has been verified this year. “It has been a success and we are very happy, because we do not only aspire to put on concerts for 60,000 people, but since Barcelona will go before Madrid, it may be easier for this format to fit better in Madrid”, Ruiz pointed out. At all times, he has reiterated that Primavera’s will is to stay in Barcelona. “I’m from here, I work here and it’s a city used to facing challenges in organizing big events”, he specified.

Using at all times a conciliatory tone not devoid of humility, Ruiz stated that the festival is going to Madrid “to break the stone” and stressed that the Arganda del Rey venue that will host it “is designed for holding festivals and has all the appropriate means for it. We know there are mobility problems, but we are here to solve them”. In the same way, he clarified that the bridge that joins the Forum site in Barcelona with Sant Adrià beach has not been able to be used because it is still unknown whether the fire that burned some boats in the port a few years ago has damaged it structurally. In this sense, the director of the Primavera has promised to “help in the studies that have to be done in this regard, we have to know if that bridge resists the transit of personnel or not.” It was one more example of the Primavera’s management accepting his involvement as an active agent in solving problems rather than in the role of a hypothetical blackmailer. “We have not blackmailed the city council,” Ruiz said. “We are nobody to do it, we only stated that if we could not work well we would have to look for solutions”.

The festival has gathered an average of 80,000 people a day

Ruiz has downplayed, on the other hand, the neighborhood complaints and has pointed out: “We have the buildings monitored and when the sound is annoying we lower it.” That had to be done, for example, last Thursday night during the Dua Lipa and Gorillaz concerts. Going into figures, Alfonso Lanza, another of the directors of the festival, has declared that half a million views had been received altogether, spread over 220,000 the first weekend and 240,000 the second, with an average daily occupancy of 80,000 people. Curiously, the day with the lowest attendance was the first with 66,000, just when the problems began. Lanza has blamed it on the fact that the influx was very early, with 40,000 people at 5:00 p.m., which was added to the rush of the assembly, which had finished a short time before for reasons of permits. In an aside, Gaby Ruiz has pointed out that there are drones flying over the venue at all times to monitor the movement of the public. In any case, the festival has reiterated its apologies for the problems that arose that day, assuming responsibility for it. The impact of the festival on the city’s economy has been estimated at 349 million euros.

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