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San Miguel Primavera Sound Festival – Interview

A few days ago, we talked to Mrs Beatriz Pérez, Press Office Manager of Primavera Sound Festival.
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San Miguel Primavera Sound is one of the biggest music festivals in the world. It takes place every year in Barcelona from 2001 until today. Many big bands have played at Parc Del Forum. The line-up of the festival combines the "fresh" indie musicians with some old and big bands.

The last 3 years, we have an excellent working relationship with San Miguel Primavera Sound (in this year we also cooperate with Optimus Primavera Sound). A few days ago, we talked to Mrs Beatriz Pérez, Press Office Manager of the Festival. Below you can read many interesting things about Primavera Sound and generally for a musical festival.

Has this year's line-up been completed? Has the festival been affected by the economic crisis and what is his collaboration with the state? What are the problems encountered in the early years? How was it supported by the Spanish music fans? How many people, who are not Spanish come to Primavera? How many people attended last year's live streaming show of some concerts through Dailymotion Channel? What are the best performances ever held in the Festival?

Dreaming of a like Primavera Festival in Greece? Read the following interview and you will understand many of the responses of Beatriz Pérez.

Mixgrill: Every year you add so many new things in San Miguel Primavera Sound. So, what should we expect to see in this year’s Festival? Any innovations, new features?

Beatriz Pérez: Well, some of the things we started in the last years will be expanded: the Primavera Pro area and activities, the parties on Wednesday and Sunday will be in a bigger space (as last year Poble Espanyol was not enough). There will be also some other surprises.

MG: What about the line-up? We know that you are not going to give us names, but can you tell us what percentage of the line up is already programmed? Are we expecting any other headliners?

BP: We announced last week a big amount of the line up.

MG: This year’s poster has a girl with two sides, let’s say. In a way, it reminded us of PJ Harvey, who gave a special show last year. She was your inspiration, wasn’t she?

BP: The inspiration of this editions poster is that thanks to the sequential super-positioning of two transparent images a new unreal one emerges, one that suggests movement and metaphorically reflects the rhythm of the music.

MG: San Miguel Primavera Sound is one of the biggest Music Festivals in the whole world. Is it affected by economic crisis in artist booking issues, ticket pricing, food, drink and merchandizing in Festival Site and of course in attendance from other countries?

BP: Of course the economic crisis is affecting us and the crowd who come every year to the festival, but at the moment we are not pretty sure on how will affect next edition. Main reason is that we start selling tickets in advance and the situation some months ago was a little bit better, but we´ll see what happens this year. At the moment we are selling more or less as last year.

MG: San Miguel Primavera Sound organizes many events in parks, metro stations and other places in Barcelona. How important is your cooperation with municipal authorities in organizing a Festival inside the city? For example, do you cooperate with them for security, transfer, cleaning issues and for advertising Barcelona all over the world via Primavera? How easy was it to get this help?

BP:  This is been getting better every year, we didn´t have a lot of help in the last years (apart from letting us use the spaces for free shows) but looks like now is quite better, we will have a big space to do free shows on wednesday and sunday and the council is really interested on helping us.

MG:  Many Greek music fans admire San Miguel Primavera Sound and dream of such a festival here in Greece. What was the most difficult problem you had in the first years of Festival (2001 to 2004)?

BP:  Back in those days we were a small festival. The main problems we had were the loss of help from the government and the rest of institutions and the usual problems you have when you start a new festival, but these things were getting better year by year.

MG: Do you believe that Primavera Sound succeeded, because it managed to create a line up, focused on Independent music and of course it had big support from Spanish music fans?

BP:  I think Primavera Sound succeeded due mainly to his line ups, the combinations of new blood and long career bands, and the mix of cult artists and popular bands. Also been in Barcelona is also a good goal, as the city is much loved from everybody in Europe and USA.

MG: How important is the success of the Festival in other Spanish cities and other countries? How important is for you to host thousands of fans from other European countries?

BP:  Well, it´s really important, more than half of our crowd comes from another cities in Spain and other countries, specially UK, France and the scandinavian ones. It´s really nice to have every year such an amount of people from almost the whole world that have similar interests.

MG: One of our editors attended San Miguel Primavera Sound 2009 and he remembers that there was no Spanish band in its line-up. Nevertheless, there were many free concerts in several places in Barcelona, in which Spanish musicians and artists participated. Do you intend to add more Spanish bands/musicians to your line-up? Isn’t it a great opportunity to advertise your music to so many people from all over the world?

BP: That´s good as I believe you editor thought that many bands that were playing at the site were maybe English or Americans, but they were actually Spanish. In every one of our editions there´s been at least a 25% of Spanish bands in the line up, apart from the ones playing at the parks etc. That´s something that we care a lot and we think there´s a good level in our local scene. In the 2009 edition we had artists as Joe Crepusculo, Veracruz, Tokyo Sex Destruction, Los Punsetes, Extraperlo, Cuzo, Meno, The Lions Constellation, Rosvita, Maika Makovski and a lot more playing at the main stages.

MG: Last year, you cooperated with Dailymotion and showed many live streaming concerts. We truly believe that this is something, which gave added value to the Festival all over the world, because there were many thousands of people, who could see the live appearance of their favorite band. What’s your opinion about that? How many people watched these live streaming shows?

BP: We believe is a very interesting initiative that allows us to offer live streaming to those that cannot assist to the live concert of their favorite band.

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Thursday Interpol
700+ parallel connections

Friday Belle & Sebastian
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Saturday PJ Harvey
800+ parallel connections

MG:  What are your expectations for Optimus Primavera Sound in Porto? What is your goal for this year’s Festival?

BP: This will be our first year, so this is not as big or as wide artistically as the one in Barcelona, but i think at the same time reflects perfectly our spirit. We hope to start growing little by little as we did here but expectations are high as the ticket sales are good so far. Porto is beautiful city and a perfect place to have our festival.

MG: Do you have a dream for Primavera Sound that can be true in the next 5 years?

BP:  We prefer to do the things in a proper way now instead of dreaming, our idea is to keep doing as good as the last five years for the next 10.

MG: An artist or band you would like to see in Primavera Sound as headliner?

BP:  I would like to see soon how some of the new bands we like and we support can make the role of headliner at the festival, better than see one of the big artists that everybody thinks must be at the festival. I would love to see Deerhunter, Beach House or Girls headlining San Miguel Primavera Sound.

MG:  All time favorite performance?

BP:  Neil Young in 2009 and White Stripes under the rain in 2003.

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