Musical highlights for me included Shellac, who as well as bloody smashing it with incredibly coarse minimalism and effortless vocals, made the audience stand on one leg and pretend to be planes, Atlas Sound, who provided shoegaze so wonderfully beautiful it made the audience gaze dreamily at him as opposed to their shoes, and Wavves, who, for a man just droning about how bored he is over some fairly simple chord progressions played with such fantastic raw energy.
That's enough about my loser music taste, it's time to talk about the city. Aesthetically, Barcelona is very pretty. A notable highlight includes the Parc de la Ciutadella which features a picturesque lake for boating and a waterfall with meticulous details and sculptures, featured below.
The polaroid I'm taking in the above picture is here. I shoot using film made by The Impossible Project, because, as you may or may not know, Polaroid stopped making instant film. What is pretty irksome about this film is that you cannot expose it to light within the first 4 minutes of shooting, hence why in the above picture I have a box taped over where the camera spits out the photos, but I have a sneaking suspicion my taping wasn't quite thorough enough 'cause that shot is fucked.
After spending three months in the Maldives, I can't say Barcelona had the most beautiful beach I have ever been on, but it was lovely and in Spain it's actually legal to wear swimwear, so that's definitely a plus. A personal highlight of mine was the amount of men selling beer on the beach; now I am aware that they purchased them for 75c and then double the price for idiot tourists like me, but the joke is on them because I am more than happy to pay an extra 75c for straight-to-beach delivery for an ice cold brewski whilst I work on my tan.
Shopping is probably great too, I saw many interesting boutiquey looking shops down windy streets slightly reminiscent of Brighton's Laines, although having spent in the region of £600 on hostel, flights, festival ticket and spending money I wasn't in any position to be bringing home souvenirs for anyone. £600 may seem pricey for a week's holiday but it could probably be done significantly cheaper if organised further in advance, maybe around £400-£450. The price means that the average age is somewhat older than you'd expect at UK festivals such as the Carling Weekend (thank fuck, pesky children!) and it's only full of serious music lovers as opposed to people who heard it was well kewl to go to Glasto and be just like a T4 presenter!!1one
The festival site itself is, as already mentioned, along the seafront which is pretty cool. The food stands are vast and rich in variety, catering more than just adequately for fussy-eaters and hippie vegetarians like me, offering falafel, paella, burritos, kebabs and all sorts of wonderful edibles. A beer will set you back three euros, but it is pretty easy to smuggle in alcohol to the site if you're that way inclined. A nice touch for me was that most of the stages are adequately kitted out with seating areas at the side for when you're only moderately up for partying or just plain lazy. And of course, the lineup is way better than any other music festival I've ever witnessed.
Overall, would I go next year? Yes. Definitely. Best festival ever.
All photos taken by my beautiful friend, Nichol Callaghan.