Primavera Sound will not be returning to Madrid next year, its organisers have confirmed.
While the Spanish festival has taken place in Barcelona since 2001, this year was the first year that it became a dual-site event, with the same line-up playing both locations.
Now, it has been confirmed that the festival will not take place in the Spanish capital next year following numerous issues with its inaugural edition.
“Although both the city of Madrid and the whole region welcomed us with open arms, with a warmth that was mirrored in the institutions, the cultural agents and of course the audience, the external difficulties that the festival had to face in the final stretch of the pre-production gave rise to one of the most complicated events that Primavera Sound has ever had to face,” said Almudena Heredero, director of Primavera Sound Madrid, in a press release.
“And today, in the run-up to 2024, the city does not have a site able to host an event of this magnitude and format in terms of audience demands, production requirements, and musical show.
“As a consequence, although the evaluation of the festival was more than satisfactory on a musical level, the expectations we had were not fulfilled and the experience of the festivalgoers due to several logistical aspects was not the desired one. Inside the Ciudad del Rock, we experienced a festival full of great musical moments, but we are not oblivious to the annoyances. And that leads us to understand that, now, the conditions are not right for Madrid to have a Primavera Sound as it deserves in 2024”.
The opening day of Primavera Sound Madrid had to be cancelled due to safety issues posed by severe weather. Acts due to perform on the opening day included Blur, Yard Act, Halsey, Le Tigre, Turnstile and more.
Back in March, Primavera organiser Joan Pons told NME that they decided on launching a sister festival in Madrid due to the venue – the Ciudad del Rock of Arganda Del Rey – being “like a dream site” for the event.
He added: “We’d feel kind of silly if we didn’t take advantage of this. It’s probably going to be better than the Barcelona one because it’s built for having festivals. The Barcelona site is lovely, iconic and part of our legacy, but every year we have to adapt it for us.”
Pons also addressed the many issues of last year’s Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, which suffered problems relating to bar issues, large queues, overcrowding and access to water on the opening day. By the second day, the festival had responded, citing issues with COVID “casualties” and other logistic matters.
“The thing is that we apologised for the very first day,” said Pons, looking back on the festival. “The behaviour of people once in they’re in the festival can be predictable but is often surprising. Last year it was the first big festival after three years of the pandemic and suddenly, all of the people who had tickets appeared there for the very first time just as we were opening the doors.
“We were like, ‘Wow, that is too many people for this time of the day’. We had some problems with the bars, but we fixed them the very same day. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to apologise – of course, we needed to apologise the second day. If you think about the whole event, it was a 12-day festival with only one day of problems. We are proud of ourselves for being so reactive and listening to people so quickly.”
The Barcelona edition of Primavera Sound will return from May 30 to June 2, 2024.