What's on in Barcelona

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Primavera Sound

May 31-June 4 2017
The Primavera Sound is one of Barcelona's top annual music festivals.

The 2016 line-up included, among many others, Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Tame Impala, The Last Shadow Puppets, Sigur Rós and Brian Wilson and a long etcetera, not all of whom, we confess, we'd actually ever heard of.

For 2017, there are a whole bunch of peeple we've frankly never heard of -- excluding Van Morrison, that is!

2017 tickets are €180, €305 if you want to make that VIP.

See also TimeOut World's top 50 music festivals

Summer Festivals

Festival de Pedralbes

There's also the Festival de Pedralbes (June 8-July 9), in the lovely gardens of the Palau Reial, with people like Rufus Wainwright (June 5); Kris Kristofferson (June 26); Sting (July 6); Art Garfunkel (July 14).

Cruilla Festival

Among other summer festivals, we have the Cruïlla Barcelona festival (July 7-9), with conterts by Ani DiFranco, Pet Shop Boys, The Prodigy, Little Steven, among others.

Sant Joan: Midsummer's Eve

June 23
Barcelona goes wild on St Joan, drinking cava, the local sparkling wine, consuming a frankly rather boring coca de St Joan, a dry cake with candied fruit of various kinds on top, blasting off the annual budget of a small developing nation in fireworks and partying on the beach till dawn and the Guardia Urbana come along.

The fireworks are something else. You remember Apocalypse Now? Walking the streets on the night of the 23rd is about like that. Wild!

More about Sant Joan on the official BCN site.

La Mercé

September 21-24
Barcelona's "festa major", La Mercé, is named after its patron saint and includes music and dance as well as some spectacular traditions such as the castellers (human castles, pictured, right) and the correfoc (literally the firerun), at which dragons belch fire over the packed crowds and demons spray everyone with sparks.

The Mercé also includes a very popular 10km fun run across the city.

International Jazz Festival

October to December
Supposedly one of the best in Europe (but then that does tend to get added to just about everything that is on in Barcelona), with this year's program (the 49th edition of the Festival) still to be announced.

Concert venues include the Auditori, the magnificent Palau de la Música, and two of the city's best club venues, Jamboree and Luz de Gas.

See also
Jazz Festival Blog
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Christmas in Barcelona

Caganers We have a few odd Christmas traditions here in Barcelona, as this page shows...

If you are visiting Barcelona and going to be decorating the house for Christmas - particularly if you have a crib (Nativity scene), don't miss the Feria de Santa Lucia, in the square in front of the Cathedral.

As for those odd traditions, note the traditional Catalan figure of the "caganer", the (ahem...) "shitter" (as illustrated). You wanna buy one?


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