9 performances not to miss at Primavera Sound 2018 in Barcelona

With a lineup as mammoth as Primavera Sound in Barcelona – which kicks off tomorrow – you’d be forgiven for struggling to put your schedule together. Across stages on site and off site (as part of the simultanous Primavera Pro Conference), there are a bunch of amazing Australian artists playing (find out when and where HERE), and then there are the headliners like Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, Bjork and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. But what about the rest of the lineup? Here’s just a few non-Australian, non-headliners who you shouldn’t miss.

Jóhann Jóhannsson (Tribute)

We start off with the late Jóhann Jóhannsson (pictured), whose untimely, sudden passing sent shockwaves through the music community earlier this year. In his honour, several of Jóhann’s closest longtime collaborators, including Echo Collective, Dustin O’Halloran, Hildur Gudnadottir and more will perform the originally planned Orphée concert. It’s sure to be an emotional, but beautiful performance that is not to be missed.

Wolf Parade

They’ve still never made it to Australia, but the Canadian group will be making an appearance on Wednesday, May 30th as part of Primavera, as they continue to take their 2017 record Cry, Cry, Cry on the road. Having witnessed them a couple of times on the road over the years – not to mention the endless side projects of the accomplished members – I can safely say their performances are never to be missed.

Zeal & Ardor

Swiss-American artist Manuel Gagneux fuses chain-gang blues with death metal, creating one of the most exciting musical projects going around right now. His second record Stranger Fruit comes out this week, so expect to hear a mix of tracks off it and his debut Devil is Fine. Definitely an artist to be excited about. It should be disclosed I’m lucky enough to be working with this artist, but this inclusion comes purely because I’m a fan and very excited to see him live for the first time.

Grizzly Bear

Having made their return to the Sydney Opera House a couple of months ago – which I sadly missed – I’m a bit excited to get to hear Painted Ruins live. It’s always a joy to see how they’ve changed up their older songs, too – a feature which has run through their entire career; always evolving and ensuring they deliver unforgettable live shows.


Spain’s own Hinds return to the stage at Primavera this Saturday, with the garage surf pop band having impressed on their latest effort New For You. An always enjoyable live act, there should be no exception to a home crowd!


Riding high on the release of their third record, Love is Dead, which dropped a few days ago. I’ve been lucky enough to see Lauren Mayberry and co quite a few times over the years, and have loved watching the Glasgow group grow in confidence and popularity. The new album is pretty terrific, so it’ll be great to hear that alongside the hits! They’re playing on Thursday, May 31st.


“Liminal, the new sound project by Jónsi, Alex Somers and Paul Corley is a journey through the soundscapes of Sigur Rós and other wonders of nature in the search for its most ambient and hypnotic elements. The Soundbath spectacle combines live voices and instruments, special effects and tape manipulations, distant echoes and intimate auras.” They’ll be playing two special shows on Friday and Saturday in The Warehouse at 7:30pm.

The Breeders

Kim Deal. Kelley Deal. Jim Macpherson. Josephine Wiggs. If those names aren’t household names for you, you’re not nearly indie enough (go and listen to Last Splash and fix this). With a new record All Nerve under their belt, don’t miss your chance to see this iconic band in action.


One must never turn down a chance to see one of the world’s best live acts in the flesh! For many in the crowd, this will be the first time they’ll be hearing songs off last year’s Something To Tell You live. Funnily enough, they played the festival last year – making this a rare follow-up appearance for the group – however this was a month before the new album was set to drop. So expect those tracks to feature heavily (which we’ll we

For more about Primavera Sound, and to see all the other artists from around the world who are performing, head to their official website. The festival runs from Wednesday, 30th May to Sunday, 3rd June.


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.