After the first wave of festival announcements has hit the wires, the selections are already looking absolutely glorious, as usual spoiling the European festivalgoers. There will be plenty of events to choose from this summer, some new ones as well as the established with a long record of being awesome, catering to various tastes in music and destinations. Even at this stage the rosters are getting extensive and it would be impossible to mention every single artist here. Therefore, this month we’ll take a look at them mainly through the acts featured on the February’s Mixtape. Time to get familiar with who is playing, when and where this year. Consider this an early guide to the summer of music ahead.
The anticipation had been running high until late January when Primavera Sound, has revealed its nearly complete, massive line-up. Taking place in Spain at Barcelona’s Parc del Fòrum from May 31 to June 4 the festival will gather around 200 acts from different corners of music territory. Primavera Sound’s main appeal would be staying away from the mainstream and catering to more niche tastes. There’s a strong presence of female artists this year with BJÖRK, LYKKE LI, CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG, FEVER RAY and JANE BIRKIN among the acts listed. Other names include SUPERORGANISM, NILS FRAHM, UKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA, THE SEA & CAKE and CHROMEO; all of them included in this month’s selection. Also, a sister event is taking place week after in Porto, Portugal in a more compact version.
If you prefer strictly electronic sounds you are probably already familiar with another music gathering in Catalan capital, SÓNAR. Celebrating its 25th birthday the organizers will definitely pull all the stops to get the most ambitious lineup ever. Although, I reckon that the THOM YORKE’s appearance is enough of a recommendation already. Radiohead frontman will be performing alongside the likes of LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, GORILLAZ, ROSALIA and NATHY PELUSO across various venues in the city.
Fans of alternative music will probably feel in their element at yet another Spanish gathering as JACK WHITE, FRANZ FERDINAND, PEARL JAM are among the headliners of MAD COOL in Madrid (12-14 July). Alternatively you can head to the Basque country for BILBAO BBk Live during which BOMBA ESTÉREO, MOUNT KIMBIE, LET’S EAT GRANDMA, SOPHIE, NÜLIFER YANYA AND PORCHES will take over the stage. Expect sun, fun, great performances, welcoming locals and likeminded music lovers.
If you’re planning to head to Eastern Europe make sure to check out what’s happening over there this summer, too. Poland alone delivers few amazing options: Open’er Festival (4-7 July in Gdynia) brings Talking Heads’ DAVID BYRNE presenting the material from his upcoming album and ARCTIC MONKEYS, making a long awaited comeback as well as MASSIVE ATTACK and DEPECHE MODE. Katowice’s Tauron (with FEVER RAY, SON LUX) or Kraków’s UNSOUND are hailed as of the best ones in Europe. There’s a great chance you’ll be able to catch some of the local talent as well while you’re there.
Other European events worth mentioning include: MELT FESTIVAL (13-15 July) in Berlin (with SEVDALIZA, FISCHERSPOONER, WHOMADEWHO, REX ORANGE COUNTY), Manchester’s for ParkLife (9-11 June) where you can catch JESSIE WARE, WILEY and SAMPHA and London’s LOVEBOX (with PEGGY GOU and Mike Skinner from THE STREETS among many others.)
Irish summer wouldn’t be the same without similar attractions. Dublin’s Forbidden Fruit, a June Bank Holiday gathering in the city with JUSTICE, FOUR TET, WAR ON DRUGS, gives an alternative to music fans who won’t make it to Primavera Sound. Longitude in Dublin’s Marlay Park (13-15 July) is aiming for the younger audiences lining up popular American hip-hop, r’n’b and soul artists such as KALI UCHIS, J.COLE, POST MALONE, TYLER, THE CREATOR, TRAVIS SCOTT, SOLANGE, ANDERSON PAAK, IBEYI and SAMPHA.
BODY & SOUL, a 3 day event incorporating live music, dancing in the woods, art performances, workshops and discussions bound together with a spiritual element, will take place during the solstice weekend (22-24 June) in the surroundings of Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath. The festival has made one announcement so far. Karin Dreijer aka FEVER RAY, the singer and founding member of Swedish electronic duo, The Knife, will perform and wholly curate festival’s Friday night. Expect boundaries pushing music acts and performance artists bringing gender politics and feminism to the stage.
August will also bring Dun Laoghaire’s BEATYARD, a family friendly and nostalgia-tinted celebration of music, food and games. The main attraction will definitely be watching the legendary soul quartet, THE JACKSONS, performing in Ireland for the first time. Rap pioneers, THE SUGARHILL GANG together with jazz sensation KAMASHI WASHINGTON, ska legends, THE SKALITES, Swedish electropop group LITTLE DRAGON and 90’s dance music duo, ORBITAL will share the seaside stage with local talents of LE BOOM and I AM COSMOS.
As the summer will get closer, there will be more announcements and additions to these already exciting lineups. Check festivals’ websites and social media to keep up with the news on future additions. Tickets available via usual outlets. Time to start choosing, planning and getting familiar with the soundtrack of your upcoming summer!
Piotrek NO SNOBS ALLOWED