The UK festival scene may not have kicked off yet but in mainland Europe things are starting to hot up. Much of the focus on Barcelona this week will be on the clubs potentially epic Champions League final against Manchester United in Rome on Wednesday but Thursday through to Saturday sees the Primavera festival take place. The location may be familiar to some R13 readers as it takes place in the Parc Del Forum, home of the Summercase Festival which we reviewed back in 2006 and the line-up features a whole host of familiar names so there is no excuse for not getting into the swing of things quickly. With big screen action on Wednesday in the Placa du Catalunya being the home for R13, Thursday through to Saturday will see the music being the highlight and you can read all about it here next week.

Veracruz are the opening band on Thursday night with a 5pm start promising an early beginning and its fair to say that the bands do adhere to a left-field indie approach. With an all night element attached to the festival, there will be many dance acts involved too but for the main hours and the main stages, alternative music reigns supreme. Some of the highlights for Thursday include The Horrors who will be hoping to bring their new found maturity and sound to the festival whilst My Bloody Valentine have an early opportunity to ruin everyones hearing for the rest of the event. Yo La Tengo and The Vaselines add to the retro feel of the opening night but more contemporary acts like Girls, Women and Daft Wee Lassies (okay, that’s a made up band name) will be appearing alongside Pheonix, Dead Meadow and Magik Markers in Catalonian indie heaven. As the night gets darker, Aphex Twin and Squarepusher come out to play in what is sure to be a glitchy conclusion to an exciting first day.

Friday follows in much the same manner with Jarvis Cocker, Saint Etienne, Spiritualized, A Certain Ratio and Throwing Muses all bringing a sense of the old school to proceedings. The female related theme also continues with Vivian Girls taking to the Pitchfork stage at the rather early time of 1930. Some of the more modern acts on the bill for Friday include Bats For Lashes, Bloc Party, The Mae Shi and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart as well as a showing for former Granddaddy main man Jason Lytle, which should be of great interest. Again, the night is progressed with djs with Michael Mayer’s appearance at 4am being a great reason to push through the night and see the sun coming up over Barcelona.

Two days of full on gigging and dancing may lead to a slight bit of flagging come the Saturday but the line-up should ensure that a second (or third) wind is within reach. The stand-out acts are Neil Young and Sonic Youth who should bring some fuzzed-out rock to the masses and they are on the same bill as Ghostface Killah who will hopefully stamp his unique mark on the festival. If that all gets too much, the folk sounds of Alela Diane or the retro doo-wop of Kitty, Daisy and Lewis could be a welcome relief but if you want to continue the rock n roll vein further, Black Lips and Liars should keep you going. Simian Mobile Disco are the biggest name of the through the night billing and should have more than enough in their arsenal to keep the kids going.

It’s a line-up that has something for everyone and with a time-span that should satisfy even the most hardened festival goer. With the UK music festivals looking very homogenised and safe this year, no doubt influenced by the credit crunch, the real value appears to be in going abroad and experiencing a more eclectic mix of music and fun. If you are heading out to Primavera, enjoy yourself and look out for the probably pinking R13 crew. If you are not, then make sure to check back next week where we will tell you who was hot and who was not from Barcelona’s big bash.