Barcelona is a vibrant city all year round, with a chocker-block events calendar, ranging from music festivals to sporting events, and fashion shows to street parties. Organising your city break around a key event can make your trip even more rewarding, and enables you to mingle with both locals and tourists who share the same passions as you. Whether it’s spring, summer, autumn, or winter, Barcelona is sure to offer an event that will catch your eye, and if you need a bit of inspiration, then check out these top 5 events held in and around the city.
1. Sonar Music Festival – Thousands of music enthusiasts flock to Barcelona for Sonar, which is one of the most popular electronic music festivals in Europe. Taking place in June, visitors can enjoy the warm climate, and sizzling summer sounds from the many concerts held over this 3 day event. The 2012 line-up includes international DJ’s and bands, including Fatboy Slim, Friendly Fires, The Roots, and Richie Hawtin, to name just a few. And it’s not just music that is on offer at Sonar. Officially intended as a music and multimedia festival, the event represents all aspects of the modern arts with a cinema and exhibition area. This year’s festival is taking place from the 14th-16th June with a 3 day festival pass costing €155. Visit the official Sonar website for more information.
2. La Mercè – Barcelona’s summer season certainly goes out with a bang, with an extravagant city party, celebrating the transition from summer to autumn. The origins of the festival dates back to 1902, with the festival being held in honour of the Patron Saint of Barcelona. This illustrious festival sees both locals and tourists taking to the streets throughout Barcelona to see a fantastic spectacle of fireworks, parades, fire running, and human towers. La Mercè Festival is usually held in the 3rd or 4th week of September; however the dates are yet to be announced. This delightful festival is free to watch and is a great visit for anyone staying in Barcelona holiday apartments.
3. Barcelona Grand Prix – Held around 30km outside the centre of Barcelona, at the Circuit de Catalunya, visitors tend to stay in Barcelona when visiting the Grand Prix, to get the best of both worlds. This year, this fast paced motor event is being held from the 11th – 13th May with the qualifying races taking place on the Friday and Saturday, and final race on the Sunday. Barcelona’s warm dry climate provides perfect conditions for the race, with the last wet course reported in 1996! Visit the official website for race information and tickets.
4. Grec Festival – Barcelona’s Grec Festival is a celebration of performing arts, and a great summer attraction for visitors to the Catalan capital. Now in its 36 edition, this popular event fuses dance, music, theatre, and acrobatic performances, in all-round recognition of Barcelona’s artistic and expressive culture. The Grec festival takes place throughout July, in a variety of venues, however, the main venue will be the open air Teatre Grec, located on Montjuïc hill. The 2012 schedule has yet to be released, and you can visit the organisers website to keep up to date with developments.
5. International Jazz Festival – Cool rhythm and beats can be heard throughout Barcelona through October and November, as the International Jazz Festival descends on the city. Barcelona is a diverse city of music, welcoming a variety of genres with open arms. Jazz is a popular choice, and during this month and a half long event, various venues will showcase worldwide talent. Previous years have seen the likes of Jimmy Cobb, Paolo Conte, and Wayne Shorter take to the stage, and now in its 44th year, it just keeps getting bigger and better. Individual tickets are required for each event, and the schedule can be found here.
These popular events attract visitors from far and wide, and can increase the visitor numbers in Barcelona significantly. If you’re planning on attending an event, it’s wise to book Barcelona apartments well in advance to avoid disappointment.