Let there be music: festival season in Catalonia is on
A guide to some of the best festivals in Catalonia happening this summer
What to do this summer? As the season gets into full swing, now is the time to make plans to make the most of the sunny weather. While many may choose to pack their bags and seek excitement overseas, there is plenty to do closer to home, especially in terms of festivals. Although some of the bigger ones have come and gone, people who find themselves in the country over the coming months won’t be short of choices. To get you in the mood, we take a look at some of the best festivals in Catalonia. Whatever takes your fancy, there is something for everyone.
For all the jazz fans out there, the twelfth edition of Vijazz kicked off this Friday, mixing wine, food and all things rhythm and blues. Not only is it a celebration of one of the greatest art forms of the twentieth century, but also of Catalan wine produced in the Penedès region. Running until July 8, tickets for each event are sold separately online.
Also beginning on Friday, Sons del Món (Sounds of the World) promises to be its best edition yet in terms of ticket sales. Shows over the weekend are forecast to be sold out, but don’t worry, the festival runs until August 4 in Roses and the Castelló d’Empúries. There’s a wide variety of music on the bill including Jamaican band Inner Circle (July 12) known for reggae classic Bad Boys, and much more. Gloria Gaynor of I will survive fame will play the closing concert.
The Festival Castell de Peralada brings the elegant touch with a series of shows taking place in the scenic grounds of a castle that dates back all the way to the Middle Ages, preserved in perfect condition. Mixing classical music, opera, dance, and even Hip Hop, it ends on August 17. Some of the big names featuring this year include Kool & The Gang, Santana, and Jonas Kauffman.
To get a glimpse of some of the best contemporary local talent, though, Canet de Mar is the place to be. This year’s edition of Canet Rock is set to be an all night-long stomper, closing with Catalan group Txarango bringing their fusion of rock, latin, pop, dub and more to serenade revellers through the dawn. Tickets are sold out, but keep your eyes peeled for next year. You’ll have to be as fast as festie folk snapping up tickets for Glasto.
Cruïlla is one of the new kids on the Catalan festival scene. In its ninth edition, it’s showing no signs of losing momentum. It has brought some of the biggest names in the music world to the stage in Barcelona, including the likes of The Specials and Iggy Pop, and this year promises to be no different. From July 12 to 14, expect to eclectic music from groups such as The Roots, N.E.R.D. and Prophets of Rage. The White Stripes frontman Jack White will also be making appearance. Check out the programme!
Another festival that has a bit of something for everyone is Cap Roig happening at the Costa Brava cape of the same name. Taking place from July 13 to August 22, its location and atmosphere are the main selling points. As wells as the line-up. International artists such as Sting, Shaggy, Bryan Ferry, and Andrea Bocelli will grace the stage at the beautiful Cap Roig gardens, a 17 hectare space home to more than a thousand different botanical species.
Already underway is the Festival Pedralbes, also held in scenic gardens but this time in one of Barcelona’s more affluent areas. It began on June 6, but continues until July 14, so there is still time to catch some top quality tunes from The Jacksons, Fleet Foxes, and Katie Melua.
Another all summer long event is ARTS d’estiu at Pineda de Mar, showcasing a variety of artists such as pop singer Anastacia and much more. It ends on August 31 with a touch of comedy from Barcelona-born comic David Guapo.
Another highlight of the season includes the Aquelarre de Cervera, from August 24 to 26, bringing together music, fire, witches and magic. Aquelarre is, after all, the Catalan word for witches’ Sabbath. You have been warned.
But the list doesn’t end there. For electronic music fans, there’s the Barcelona Beach Festival on July 14 and Tomorrowland on July 28. And don’t forget les festes majors. In Catalonia there is always an excuse for a celebrating, as neighbourhoods and towns throughout the country show with their own parties organized by locals.