Barcelona cancels public New Year’s event but prepares alternative

For the second year in a row, the city will not ring in the new year with a large public celebration

Barcelona's public New Year's event in 2020
Barcelona's public New Year's event in 2020 / Ajuntament de Barcelona

Gerard Escaich Folch | Barcelona

December 3, 2021 01:22 PM

Catalonia’s capital will not ring in the new year with fireworks and thousands of people gathered at Montjuïc’s Magic Fountains. The local council announced on Friday that they are not planning to organize a massive celebration as customarily happens in the years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, sources close to Barcelona’s public broadcaster, Betevé, confirmed that there will be some type of show, but information about the event will be shared in the upcoming weeks. 

This is the second year in a row that local authorities will not organize a massive celebration at Avinguda Reina Maria Cristina, the avenue between the fountains and Plaça d’Espanya square. 

Last year, the pandemic forced authorities to cancel the event for the first time since it started. Officials opted instead for a decentralized version, following the ‘Piromusical’ music and fireworks show celebrated during La Mercè’, Barcelona’s largest festa major public street party.

At midnight, the city welcomed 2021 with 12 fireworks, one per each time the clock struck midnight. After the first fireworks, there was a huge 15-minute display with around 1,000 explosions during the final minute. The decentralized plan allowed everyone to see the show from their homes. 

A relatively new public party

New Year’s Eve used to be an evening of private celebrations in Barcelona, until 2013 when, for the first time, a large-scale event was organized by Barcelona’s Tourism board

That first year, a show started around 30 minutes before midnight, following a fireworks display. The spectacle featured a 15-meter tall sculpture as the main character.

The display after midnight was only 10 minutes long, but during that time around one tonne of fireworks were lit.