What's on in Barcelona
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.
Coming up we have, among others Van Morrison at the Primavera Sound Festival (June 3); Suzanne Vega (Razzmatazz, June 10); Ariana Grande (Palau Sant Jordi, June 13); U2 (Estadi Olímpic, July 18); Beth Hart (Sala Barts, July 26); PJ Harvey (Poble Espanyol, August 23); Lady Gaga (Palau Sant Jordi, September 22); the Rolling Stones (Olympic Stadium, September 27); and Elton John (Palau Sant Jordi, December 3).
For what is on in the way of classical music, opera and the like, see what's on at the Palau de la Musica and the Liceu Opera House (two places well worth visiting for their architecture, even if you are not that keen on that sort of music). Tickets for these can be obtained from ServiCaixa (see below)
Classical music is also on at the Auditori, home to Barcelona's Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC). Tickets for this can be obtained from Telentrada (see below).
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).
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.
ServiCaixa is one of best sources of tickets for concerts and other events in Barcelona, being run by La Caixa, the city's major bank. Tickets can be bought online or at cashpoints throughout the city.
Telentrada is the online ticket service from rival bank Caixa de Catalunya.
Tickets for many concerts can also be purchased at FNAC.
For football fans, one of the big attractions of Barcelona is its world famous club, Barça [website], with a visit to its stadium (preferably to actually see a game) high on your to-do list.
We are (mercifully) on a summer break from football, but it all kicks off again soon enough. There's the International Champions Cup (in the US), with games including Barça vs Man. United (July 26); Barça vs Real Madrid (July 29) There are two more Barça vs Real Madrid games in August, in the two legs of the Supercopa de España, the first in Barcelona on Aug 12, the return in Madrid on Aug 15.
TimeOut Barcelona had an article recently on 15 Barcelona bars with big screens (content in Catalan) which you might find handy if you find you're not going to spend that kind of money on 90 minutes watching 22 blokes boot a bit of synthetic leather about.
A visit to the Barça museum includes a look inside the stadium itself, one the world's biggest.
Espanyol [website], Barcelona's "other" first division side play in their new stadium out in Cornellà (to get there, take the FGC train line from Plaza Espanya and get off at either Cornellà-Riera or Almeda).
For utterly one-eyed reporting, see our Newspapers page.
See also our Barcelona Sports page.
For non-football fans, it's frankly hard to understand quite what all the fuss is about.