Primavera apologises for “problems in the bar services” amid complaints over large queues, overcrowding and access to water

Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival has apologised for “problems” amid a number of complaints from attendees about large queues for bars, lack of access to water despite high temperatures, and overcrowded stages.

Attendees have taken to social media to raise complaints about the first weekend of this year’s edition, which began yesterday (June 2) and continues until Saturday (June 4).

“I’ve been going to Primavera almost yearly for over a decade and last night was the worst I’ve ever seen it in terms of organisation. Insane queues for everything, overcrowding, hard to get to some stages and actually see bands, atrocious access to water. Total shitshow,” said one fan on Twitter.

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As the festival begins its second day, Primavera released a statement on social media. It said: “Today marks the second day of Primavera Sound. We are aware of the problems in the bar services yesterday and we apologise for them. We are working tirelessly to solve them so that we can all enjoy the coming days as we deserve. See you this afternoon.”

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When contacted by NME, the festival’s head of international press Marta Pallarès offered additional comment, saying that problems were caused by staff shortages and technical difficulties with card payment systems. The festival has said that more staff have been hired and that additional water stations will be set up.

She said: “COVID is not gone yet and it is affecting us, not only artistically but also our staff. Yesterday we had several casualties both in the bars and in the technical services; in total there are two kilometres of bars which is quite a lot, but in some areas of the festival we realised the audience was way lower and they were empty (we were way under the total capacity of 95,000, with “only” 66,000 thousand attendees).

“Anyhow, of course we have hired more waiters to work in the busiest areas, and we have redistributed some of those in the quieter zones.

“The problem with the card payment systems is that there were occasional WiFi outages that affected the operation of the card readers, slowing down the payment process. This was detected and started to be solved yesterday already.

“Moreover, we will offer free water in two different stations along the map, reinforcing the fountains that already exist in Parc del Fòrum and that were also working yesterday.

“Throughout today we will be announcing all these measures, plus probably some more that we are still working with.”

The festival has also seen a number of last minute line-up changes, including Bleachers and headliners The Strokes dropping out due to positive COVID cases.

Caribou will now be taking The Strokes’ place, with Mogwai filling the gap left by Caribou.

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