They're twice the age of most of their audience as well as many of their fellow performers, but they're among the festival's major draws. They're proof you can get older and still be very, very cool. At 70 years old, Rodríguez (Sat 25th) must be one of the oldest musicians at Primavera Sound 2013 (he's the same age as Mulatu Astatke), but he's also one of the most anticipated, for sure. The protagonist of the Oscar-winning documentary 'Searching for Sugar Man', the seemingly cursed musician who could've been the Latino Bob Dylan and became a South African legend without knowing it, will perform the songs on the two albums he released in the early '70s, accompanied by a string section. No doubt most of us will be shedding a tear or two. Right behind him in age is Kevin Rowland (59), who, as the front man of Dexys (Sat 25th), will definitely be one of highlights of the festival. He'll perform, from beginning to end, 'One Day I'm Going to Soar' (2012), the album the group made when upon reuniting after 30 years. It'll be a theatrical and emotional show without too many of the classics, but more than enough to make up for the queue to get into the concert hall. And yes, one of them will be 'Come On Eileen'. The visit from Dead Can Dance (Sat 25th) will be a bit less exciting, but only because they were just here in October. Lisa Gerrard (52) and Brendan Perry (53) are back after 16 years with 'Anastasis' (2012), and their mix of dark, post-punk, ethereal world fusion with new a
This year the headliners are playing on the stage that's farthest away from the entrance, so you'll have to walk all the way through the venue to get there. Down that energy drink and get moving. It'll be worth it. They're the groups that pretty much sell the tickets to these festivals, though surely none of them sell more tickets than the Primavera Sound brand. This year the headliners move to the northern-most stage in the festival, which is a nice way of saying that they're going to the middle of nowhere, now reborn as Escenario Heineken. It's there that you'll be able to enjoy the resurrection of Britpop heroes Blur (Fri 24th), who, facing the sea, will revisit classics and play a couple of new things that they've debuted since their return in 2012. Theirs is the most anticipated return of the festival, no offense to Dexys (Sat 25th) and The Postal Service (Thu 23rd), who are celebrating ten years since their only album, 'Give Up', indietronica hit of the turn of the century. Noise pop is another common theme for the headliners, with the two biggest names of '90s shoegaze: My Bloody Valentine (Sat 25th) and The Jesus and Mary Chain (Fri 24th). Both reunited in 2007 and have performed in Barcelona since their return. Seeing Kevin Shields's group will be particularly interesting, as his last shows in the city have been spectacular (if only we could say the same of the Reid brothers), they're performing their first album in 22 years and, what's more, they're at the height of t
It's 3am and all the headliners have left the stages. Now what? Don't worry, we'll show you the way If you're one of those who are already wiped out when the bouncers clear everyone out in the wee hours, go ahead and stop reading. But if you're the type who's left wanting more but not knowing where to keep the party going, we'll give you the keys to ending each day of Primavera Sound with a bang. Two groups on the threshold of headline status will be playing after 3am. First it's Animal Collective (Thu 23rd) with their contemporary psychedelic rock, which, if you like, can lead into Toundra's moody, instrumental rock or Jackmaster's '80s house music. The next night The Knife (Fri 24th) alternates dark ambient with noisy experimental music and, if that doesn't knock your socks off, go try London's post-dubstep sensation, Disclosure. If you prefer guitars, give The Knife a miss and head for punk band Titus Andronicus's sharp guitar sounds, and then on to the garage punk-pop of King Tuff, a friend of J Mascis who was once a member of Happy Birthday. If you're still going strong, give in to Omar Souleyman (Sat 25th) and his Syrian dance: you'll make it to Hot Chip (Sat 25th) without a problem. Alternatively there are a few house dance options: The Suicide of Western Culture and Headbirds. And Primavera Sound always has to end with DJ Coco bringing us a wide variety of pop - even Journey. Primavera Sound on Spotify
A peek at the programme
The kings of shoegaze and post-punk in the '80s, and possibly one of the best Scottish bands ever, The Jesus and Mary Chain kicked off their career in 1984 and broke up at the end of the '90s, though they enjoyed a brief moment of glory in 2003 when their song 'Just Like Honey' was included in the soundtrack for 'Lost in Translation'. Following a few solo disappointments, the Reid brothers got the band back together with Phil King, Brian Young and Mark Crozer to do the festival circuit, including Coachella, Primavera Sound and BBK Live. Their new album, 'Damage and Joy' was released at the end of March, and they're in Barcelona to show it off barely a month afterwards.
Against all logic and common sense in these hard economic times, Primavera Sound has opened its own shop. Located in El Born (C/ Ases 1), it was created with two intentions in mind. The first, more commercially oriented one, is to sell music by Catalan, national and international groups – on vinyl of course – merchandising, concert tickets, books and DVDs. The second is more social: to become a meeting point for music lovers and fans of independent music. Quite a miracle now that shops are closing down and even emblematic establishments are disappearing in the city. At the same time, Primavera Sound has also launched its own recording and management company, El Segell del Primavera.
The Edifici Fòrum, a striking blue triangular construction by architects Herzog and de Meuron (responsible for London's Tate Modern), is the centrepiece of the €3 billion redevelopment. The remainder of the money was spent on the solar panels, marina, new beach and the Illa Pangea, an island 60 metres (197 feet) from the shore, accessible only by swimming. The surrounding Parc del Fòrum is used for international conferences, travelling circuses (such as the Cirque de Soleil), and many concerts and music festivals, including Primavera Sound and the Cruïlla music festivals.