Company: Primavera Sound
Founded: 2001, Barcelona
Office staff: 47
On site: 5,000
Annual budget: €11m
It takes a small army to put on a party for 200,000 people. Throw in a pulsating programme of more than 300 musical acts – all accompanied by their entourages, technicians and tour staff – and it’s a feat of logistics that calls for a year’s worth of production, promotion and prescience.
The 47-strong Primavera team, headed by founders and friends Gabi Ruiz, Pablo Soler and Alberto Guijarro, swells to 5,000 on-site staff when it engulfs Barcelona’s beachside Parc del Fòrum precinct at the end of May. From drivers, translators and security staff to account-keeping and IT, producing the event may appear Sisyphean from the outside but this team functions like a tightknit family. “Just like the contents of our main poster – where smaller groups are given equal weight to the headliners – everyone working for Primavera is a fundamental part of a complex gearbox,” says Soler.
Primavera Sound is still independently owned and run. While other city festivals are being pushed out to the fringe, this festival has harmonised its relationship with residents and authorities. “It’s important that we don’t turn our back on the city,” says Soler, whose inclusive approach has kept residents on side; a 2014 survey revealed that 91 per cent see the event as positive for the city.
Every year the team also experiments with new additions. This year will see new culinary line-up Primmmavera inviting 20 Barcelona restaurants to join the food area as part of pop-up diner Casa Primavera, which will be helmed by a different top chef each day. The directors’ shared passion for putting on the best possible show may add to the team’s workload but it’s also the spirit that keeps this sun-drenched festival as authentic as ever.