Primavera Sound 2019 Sets Standard For Gender Equality On Festival Line Ups
Other festivals need to follow their lead…
This year’s Primavera Sound was one for the books. Not only did the glorious sun shine down over the week-long festival in Barcelona, it also became the first edition, now in it’s 19th year, to achieve gender equality on the line up.
‘The New Normal’ is a slogan adopted by the makers of Primavera Sound which urges festivals around the world to change the way they book acts and follow their lead in committing to a 50/50 gender split on their line-ups.
We all love going to a festival but historically this has meant standing in a field watching a sea of white male fronted bands, and don’t get us wrong, we love these as much as the next person, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a gender balanced line-up as the ’new normal’, instead of just being token acts on each bill? We definitely think so.
Primavera Sound proved that making these steps fully enhances the festival experience, giving each festival goer a broader musical experience. We went along this year to experience it first hand, and ended up seeing such a diverse range of acts that we came away with an new playlist of acts to listen to and not only did we get to see more incredible female artists, we discovered so much new music too.
Here are six badass women we loved at Primavera Sound…
Christine & The Queens
Christine & The Queens is already an icon, but under her latest album’s guise, Chris, she’s taken it to the next level with her live performances. We caught her at All Points East earlier in the year and again in the Barcelona sun at Primavera, both times she blew us away with her presence as a pop star. Her live shows are notorious for being high energy dance parties, not to mention her impeccable choreography. Performing tracks such as ‘Girlfriend’, ‘5 Dollars’ and, of course, the now LGBTQ+ anthem, ‘Tilted’, we felt at one with Chris and able to be one hundred percent ourselves in her company.
Lizzo is not only our queen, she’s also one of the best live performers out there at the moment. FACTS. She took to the Lotus stage at Primavera 2019, saying this was one of the biggest festival crowds she’d ever performed to, and took us on a journey of self-love as she performed tracks from her Cuz I Love You record. From ‘Good As Hell’ to ‘Truth Hurts’ and all the way through to ‘Juice’, there’s a reason that Lizzo should rule the world - and if the last six months are anything to go by, she’s well and truly on her way there.
One of our stand out moments from the festival was SOPHIE’s set on the Lotus stage. We left all of our preconceptions of a SOPHIE performance back in England as we were taken to another planet by the elusive producer. Standing behind the decks, shrouded in smoke and darkness, SOPHIE took us on a genre-bending journey through the future of pop music. Her debut LP is a work of art and her performance at Primavera lived up to this - some of the crowd might have alienated by her if they were expecting a straight-up pop show featuring all of her hits (she did play the absolute BANGER ‘Material Girl’), however, we are now 100% SOPHIE stans.
Immediately after SOPHIE’s mind-blowing set we hot footed it over to see her collaborator, and future-of-pop queen, Charli XCX. Those who have been to a Charli XCX show know that it’s like no other pop show you can attend right now - Charli doesn’t play by the rules and her Primavera set was no different. Fresh off the back of Diplo collab (and ‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls rewrite) ‘Spicy’, which dropped earlier that day, we saw the future of pop and it looks bright as hell. Charli eschewed songs from her earlier LPs in favour of her new music, notably SO many tracks from 2018’s masterpiece, Pop 2 including our fave ‘Unlock It’. A stand out moment of the set was when she invited Christine & The Queens on stage to perform a brand new track called ‘Gone’ - the power of these two incredible women of pop dancing with each other on stage sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Janelle Monáe is fast-becoming one of the must-see acts at any festival she’s booked at, and with a line-up as stellar as 2019’s Primavera Sound, she was up there in our top picks. The power she exudes on stage is unrivalled - costume changes, the sexiest of dance routines and a strong sense of rebellion against prejudice in the world left us following Janelle Monae into a world that she runs. Performing hits such as ‘Make Me Feel’, ‘I Got The Juice’ and our absolute fave ‘Pynk’ she took us on a journey through her back catalogue and we never wanted it to end.
The return of Robyn has been one met with absolute delight with everyone going to see her live coming away a changed person - she has that power, and we felt this after her set at Primavera Sound 2019. Bringing the full stage set up to Barcelona meant we got everything we could have wanted from a Robyn tour date, but at one of the greatest festivals in the world - dreamy! She performed a hit filled set on the SEAT stage to thousands of doting fans screaming back every word with iconic tracks such as ‘Dancing On My Own’ and ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ giving us ALL the feels.