From fireworks to street parties: a guide to summer events in Catalonia in 2022

All the know-how on when, where, and how you can visit some of the territories most fascinating events

Oques Grasses group performing at Festival Ítaca Sant Joan on June 23, 2019 (by Xènia Gasull - Festival Ítaca)
Oques Grasses group performing at Festival Ítaca Sant Joan on June 23, 2019 (by Xènia Gasull - Festival Ítaca) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

June 5, 2022 10:53 AM

With the Covid-19 pandemic seeming to relent in the last few months, owing to high vaccination rates, some of Catalonia’s biggest and most important cultural festivals are making a strong comeback, as they are finally able to operate unbridled by the epidemiological situation.

With this in mind, we have rustled up a festival guide for Catalonia this summer fit for any interest.

Festes majors

Festes majors are traditional local street festivals celebrated every year in every town of Catalonia – and some neighborhoods of big cities –, usually coinciding with the celebration of its patron saint.

Most of them take place in summer, not only featuring correfoc parades (where a group of individuals will dress as devils and light up fireworks), castellers (or human towers), but also free concerts in squares or by the sea in coastal towns.

Mataró Les Santes (Festa Major)

What: comedy shows, live music, fireworks, correfocs and parades "gegants" (meaning gigants).

Where: Mataró, near Barcelona

When: July 25-29

Tickets: €1 and can be bought from the tickets website

Llagostera (Festa Major)

What: flower and plant exhibitions outside the town’s church

Where: Llagostera, northern Catalonia

When: June 3-7

Tickets: none required

Valls (Festa Major)

What: human towers, family activities, concerts

Where: Valls, southern Catalonia

When: June 18-26

Tickets: none required

Fires of Blanes (Festa Major)

What: firework competition with five nights of displays, launched from the Sa Palomera rock in the town’s bay

Where: Blanes, on the Costa Brava

When: July 22-26

Tickets: none required

Festa Major de Gràcia

What: Barcelona’s most festive and welcoming street festival returns with street parties, concerts, competitions and workshops

Where: Gràcia neighborhood, Barcelona

When: August 15-21

Tickets: None required for most events, although some may require pre-registration for free

La Mercè Festival (Festa Major)

What: activities are organized to observe the Roman Catholic feast day of Our Lady Mercy, including correfocs, human towers, projection shows, theatre performances and dances, with Rome being this year’s guest city.

Where: Barcelona

When: September 23 to 26

Tickets: None required

Sant Joan bonfires

What: to celebrate the summer solstice, fireworks and bonfires are lit all over the place, with other symbolic elements and customs, such as midnight bathing, herbs, songs, dances, cures and other ritual magic.

Where: All over Catalonia, with particularly large celebrations taking place in Barcelona, Girona, and Tarragona

When: June 23, on the eve of St. John’s day

Tickets: none required

Falles del Pirineu

What: in various towns in the Pyrenees area, a symbolic fire is brought down from the mountains and into the village, serving to purify the fields and forests

Where: Vall de Boí, in the Pyrenees

When: June 18 - July 23

Tickets: none required, although may be charged for parking. More information available on the website

Tarragona International Fireworks Competition

What: firework displays every night for five nights, launched from the Punta del Miracle peninsula, with a budget of €110,000

Where: Tarragona, southern Catalonia

When: July 6-9

Tickets: none required

Crime Novel Festival

What: round tables and live music to celebrate the crime novel genre in the Catalan language, with a prize up for grabs at the end

Where: Creixell, southern Catalonia

When: July 15-16

Tickets: none required

Llívia Magic Festival

What: fourth edition of magic festival, with four separate renowned magicians - Eduard Juanola, Melanie Màgia, Sergi Armentano and Les Dues Cares

Where: Llívia, in the Pyrenees

When: Every Saturday in July, from 6pm

Tickets: none required

Igualada Jazz Festival

What: Two weeks of jazz concerts aimed at promoting young talent in the genre, including a jazz picnic

Where: Igualada, central Catalonia

When: June 9-19

Tickets: prices vary depending on event, and can be bought from festival website

ViJazz de Vilafranca

What: the region’s infamous wine industry joins forces with the world of jazz, with concerts in the main town square, featuring performances from the likes of Bill Evans, Randy Brecker, Billy Cobham and Linley Marthe

Where: Vilafranca del Penedès

When: July 1-3

Tickets: none required

Cinema lliure a la platja

What: highly acclaimed independent films shown projected onto big screens on beaches all across Catalonia

Where: Palamós, Tossa de Mar, Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat, Sitges, Vilanova i la Geltrú and also in the inland

When: June 29 - August 11

Tickets: none required

Vic Oriental Cinema Festival

What: this Asian Summer Film Festival aims to present Asian culture through popular cinema produced in the countries of the continent

The Festival has several categories, such as a competitive section, retrospectives, children's screenings and themed nights.

Where: Vic, central Catalonia

When: July 19-24

Tickets: €40 for access to all paid-for sessions, and are available for purchase from event’s website

Barcelona Matsuri Japanese Festival

What: demonstrations of typical Japanese dances, live traditional music and Japanese painting; sale of articles and crafts from Japan; workshops for children; typical Japanese food stalls, and other activities

Where: Barcelona

When: June 4-5

Tickets: none required

Festival Grec de Barcelona

What: named after the Greek Theatre, the Grec festival is an annual cultural festival of dance, theatre and music festival with a select programme in various venues in the city

Where: Barcelona

When: June 29 - August 12

Tickets: prices vary depending on event, and ara available for purchase on festival website

Pride BCN

What: the annual LGBT pride festival and parade featuring conferences, street parties and concerts, including one from ‘Barbie Girl’ artist AQUA . This year focuses on the lesbian community under the hashtag #Bollomami

Where: Avinguda Maria Cristina, Barcelona

When: June 13-26

Tickets: none required

Rosalía concert

What: live performances from singer-songwriter hailing from the Catalan town of Sant Cugat del Vallès

Where: Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona

When: July 23 and 24

Tickets: from €106, available for purchase on the venue website

Stay Homas, Oques Grasses, Els Catarres in concert

What: three Catalan pop groups come together for a live performances

Where: Tarraco Arena, Tarragona

When: August 5

Tickets: from €38, available for purchase on Tarraco arena website

Summer music festivals

Aside from these concerts, summer in Catalonia this year features a huge range of amazing music festivals, such as Primavera Sound, Sónar and Cap Roig, with acts such as Dua Lipa, Gorillaz, Megan Thee Stallion and Sting all performing. Check out our complete guide for more information.