All My Little Words

Primavera Sound 2011

Posted in Uncategorized by nickchristian on May 26, 2011

Assemble, we, en masse. In writing about any event such as this, an undeniable temptation exists to envelop  it within a broader political, or narrower personal, context.  What does this mean for us, as people, and for me as an individual?

For the political, one might consider the Arab Spring. That 100,000 people from around the world can gather together, with no designs on changing the world, with no higher purpose than to enjoy three days of glorious music, having paid a developing world fortune, is surely worthy of celebration. This is political freedom. Is this not, in essence, what the young protesters in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Libya have been fighting for?

Parc Del Forum is not Tahir Square or Tiananmen: this is not the Arab Spring writ Spain.

For the Spanish Spring, or Summer as it must surely be by now, is indeed taking place. While this cultural event is taking place at an expedition centre on the edge of town, a few miles up the road Spain’s students are engaged in a struggle of their own. Currently occupying Placa Catalunya, “Los Indignados” are not celebrating their political and economic liberties by attending a concert but are, as in the Middle East, calling for change. While not seeking to depose a dictator or defenestrate a monarch, they are nonetheless demanding better governance and popular responsibility for the plight of their country. Even if not being forcibly suppressed, their goals must be seen as similar. With unemployment reportedly at 22%, far from being a big deal, this rock festival begins to feel very small indeed.

So to the personal then. Am I at a critical juncture? Is my attendance at this festival likely to be transformative? Ed Harcourt sang about being “in the twilight of my youth”; I don’t think I’m there yet. While my approach to this kind of thing is distinctly more grown up than in the past I am still far from growing out of this kind of thing. This is far from the last of these that I will attend and next year will probably be no different. While in the background and at home life, and drama happens, for a week these are on pause. This is my escape.

Today’s Excitement Includes:

  •  Big Boi
  • Of Montreal
  • Das Racists
  • The Walkmen
  • The Flaming Lips

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