Primavera Sound has for years been a special festival, a special part of Barcelona and a special part of the global music scene. Always at the forefront of new music and social progress, 2019’s iteration of the event upped their game and set the bar incredibly high for every other festival around.
From the moment you walk in the entry, you can bask in the love that is pouring out everywhere. It’s a festival anchored in self-love and respect, and this year’s line-up was a complete celebration of self, with particular attention to feminism, queer pride and Black excellence. It’s a hard event to surmise as a whole, because the real stars were fleeting moments - the moments that you hear about for years after, the real “wish you were there” moments. Well, Cool Accidents were there so let us take you through the moments that made Primavera Sound 2019 the festival we never want to forget.
Robyn’s Dancing On My Own sing-a-long
As the clock neared 3am on Friday night (Saturday morning technically), Robyn’s whimsical, free spirited set was drawing to a close. The huge crowd she drew were making sure they hung on every word, and it was well worth the wait. A few songs out from her closer, Robyn dropped Dancing On My Own without warning and the crowd went mental. As she sang her way through the first verse – and the crowd sang with her – it was impossible not to feel the euphoria flow through you. But then she did something that no one could’ve expected – she cut the music right at the chorus, and made way for the most beautiful, a capella, crowd-only sing-a-long we’ve ever heard. People were hugging one another, people were crying and people couldn’t believe that it was real. There’s something incredibly magical about thousands upon thousands of people singing “so I’ll keep dancing on my own” at 3am, and Robyn – who looked on in awe – thought so too.
Janelle Monáe’s epic 20-minute closer
Australians have only had a small handful of opportunities to see Janelle Monáe live in our own country, but her Primavera set is going to make Aussies riot until she touches down. With a set filled with flawless choreography, blatant callouts of dangerous politicians and an overall celebration of ‘otherness’ – or dirty computers, as she’d put it – she wrapped her massive 90-minute set with a 2010 deep cut, Come Alive (The War Of The Roses). But it wasn’t like it is in stereo – Monáe turned it into an epic party of its own. It was completely chaotic in the best way possible, as Monáe stripped back all the precision and finesse to just let loose with her band and her dancers. This level of freedom in performance is usually only reserved for those obscure stages that one doesn’t usually pay attention to, but Monáe took that small stage energy and gave it a headliner’s platform. It solidified her legacy as a performer, and also means we need her here more than ever.
Charli XCX & Christine & The Queens’ impromptu onstage collab
Charli XCX and Christine & The Queens both took to the Primavera stage on Thursday night, with Charli having the later set at about 1am. It was a rambunctious performance that showed Charli at her best – bouncing, electrifying and incredibly endearing. She has a slew of tracks with other Primavera performers – like the Lizzo-featuring Blame It On Your Love or the Cupcakke-featuring Lipgloss – but the onstage guest she brought up was for a song that’s not even released yet. Charli and Christine fed off each other’s energy beautifully for Gone, a song taken from Charli's upcoming album, and their chemistry was palpable. The way they got lost in each other’s eyes on stage, two artists that embody badass feminism, was truly something special to behold.
Charli XCX new song with Christine And The Queens at Primavera Sound Festival pic.twitter.com/FUS61CKuvg
— Emmanuel Fours (@MrFoures) May 31, 2019
ROSALíA’s entire headlining set
So, this is a very long moment, but a set this good cannot be done justice by selecting a single freeze frame. ROSALíA drew the biggest crowd of the festival without a shadow of a doubt, as the Spaniards came in the masses to see the country’s resident pop superstar. Flanked by a few dancers and nothing more, ROSALíA commanded that stage and the tens of thousands of people that came to see her. From the powerful and fierce Con Altura to the crowd silencing Bagdad to the stunning onstage collaboration with James Blake Barefoot In The Park, ROSALíA had the entire festival at her disposal on that Saturday night. It’s hard to imagine that anyone else can put a crowd of that size to complete silence with just the beauty of their voice, but ROSALíA made it look effortless.
Seeing just how much Tame Impala has impacted the world
For Aussies, Tame Impala are a special band. Not only is Kevin Parker and co. our biggest musical export at the moment, but also we’ve seen Tame Impala grow from small Aussie festival opener to international festival headliner throughout the past decade. As such, seeing them conquer Primavera’s main stage at midnight on Friday night felt like full circle. Parker was still wearing his deadly shirt/jeans/thongs combo, and the band’s biggest songs managed to sound even bigger as the echo of crowd sing-a-longs washed over everyone. The riffs of Elephant sent quakes through the audience and the “fuck Trevor” mentality was universally held through The Less I Know The Better. There’s a big jump from Groovin The Moo to Primavera, but Tame Impala have remained flawless, progressive and grounded every step of the way.
FKA Twigs’ Sword-Wielding Choreography
Truly has to be seen to be believed.