Résumé : We report the vacuum-ultraviolet threshold-photoelectron spectrum of HC5N recorded over a wide spectral range, from 84 000 to 120 000 cm-1, with a 120 cm-1 spectral resolution, better than what was achieved in previous photoelectron studies, and with mass selectivity. The adiabatic ionization potential of cyanobutadiyne is measured at 85 366 (±40) cm-1. Assignment of the vibrational bands of the four lowest electronic states X+2Π, A+2Π, B+2ς+, and C+2Π are performed, supported by high level ab initio calculations which are fully detailed in Paper II [B. Gans et al., J. Chem. Phys. 150, 244303 (2019)] and by Franck-Condon simulations. Only vibrational stretching modes are observed in the threshold-photoelectron spectra. The ground state of HC5N+ exhibits a vibrational progression in the ν2 stretching mode involving mainly the elongation of the CC triple bonds, whereas the A+ and C+ excited electronic states show a progression in the stretching mode mainly associated with the elongation of the CN bond, i.e., ν4 and ν3, respectively. The B+ state appears almost as a vibrationless structure in close vicinity to the A+ state.