Primavera SoundBy Miguel Wilson | 6/6/18 12:11pm
I originally thought my write up for Primavera Sound would be a little different. I now sit here, a victim of police brutality and an alleged police kicker in the “header”. I’m leaving Spain, and leaving Primavera Sound in order to attempt to ensure my safety because I’m still very much confused by this whole process.
Primavera Sound, for me, was an oasis. I’ve struggled recently with my own existence, my happiness, and how I fit into this world that seems to be actively fighting against me.
On my journey before the festival, I found myself wrongfully accused of kicking a police officer in the head. I was detained for 36+ hours and I sat helpless and lost. After being released I decided my trip had to go on. I had to make it to Primavera Sound.
I listened to music. Music that I anticipated highly and hoped to hear in a different light. I had the opportunity of a lifetime: a press pass to one of the most amazing music festivals in the world. I can be thankful I at least made it here. I can be thankful I have my life, something that could’ve been snatched away.
At the CCCB, the festival created the perfect kickoff event. They had live performers, free beer, and a special, small networking event for International press. At this event, we got first hand insight into the artists that are being churned out of this region of the world. It meant a lot for me to have music professionals that approached me about watching their artists perform and potentially interviewing them.
I’m so intrigued by the Catalan music scene. They’re only just recently really breaking out into the rest of Europe and there are very few that have crossed the Atlantic, and I think that times are definitely hinting at change. In my press goodie bag a copy of Compilació CD Pop Rock from Catalonia 2017 was included. I’m now completely and utterly obsessed with artists like Joana Serrat, Cala Vento, Extraperlo, and Bad Gyal (check them out!).
After checking into my hostel and getting my bearings, I ventured off to Park Del Forum, where all the magic happens!
It’s hard to not sound like a cliche when it comes to music. ZA!, Kelela, and Bjork are just a few of the artists I was able to witness. Being in the crowd, experiencing something so sacred and shared amongst only those in attendance is unparalleled. Concert goers here are the real deal. The truth is, good music and people that like good music could save the world. It saved mine.
I stood in awe, taking in Bjork’s otherworldly artistry. She encompassed everything. The visuals, so rich and dynamic. Flowers blooming in reverse, her stage taking on a life of it's own. For the first time since my arrest, I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t stand there and not feel peace.
My last day at Primavera Sound, I was able to relax at Primavera Bits. Being on the beach, listening to the DJ’s spectacular set, and sipping on a refreshing Aperol Spritz—much needed.
Walking out of the gates of Primavera Sound, for what I hope isn’t the last time, I couldn’t help but shed a tear. If there’s anything I learned from my time behind bars it is that wasted time is even more valuable than time itself. I will never get that time back. My appreciation and valuation of the good things I have in my life (this experience especially) has increased exponentially. Music has a true restorative property, and lord knows the world needs all the restoring it can get.
Primavera Sound is not only an insanely awesome place to listen to music that we all know and love; it also a place to really embrace an entirely different culture. I was able to see a world that was totally unknown to me, and that is something much harder to do today in our “connected” society. I experienced this music festival through binoculars I never thought I’d hold. Thanks to my false arrest, potentially, I could see myself never having access to the EU again. I suggest everyone take on that viewpoint. For future Primavera Sound visitors: slow down, take it all in.
Either way: 10/10 would recommend Primavera Sound as a relaxing getaway after getting arrested by the Madrid Police!