1.2 million people attended Barcelona festival La Mercè
Great success at this year’s edition of La Mercè Festival Barcelona. The festival was closed on Sunday with a Pyromusical performance in which fireworks, light and music were synchronised. Around 90,000 people gathered to see the show, which honoured Paris, the guest city of the 2016 celebration, and David Bowie and Prince, who passed away in January and April, respectively. The festival had a French and international accent and included performances of French artists like the street and circus art cooperative 2r2 and the prestigious theatre group Company Théâtre Silvia Monfort. However, during the celebration there were also several Catalan traditional activities such as human towers.
Barcelona (CNA).- A ‘pyromusical’, a performance with fireworks, light and music, brought an end on Sunday to this year’s edition of Barcelona’s annual festival. According to the Culture Institute of Barcelona, around 90,000 people gathered on Maria Cristina Avenue to witness the show, which this year honoured Paris, the guest city of the festival, the recently deceased David Bowie and Prince, and the 25th anniversary of La Marató TV3, a telethon that has taken place every year since 1992 devoted to raising funds for scientific research into diseases. Classic songs of the Prince of Minneapolis such as 'Purple Rain' and 'Kiss' were intertwined with anthems by the chameleon of rock such as 'Life on Mars' and 'Let's Dance'. La Mercè 2016 was attended by up to 1.2 million people. Barcelona City Council highlighted the "great civility" which has seen the festival and the success of the Trinity Park venue, which helped to decentralise the cultural, musical and artistic events.
From the 22nd to the 25th of September Barcelona became the spot of several activities, among which were performances by French artists, as Paris was the guest city, but also traditional performances such as ‘castells’ (human towers) and ‘gegants’, huge traditional Catalan figures which spin around and are dressed in traditional costumes.
This year’s edition of the celebration had a French flair, with performances by renowned artists and dancers like Arthur Cadre and Stéphane Deheselle, and an international accent. On Sunday, 21 urban artists from all around the globe participated in a graffiti exhibition and created a contemporary mural on the walls of the Circumval·lació Avenue. There were new generation artists, but also renowned ones. Although the majority were from the Barcelona scene, there were some international names as well, such as Popay.
‘La Mercè’, however, also showed the best of Catalonia’s folklore to the world, as many traditional activities took place during the celebration. The most popular was ‘Castellers’, human towers. Two ‘castellers’ groups, ‘Els Minyons de Terrassa’ and ‘La Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls’ were invited to celebrate together with the ‘Castellers de Barcelona’ the patron saint’s feast day on Sant Jaume Square. On Sunday, ‘Els Minyons de Terrassa’ achieved the first human tower of 10 levels with three people on each ever seen in the city.
“Success” of the festival decentralisation
‘La Mercè’ 2016 broadened its horizons and brought the festival to new areas of the city. Trinitat Park, Ciutadella Park and the Fabra i Coats facility were settings for the celebration, as well as central Barcelona streets, the common epicentre.
Barcelona’s Deputy Mayor for Culture, Jaume Collboni, stated that the decentralisation of some activities was “a successful experience”. The politician illustrated this with the fact that the closest tube station to Trinitat Park saw a 600% increase in the number of users during the festival. “The intention is to continue with this format and maybe even widen it”, he added, while explaining that Ciutadella Park received up to 125,000 visitors. Collboni also stressed the “great civility” of the festival and celebrated that there were no “remarkable incidents”.