Festival of the Month – Magnificent May

Oh yes, kids, summer is a’comin’ and that can only mean one thing…it’s nearly time to don your cut-offs, cover yourself in glitter and go frolic in a music-drenched field full of cider soaked delinquents. Festival season is (nearly) back with a vengeance, so in honour of this rather brilliant fact, we’ve decided to pick out our favourite festivals month by month and give you the lowdown on what’s so great about them. We’ll even throw in some extra info about the area you’ll be partying in – ‘cos we’re nice like that. This month we’re mulling over May mayhem, and our choice of field-centric shindig is…

Primavera Sound, Barcelona
26th, 27th & 28th May 2011

What? The Primavera Sound festival is held within the Parc del Fòrum leisure site in the Diagonal Mar area of the Sant Marti district of beautiful Barcelona. As one of the largest music festivals in the country, it usually garners an attendance rate of more than 100,000. The festival offers six outdoor stages and one of the biggest auditoriums in Europe. With events popping up throughout Barcelona for the week surrounding the festival, the vibe is more one of a huge, sprawling summer party than your usual festival.

Who? It is noted for its highly eclectic lineup and focus on independant music. Despite the affiliation with San Miguel beer in 2009 that continues to this day (causing it to be named the San Miguel Primavera Sound, rather cringily) it actually embraces a lot of new, up and coming artists as well as bigger names. Past names have included Sonic Youth, The White Stripes, Primal Scream, New Order, Iggy and the Stooges, Lou Reed, The Smashing Pumpkins, Portishead and Aphex Twin. 2011 will see a variety of acts take to the stage; from big names like Echo and the Bunnymen, The Flaming Lips, PJ Harvey andPulp to artists like James Blake, Deerhunter, DJ Shadow, Gold Panda, Jamie XX and Warpaint; whether you like chucking your head about like a bat on crack on tapping your toes to a gentler beat, there’s sure to be something that takes your fancy.

Where? The general idea is that you’ll stay in a hotel rather than camp – this festival takes place in the middle of a city, remember, so there isn’t a great deal of space to pitch your 8-manner. There is some camping available though. The festival website will help you to find suitable accommodation. Bear in mind that the ticket price does not include hotel accommodation or camping.

How much? Tickets are on sale at the moment, priced at £145 for the three days. You can buy tickets and check out the line up here.

A few other things to do in…Barcelona

Got a few days to kill before your flight home? Here are a couple of things we’d suggest you get up to whilst you’re in this beautiful city:

1. Ramble down Las Ramblas – As the road to rural Catalonia, the mile-long road seems positively alive with tourists, artists, human statues, dancers, musicians and everything in between. People. Watching. Heaven.

2. Pick at some Pixtxos – Pintxos are platters of bite sized food served on bread, similar to Tapas except you are expected to pick at the food with toothpicks. At the end of the night you’ll be charged for the number of toothpicks that you have used. Yum.

3. Look in the Miro – head to the Fundacio Joan Miro,  arguably one of the greatest museums in the world. It’s home to a collection of over 225 paintings, 150 sculptures and graphic pieces by the Spanish surrealist artist, along with a number of works by other artists.

4. Boogie nights – You can’t come to Barcelona without seeing some serious skirt swishing in the form of Flamenco. Head to El Tablao de Carmen, where established stars and new talent display an incredible spectablen of Flamenco dancing and singing. Even better, if you’re visiting in May for Primevero Sound, the Festival de Flamenco de Ciutat Vella is in town – so go tap those heels!