Written by: Jonno Coll
After an enforced three-year hiatus, Barcelona's iconic Primavera Sound finally returns to Parc Del Forum next month. It’s difficult to comprehend just how much the word has changed in the intervening three years.
Since the 2019 edition, Will Smith’s slap at the Oscars, 'Partygate', and Wordle have sent Earth spinning on its axis. There are probably one or two other significant world events, but none spring to mind right now...
As far as the music is concerned, the shift has been similarly seismic. The headline news this year is that the festival is now split across two consecutive weekends, and this has inevitably led to several tweaks to the lineup.
However, the festival promoters have done an excellent job of retaining some of the standout acts from their prospective 2020 edition without resting on their laurels, and ensuring the expansion delivers as many weighty, world renowned names.
That said, we’ve picked out six artists from the epic lineup for you to watch out for.
Perhaps the hottest act in UK's globally influential rap scene right now, and maybe the hottest in the UK full-stop: Little Simz was recently crowned 'Best New Artist' at the BRIT Awards in recognition of her phenomenal 2021 album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, and her similarly emphatic live performances.
Having already produced some classics of the genre, with the likes of '101 FM' and 'Selfish', the latest album has elevated her even further.
Having only released their eponymous debut album in early April 2022, Wet Leg have shot to prominence as a result of their humour, showmanship, and anthemic indie tunes.
It carries the sort of self-deprecation and relatability that made the Arctic Monkeys’ debut album such a classic; the marriage of wry humour and raucous instrumentals being a particularly thrilling one. The duo initially signed with Domino Records in 2019, so their potential has been known for some time. But now, they’re well on the way to realising it.
The Midlands-born Jorja Smith has made an indelible mark on the UK scene with her own distinctive brand of R&B – she’s already had star-making performances at Glastonbury and on a sold-out arena tour following the release of her debut album in 2018.
However, her records from the last 12 months have shown the full breadth of her considerable talent, having collaborated with the likes of Popcaan, ENNY, and more recently Ibeyi.
Away from the joyful summertime R&B, indie, pop, and rock that reverbs around Parc del Fòrum during the daytime, the mood of the festival shifts in the small hours.
Jeff Mills is an icon and a pioneer, hailing from the birthplace of techno and being a founding member of Detroit collective Underground Resistance. 'The Bells' is an absolute classic of the genre, and while referring to him merely as a DJ feels dismissive, his set is not one to be missed.
Tyler, the Creator
Alternative hip-hop superstar Tyler, the Creator is another multi-faceted performer who has turned his hand to a number of different styles and genres since founding Odd Future, the collective which later launched the stellar careers of Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean.
He’s courted controversy over the years, but his incredible discography and enigmatic performances have made him difficult to ignore. Tyler's appearance at Primavera is something of a coup for the festival – his recent critically-acclaimed Call Me If You Get Lost tour means this could be the set of the weekend.
The psychedelic music project from the mind of Australian multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker are festival staples these days. Their infectious, languid style has seen them headline some of the biggest stages in music, notably Coachella in 2019 and on Glastonbury’s Other Stage that same year.
Their accompanying light show is nothing short of spectacular, and Tame Impala's back catalogue is one which lends itself perfectly to Primavera’s dreamy summer nights.
Primavera Sound Barcelona-Sant Adrià 2022 takes place from 2-12th June. Tickets are now fully sold out, but join our waiting list to hear about any potential ticket releases.