Hundreds of revelers gather in Barcelona city center on first La Mercè night
Police disperse crowd in El Born
On the first night of La Mercè, the most important festivities of Barcelona, hundreds of revelers gathered in the center of the city to celebrate—in many cases, defying a ban on street drinking and without face masks.
According to the latest coronavirus restrictions, no nightly curfew or limit on social gatherings are currently in place, but the use of face masks remains compulsory in outdoor spaces whenever a social distance of 1.5 meters can’t be respected.
La Mercè celebrations are running from September 23 to 26, with a total of 114 bands performing in venues across the city as part of the festival’s push to hold a heavily decentralized edition.
The majority of artists performing at La Mercè are either Catalan or live in Catalonia, as the festival aims for a more localized feel to it.
La Mercè offers something for all tastes, and features an eclectic lineup of the best in electronica, rap, RnB, dancehall, rock, indie, pop, flamenco, jazz and more that Catalonia has to offer.
Some of the highlights of this year's lineup include Pau Vallvé, Núria Graham, Las Karamba, Les Amazones d'Afrique, Buhos, Stay Homas, Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra, Judit Neddermann, Cariño, Hidrogenesse, and many more.
As with everything going ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic, the logistics of putting on such a large-scale event will mean that the festival won’t look the same as any other.
Tickets are limited and fans will have to book them in advance from the La Mercè website to attend any of the performances. A maximum of two tickets will be available per person making the reservation. Most tickets have already been purchased.
Concerts are organized by three different groups, BAM (Barcelona Acció Musica), festival Acció Cultura Viva, and Música Mercè.
Twelve different venues will host concerts this year, as organizers want to decentralize the festival and bring culture to all corners of the Catalan capital.
Iconic locations such as the Teatre Grec, Jardins del Doctor Pla i Armengol, and the Olympic Stadium will be the stage for some of the weekend's events, as will Moll de la Fusta Besòs, Moll de la Fusta Llobregat, Plaça de Joan Coromines, the Antiga Fàbrica Estrella Damm, Plaça Major de Nou Barris, Fabra i Coats, the Vall d’Hebron football pitch, Parc del Fòrum, as well as Plaça Reial.