Soaking In The African Acts At Primavera Sound Festival
We sent South African-based photographer & designer Philippus Johan Schutte to Barcelona's Primavera Sound festival last weekend. Over the five days he spent exploring the festival and its crowds, Johan captured performances from the likes of Moonchild, Moses Sumney, Mbongwana Star, Orchestra Baobab, Islam Chipsy & Eek, Kamasi Washington and many more.
Browse through Philippus Johan Schutte's photos from Primavera and read some of his own words about what he encountered below
"Guided from the underground train station almost automatically by the annual sardine run of festival go-ers pining for the Primavera Sound, our foreign venue slopes upwards ahead of us: the concrete monolith that is Parc Del Forum, with its ocean-side auditoriums and unusually good-looking solar panel structure.
By South African standards, this is an intimidating venue: mess it up and everybody will remember, but if it's great, even just once, you're in the midst of a legend as it unfolds. From the music to the beach to the food to the people to the views to the weather to the surprises to expectations, Primavera Sound, with its goofy, wavy sign at the entrance, manages to make it all seem casual, accessible and uniquely of its environment: this is the start of summer in Barcelona.
For a music festival renowned for getting some of the biggest alternative acts in the world to perform on the shores of Barcelona, it says something of its character to also remember the older ones and consider the newest.
I’m talking about a not-so-little Cuban-influenced Senegalese band from the 1970s called Orchestra Baobab bringing the genre as if it was discovered yesterday; I’m talking about a workout performance by South African-by-way-of-Port-Elizabeth singer Moonchild Sanelly, with blue locks suspended in the air like anenome; the Sun Ra-channeling Kamasi Washington readying the audience for an interstellar jazz odyssey; the full Congotronic sound of the very Mbongwana Star, all the way from Kinshasha; the starlight in the daytime loneliness of Moses Sumney; Nao’s convincing argument for why she should be your girlfriend; Ho9909 (pronounced “horror”) laying down their claim that Death Grips do not own their genre; Vince Staples getting a crowd to “fuck tha police”; Islam Chipsy & EEK's almost maddeningly taunting stop-start Egyptian techno, turning the whole floor into an unhinged Arab wedding reception—the list goes on.
Whatever Primavera has, it has a lot of it, more, and then some. On the last day, full-blown flu settling after three 6am exertions for the sake of audio, I am cracked open like the hatching egg emoji — broken, yet born again; a newfound enthusiasm for live music." —Philippus Johan Schutte