Two detainees after cold weapon attack during third night of Barcelona's La Mercè celebrations

No major incidents were reported after previous evening of looting and vandalism near Plaça Espanya

Attendees at Zona Universitària concerts area in Barcelona on September 25, 2022
Attendees at Zona Universitària concerts area in Barcelona on September 25, 2022 / Gerard Sancho
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

September 26, 2022 11:06 AM

September 26, 2022 11:32 AM

The third night of Barcelona's La Mercè celebrations ended up with two detainees after a cold weapon attack ended with an injured person near Plaça Espanya square, as announced on Monday morning by Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra police head Pere Ferrer, in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio.

The accident occurred later in the night, once all concerts in the Avinguda Maria Cristina avenue had finished and people had left the premises. 

This is the third night of Barcelona's La Mercè celebrations, which as opposed to the previous evening, ended without any major incidents reported.

On Saturday night, up to 14 people were detained after looting and vandalism in the Carrer de Creu Coberta street, just next to the concerts area.

On the same night, a 25-year-old was fatally stabbed but authorities believe the attack is not related to the vandalism seen one hour later.

On Sunday night, the main concerts were divided into two different areas. One next to Plaça Espanya and a new stage was installed in the Zona Universitària university area near Diagonal avenue. 

While in Plaça Espanya, concert-goers got to enjoy Catalan groups Stay Homas, and Buhos; those at the Zona Universitària danced to the rhythm of Lola Índiga, Miki Núñez, The Tyets, and Doctor Prats.

According to the Barcelona city council, there were around 45,000 people in each one of the concert areas.

The city also welcomed firecrackers during the afternoon as they walked up Passeig de Gràcia boulevard joined by 120,000 people, and 80,000 more attendees during the children's edition.

On Sunday, the Catalan health emergency system assisted 33 people, 32 in mild condition and 1 in less serious. Out of these, six were deployed to different health centers across the city.

Rethinking La Mercè celebrations

During his morning interview, Pere Ferrer proposed to "rethink further than security questions" La Mercè celebrations. This way, in future editions, looting and vandalism, as happened on Saturday night, would not happen again.

The head of Mossos d'Esquadra highlighted, as did politicians on Sunday morning, that the situation was lighter than the 2021 edition but still considers them "unacceptable" acts.

La Mercè has not been the only summer festivity and Ferrer highlighted the number of events that took part with thousands of people with a "very positive" outcome. Therefore, rethinking spaces, limiting capacity, or controlling alcohol, could be a place to start for future editions, he believes.

While Saturday night ended up with 14 detainees, it was first reported as 12 but Ferrer increased the total number by two, on Sunday night, authorities expect to have detained a similar number of people. However, it will be in relation to robberies and small crimes, the head of the Catalan police shared while being interviewed in Catalunya Ràdio.

Asked about possible sexual aggressions or complaints, he does not have the figure yet. But, once thing he knows for certain is that the investigation into the fatally stab of the 25-year-old will be "complex" as it happened in the middle of a lot of people.