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Primavera and Sonar: Barcelona’s Music Festivals

Music festivals in Barcelona

Two festivals and only one train in between

Double up this summer and do two festivals in one trip – both Primavera Sound and Sonar Festival have super impressive lineups. Plus, from London to Barcelona, your one change is in Paris, so you can pause for a perfect morning coffee close to Gare du Nord or flirt with the green fairy at an absinthe bar. Oh yes.

Renfe train

And so the sound of your summer is bookended with choo choos. Sat on a smooth rail, opposite your bestie as you share playlists and swap snacks. Forget stuffy transfer coaches, use trainline.eu and you can combine your tickets between Eurostar and other train companies, and book in 58 seconds (on average) so you can spend your time designing the perfect festival outfit. We thought you might like something a bit more… train.

The rule to remember is early booking is the best way to get a cheaper ticket. However, the magic moment is around 12 weeks before you travel. Train companies release seats for sale at this time, so the cheapest fares should be available.

Primavera Sound: 31 May to 4 June 2017

The biggest names in indie and alternative are coming to Barcelona to take over the Parc del Fòrum. The lineup is, frankly, epic. And there’s one other thing…

Muddy, wet fields – no chance! The Parc del Fòrum feels like dancing in a massive car park watched over by enthusiastic sunshine. And what’s that behind the stage? The Balearic Sea. Such a beautiful horizon. Of course, we can’t guarantee good weather but average June temperatures are 24°C and rain is minimal. So…

Primavera Sound

Who to see

The XX, Aphex Twin, Frank Ocean, Bon Iver, Kate Tempest, Broken Social Scene, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Grandaddy, !!! (Chk Chk Chk), Arcade Fire, Grace Jones, Metronomy, Wild Beasts. Really, you’re going to have to clone yourself to catch all the great acts.

Soul man Van Morrison is also playing. But a friend saw him recently and he didn’t do Brown Eyed Girl. Surely that’s illegal? Still, he’s a living legend and there’s nothing like a bit of soul in the sunshine.

What to pack

Something cool and comfortable. Trainers, a hat and a vat of sun cream. You can put glitter in the sun cream, if that helps.

#primaverasound2016 #primaverasound #tameimpala #letithappen what a moment

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Our tip

Celebrate the best alternative artist (ever?) with Brazilian artist Seu Jorge, who’ll be playing The Life Aquatic: A Tribute to David Bowie. He’s putting a Portuguese twist on classics that feature on the film’s soundtrack. Songs like “Rebel Rebel”, “Life On Mars?”, “Starman”, “Five Years” and “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide” but with a samba twist and funk feel. Okay, add an orange woolly hat to your packing list.

Top tracks

Tune into the Primavera Sound playlist to try out artists new to you and get hyped about the big ones you love.

Book your trainline journey to Barcelona here.

Sonar Festival: 15 to 17 June 2017

Music, creativity and technology. Three things the festival champions and offers its partygoers by the bucketloadbucket load. After getting your indie fix at Primavera Sound it’s time to dance, dance, dance, with your hands in the air. Yes, like you just don’t care, that’s right.

Big beats and electro weeeews will reverberate through Barcelona and we want to be there to feel it. We’re buzzing just thinking about it.

Who to see

Tiga, Soulwax, Moderat, Fat Freddy’s Drop, De La Soul, Little Dragon, Nicolas Jaar, Clams Casino, Nadia Rose and The Black Madonna. This is unbearable. Is it May yet? Should we head off now just in case there’s an early sound check? Meet you at the front.

What to pack

Something you’re happy to sweat in. There’s going to be a lot of dancing and you’re going to get carried away in the moment. Ironic glow sticks are optional. Probably best not.

Our tip

Okay, obviously you know not to miss Tiga, right? He’s blown apart XOYO in Camden time after time. So, as that goes without saying, our second tip for Sonar is the bumper cars – the second best mode of transport.

Top tracks

Download the Sonar Festival playlist and get pumped for the summer of your life.

Book your trainline journey to Barcelona here.



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