Primavera 2023

That first day was unforgivable in terms of organisation and amount of people on site. Genuinely thought there would be a huge medical emergency at some point, particularly as people couldn’t even hydrate. I knew something was up when Dinosaur Jr were playing to about 10,000 people. Just lots of the scheduling felt really… off, not enough stuff on at the same time to split crowds up.

I guess once you add in the large costs for next year and the fact almost 100% of the acts will be doing the rounds touring anyway it takes the shine off it a bit. Even as a regular I don’t feel that excited about going next year and might try to go to some smaller EU ones instead.

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By Week 2 it was more or less back to normal in terms of the vibe and organisation, even if there were still issues there never had been before (the bridge closure, the side by side stages, the sound bleed due to badly placed Boiler Room stage etc.).

But I was really ground down by how commercial it is to be honest. If you want to make a festival one big fucking billboard for the worst cunts siphoning money from people during a crisis, it should be free of charge. Not £375 or whatever they’re charging. They went too far for me. It felt soulless.

Can’t really be arsed this time around, but I’ll go if the line up is good enough, because I’m a grade a sucker and I’ve already got a ticket.

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The second and third nights were fun, just not sure it’s worth the best part of a grand it costs by the time you’ve done flights, hotel, tickets, food and drink etc. And I’d wanna see proof it runs properly again, it improved but one shambles day out of three is still not good enough and I’m not sure I trust them not to milk the site’s capacity for all they can.

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Over a grand for most people now I’d say. Could maaaybe squeeze under with early bird tickets, good luck with the flights, some budget accommodation and an incredibly strict budget during the festival… but nah, not really realistic anymore

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If it is fake then fair play going to all that trouble to arrange the acts alphabetically like that.

Still really struggle to get my head around how different my day 1 experience (and that of all the folks I was with) was compared with people on here. No idea which is the more representative of the wider festival crowd.

Reckon it was much better for primavera veterans. We worked our way around it and had a decent time. Think the average punter spent the day confused about the site, anxious, and trying to get beer and or water

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Perhaps, although I’d only been once before in 2019. Think getting there when the gates opened and the place was empty helped. Plus I am weird in that I can go for basically the whole day without drinking anything or being thirsty, so that wasn’t much of an issue either.

The main takeaway from that first day for me was that they were happy to cut anything that used to make the festival work in order to make/save money. Sure they managed to fix most of it but I’ll still be very hesitant to buy tickets in future because the guarantee of a well-organised festival just isn’t there any more.

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Having the water in cans and pouring everything out into cups wasn’t a money saving initiative, it was to keep the site tidy and be environmentally friendly. Not being able to use the bridge was out of their control, nothing to do with making or saving money. Having staff working at empty bars wasn’t saving money, it was just a blunder (and losing them money). I guess you could say they sold too many tickets, but not if most people agree things were fine on days 2 and 3.

They did sell too many tickets, 100%, and that’s not a small thing because it impacts every bit of infrastructure around the site. Combine it with poor scheduling and you get stuff like that ridiculous Dinosaur Jr crowd or people crying and panicking trying to get out at the end of Sharon Van Etten (both of whom would normally play to fairly chill two-thirds-full crowds), for instance. There were moments at the main stage where one crowd was leaving and another arriving that felt genuinely like something might kick off. One year after Astroworld, festivals should be absolutely fucking on it about basic stuff like this.

The whole thing just felt a bit off to me, and it was my fifth time.

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Yeah I guess if I’d seen stuff like people crying or dangerous crushes then I would agree, but I just didn’t. I was at the Dinosaur Jr set and thought it was nice they had a decent crowd so early in the evening, then I walked straight through the said crowd with absolutely no issue to get to Charli.

They weren’t trying to be environmentally friendly though were they? If they were they would have been encouraging people to bring water bottles and made it easy to refill them, rather than only selling water in cans, and they also wouldn’t have printed 20 different unrecyclable cups that they were encouraging people to collect.

And they did have use of the bridge, they just decided to make it VIP only. The “capacity” issue they were claiming is complete horseshit.

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Yeah that’s a pretty cynical view tbf

Yeah, was a quick number off the top of my head but I think you’re probably right. So it’s not so much whether I’d ever want to go again, as whether that’s the way I’d want to spend that amount of money.

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Has this been confirmed now then? That whole thing about issues with the municipality that the Bits area fell under was just bullshit?

Fairly incredible they didn’t reverse the decision after day 1 if so

Not been confirmed but the idea that the large bridge they’ve used in previous years was unsuitable for large numbers of people to cross but the weird selection of temporary stairways they had instead was fine has never smelled right. Gabi blamed a new port director saying they couldn’t use it, but in the same breath said it was only a 15 minute walk from Mordor so it’s never been something I’ve taken at face value.

As a corporate whore shill making a faustian pact with the primavera mafia, I’m clearly not doing a very good job.

Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle of my utopian, naive, embarrassingly guilt-free pleasures and highlight of my musical calendar for so many years and some of the sneering, cynical, everyone’s a liar, every mistake is in fact a machiavellian money-grab sentiments on here?

[Posted June 3]

The adidas was busier (for Pond) for this time of day than I have ever seen it before. Dramatically busier.

The site cannot hold this many people comfortably.

Assuming the bridge to Bits will never be allowed to be open for the masses again (which spreads people across the site), the only solution is to sell fewer tickets…

…which I can’t see happening.

RIP Primavera (2001-2022).

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I want the line-up to be good (for others) but absolutely not to my taste…No MBV, No rare appearance by Codeine etc

I can’t afford it/justify it/summon up the energy to look forward to it/plan it to the nth degree/put across the business case for being away from the family etc etc

I’ll be tuning in on the 29th hoping not to be sucked into the vortex

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