After a year of pandemic-related delays, the Barcelona-born Primavera Sound music festival has finally arrived in Hollywood.
With three days of programming at Los Angeles Historic Park this past weekend, which is adjacent to Chinatown, Primavera held three massive stages in Los Angeles for the first time — with a diverse lineup led by Lorde, Nine Inch Nails and Arctic Monkeys.
Despite the initial attraction to ticket holders queuing for about half a mile, the Primavera campus felt full but never oppressive. Most of the 45-minute set pieces were seamlessly curated and, in accordance with the design, offered something for everyone (a must for the eclectic taste of the area).
“Shall we dance for our 15-year-old selves now?” Lorde asked the crowd on opening night, wearing a black bikini top with sheer Stevie Nicks-inspired pants (a festival-goer shouted “Silver Lake Barbie!”).
Playing on the main stage with a one-piece – what appears to be a wooden recreation of a wrecking ball, also decorated with a ladder – the New Zealand phenomenon was spin-off with hits including “Royals”, “Homemade Dynamite” and “The Louvre”. I was surprised by the level of engagement it received from the audience, as many artists are when they come to a town full of decadent kinds of industry.
“I didn’t know you were going to cheer, L.A. you wonderful kids,” she said. Before her big break, Stereolab played a modest set on the smaller Tecate Alta stage (after a thrilling preview set at Wiltern a few days before), followed immediately by an intense and acclaimed Mitski block. Guests enjoyed activities such as the Hangar 1 Vodka pop-up lounge, from Create Hospitality.
Saturday saw an outpouring of crowds (and a growing presence of law enforcement) after the wristbands got their hands on the floor. Tyra Whack, screaming Beyonce and Madonna’s Queens Mix of “Break My Soul,” led a super fun show at 5 p.m. on the main stage—her bang man pulls everything from Vanessa Carlton’s A Thousand Miles to A$ Ferg’s “Plain Jane” to warm up The audience.
Sunday saw a stunning (if not incredibly short) stop set by King Kroll. Revelers (who included more children than expected) passed the lightly spelled “Made in Barcelona,” a nod to Primavera’s international roots. The letters were staggered similar to the Hollywood banner, which flaunted in the hills just nine miles west of the park.