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Primavera Sound Survival Guide

The seventeenth edition of Primavera Sound will be held in Barcelona from 31 May to 4 June. The main centre of operations is the Parc del Fòrum, but concerts will also be hosted at other points in town (check out the festival website for these extra concerts and ticket availability). Barcelona will actually become the world’s music capital for five days. This year the line-up is headed by a wide variety of top-notch artists, notably Van Morrison, Grace Jones, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, The xx, Aphex Twin, Slayer and Solange, as well as a number of highly interesting b-series artists, including The Damned, Wild Beasts, Angel Olsen, The Magnetic Fields, Marie Davidson, Julie Dorion and Mac Demarco, among others.

Apart from treating visitors to myriad musical offerings, Primavera Sound also gives you the chance to see the city. Barcelona is a comparatively compact city, so you can tour it in a short space of time. Here, then, are some tips on how to do it at your convenience.

Room Wanted

Barcelona is a tourist resort and, as such, offers a host of hotel accommodations. Then again, that makes it difficult to decide on an option. Here are three quite different proposals to help you make your choice. The first is Hostel Generator, located on Calle Córcega, well placed in terms of the city centre, the Gràcia district and the Verdaguer metro stop where you can get Line 4 straight to the Fòrum. Another interesting option is Melon District Marina, a student residence which also accepts bookings for just a few days, located halfway between downtown Barcelona and the main Primavera Sound venue (it’s just a fifteen-minute ride by either Metro or Trambaix to the Parc del Fòrum). Lastly, if you’re on a shoestring budget, you could always check out the Couchsurfing Barcelona website to find free accommodation.

Affordable Snacks

Barcelona’s culinary array is also endless. Here, we focus on a few reputable restaurants serving a Mediterranean diet and, more importantly, at reasonable prices. Let’s begin at Urretxu, a Basque restaurant near the Olympic Village which serves up market cuisine – ideal for a quick meal before any of the concerts. It is close to several stops on Line 4 and just a stone’s throw from the Fòrum. More centrally located – specifically, on Calle Diputación – is Gelida, with its typically Catalan culinary offerings which will suit all pockets. They do not have a house menu, but the list of dishes based on fresh products is great. Winding up these recommendations is the Bacoa hamburger chain, with several outlets scattered about the city. You can sit down to a meal of their organic meat hamburgers in any of their establishments, or opt for a takeaway, a good choice if you’re looking to get to the festival grounds as early as possible.

Hunting For Vinyl

If you’re left with any spare time after the flurry of activity generated by Primavera Sound, why not drop in on some of the city’s most venerable record shops? It’s worth embarking on that quest for the vinyl you’ve been seeking out for some time in the Calle Tallers, right next to Barcelona’s Rambla. There you will find the two stores owned by Discos Revolver, who celebrated their thirty-fifth anniversary just a short while ago. Another place of pilgrimage for music lovers which you should make a point of visiting is Ultra-Local Records, located on Calle Pujades, just a few metres from the line 4 metro stop of Llacuna (three stops from the Fòrum). Another way of “searching for the lost record” on the Sunday hangover morning is by visiting Mercat de Sant Antoni, an emblematic second-hand street market where, apart from vinyls, you can pick up all sorts of collectibles at very reasonable prices.

Book your Vueling to Barcelona and gear up to revel in the Primavera Sound festivities.

Text by Xavi Sánchez Pons



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