Primavera Sound 2022: Festival goers fear for safety at Barcelona event

·2-min read
Primavera Sound 2022: Festival goers fear for safety at Barcelona event

Concert goers have reported dangerous conditions at Primavera Sound festival in Spain, including overcrowding, lack of exits, and lack of water.

The first of two weekends of the Barcelona festival kicked off yesterday (2 June) with musical acts including Kacey Musgraves and Tame Impala. But soon after it started attendees were using social media to complain about unsafe conditions at the event.

“Primavera Sound feels sold way over-capacity. Just had a dangerous situation down at the main stage where nobody could move and were pressed together – had to jump the gate to the VIP section to get out!” one user wrote.

“I literally have become so faint I’ve got to leave the festival at 11:30 because there’s no water anywhere and I am thoroughly dehydrated and the crowds are being bottlenecked by the Binance stage which is massively dangerous. Absolute sh*tshow,” wrote another.

On Twitter, Primavera organisers addressed some of the more persistent complaints, like water shortages and long bar queues. “We are aware of the problems in the bar services yesterday and we apologise for them. We are working tirelessly to solve them so that we can all enjoy the coming days as we deserve,” read a statement on the event’s main account.

In an email to The Independent, a press contact attributed some of the issues to staff shortages and technical difficulties with credit card payments.

According to the festival’s head of international press, Marta Pallarès, only 66,000 people were admitted to the festival grounds yesterday – about 30,000 shy of maximum capacity.

While the public Twitter post did not include any specific steps that were being taken to correct the shortfalls, Pallarès said that the festival’s Wi-Fi issues have been resolved overnight and additional staff were hired. “Moreover, we are also giving free cans of water through three different stations along the map.”

Her comments did not directly address the reports of overcrowding throughout the festival.

“It’s not about cancellations. It’s about crowd management. Too many people. Not enough bar staff. Not enough safe exits. So dangerous,” wrote one Twitter user, referencing the fact that several acts, including The Strokes, were forced to cancel appearances after testing positive for Covid-19.

“Possibly the most dangerous festival experience last night at Primavera Sound – no water anywhere, 1hr+ wait for drinks, massive queues, crowd crushes, aggressive staff,” wrote another.

Concerns about overcrowding and the availability of exits have taken on fresh urgency in the wake of 2021’s Astroworld Festival tragedy, which left 10 people dead and hundreds more injured. The victims, who ranged in age from nine to 27 years old, died from compression asphyxia after the crowd surged towards the stage.

The first weekend of the festival is set to finish Saturday (4 June) with performances by Gorillaz, Idles and more.

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