Primavera Sound Festival 2021 Canceled Due to COVID-19

The Barcelona festival plans to return in 2022

primavera sound 2021 cancelled covid-19 coronavirus barcelona
Primavera Sound, photo by Kimberley Ross

    Next verse, same as the first: Primavera Sound Festival 2021 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The 2020 edition of the Barcelona fest was first postponed, then scratched outright. But there was reason to think the 2021 iteration would be allowed to go on this June as scheduled. In January, Primavera organizers hosted a trial concert that showed no transmission of the novel coronavirus. Besides that, the global vaccine push has inspired optimism in all corners of the globe. But those sunny feelings are tempered by uncertainty surrounding three potentially alarming new virus variants first identified in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil. Besides that, America’s foremost infectious disease expert Dr. Fauci has been cautioning that live events won’t be able to safely return until “some time in the fall.”

    In the end, virus uncertainty created a series of legal and logistical challenges that proved too much to overcome. “We will dance in 2022,” Primavera organizers wrote in a statement, continuing, “It is with great sadness that we must announce that the ninth edition of Primavera Sound Porto festival is postponed to 9th – 12th June 2022 due to force majeure,” — a term literally meaning ‘greater force’ but which is often invoked to cover unforeseen circumstances. “We have reached this painful decision due to the uncertainty surrounding the legal framework for large events on the original dates of NOS Primavera Sound – from June 10th to 12th –, which, added to the restrictions that currently exist, means that we cannot work normally on the preparation of the festival nor ensure that, once the date arrives, it can be celebrated.”


    The 2021 lineup included many acts from the cancelled 2020 edition, including a reunited Pavement, plus The Strokes, Massive Attack, Iggy Pop, Beck, The National, Tyler the Creator, Gorillaz, Tame Impala, FKA twigs, Charli XCX, Jamie xx, Bad Bunny, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, Rina Sawayama, Jamila Woods, and more.

    As for the 2022 roster, organizers wrote, “We will announce the festival lineup [on] June 5th.” Stay tuned to this space for more details.

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