It was not quite how you envision it to finally be at a top European festival after three years. The first day of Primavera Sound often turned out to be downright poorly organised, with long lines and logistical chaos. Complaints are pouring in on social media and the festival now felt compelled to come up with a statement.
Update: Primavera’s startup issues appear to have been resolved. On the second day of the festival, the bar staff has been scaled up considerably and lines are absent or at least perfectly acceptable. Running lines have also been introduced in the area with the two main stages.
The main complaints about the festival are about the bars, which had queues of up to more than an hour. Beer taps were far too few and it took a minute to pour a single beer. Staff had to keep looking for pin machines, which were occasionally even broken, so that they had to switch to cash only†
What also doesn’t help is the wide variety of drinks at each bar: a bar employee spends so many minutes per cocktail. The drink and other ingredients have to come from everywhere and nowhere, making it a madhouse of bar staff running back and forth. In summary, there were simply far too few staff and there seems to be a lack of a well-functioning system.
Water and crowds
Apart from the bars, there is also a lot of criticism that there are hardly any water points at the festival, while the temperature demands sufficient hydration. It is not allowed to bring your own water inside, so people stand in line for hours to get a drink of water.
The festival has a double main stage, with the two stages right next to each other. In theory a good idea, because that way shows can go on one after the other and you don’t have to wait for the next act. But in practice it ensures that large groups of audiences constantly move from one side to the other. Because there is hardly any work with front pockets or barriers, this leads to scary scenarios where crowds just keep pushing on.
Finally, the logistics after the festival were a fiasco. Those who did not have the luxury of walking to their apartment have to rely on shuttle buses and taxis. For the first there was a queue that again does not stay under the hour, taxis are disorganized and charge extortionate prices for short journeys. What did go well was the tram, which continues all night and at least around 5 o’clock had enough seats.
Logically, the situation also leads to complaints pouring in via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Fortunately, the complaints did not go unnoticed at the festival itself. On Friday morning, the organization feels compelled to make a statement. “We are aware of the issues and are working hard to resolve them,” the statement read. “This is not the way we wanted to see each other after two years.”
Festileaks will be present at Primavera Sound 2022 and will provide an extensive live report for two weeks. You follow all developments via the website and via Instagram.
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Primavera Sound 2022
June 1-12, 2022
Completely sold out.