Primavera Sound: Next destination Barcelona, capital of music

Primavera Sound is an unmissable event in Barcelona. In our eyes, the arrival of summer in Barcelona is marked by a few things: rising temperatures and glorious blue skies, Ciutadella Park and Barceloneta slowly starting to fill up with sunlight lovers soaking in the rays, dinner times getting pushed back later and later as the days get longer, and the streets coming alive with life. The inauguration event to officially kick off summer? Well, we like to think that that’s Primavera Sound Music Festival.

Primavera Sound

What is Primavera Sound?

Primavera Sound is one of Europe’s most popular music festivals, and is hosted annually in Barcelona. This year it’s to be held May 30 – June 3, 2018, and over 190,000 partygoers are expected. The organisers of Primavera Sound pride themselves on carefully curating a mix of music styles and genres, with performances by both well-established artists and smaller acts that are just emerging, so that the audience can jam out to their favourites and also discover new music. El Pais says the music festival is “an integral part of Barcelona”, and La Vanguardia even went so far to rate it as “one of the best festivals in the world”. This year’s line up for 2018 was recently announced, and includes big headliners like Björk, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Migos, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde and A$AP Rocky.

Apart from the music, the location of the music festival plays a key part in the experience. The home of Primavera Sound is Parc del Fòrum, a massive waterfront park that overlooks the sea. With the glorious warm weather in May, there is no better feeling than swaying with the crowd, friends by your side, Aperol Spritz in hand, and watching the sun set on the Barcelona coastline, with the cool sea breeze in your hair… We already can’t wait.

What else can I do while in town for Primavera Sound?

Now that we’ve convinced you to come to Barcelona for Primavera Sound, you may be wondering what other things you can do while you’re here in the beautiful city of Barcelona, and to take full advantage of your travels here. Well, you’ll be spoilt for choice! No matter what you like there’s something for everyone.

For the foodies, you may wish to explore the rich gastronomic scene – plus all that dancing at Primavera Sound is sure to leave you with a great appetite. Perhaps a visit to the famous La Boqueria market on La Rambla? Or tapas-bar hopping in the well-known El Raval neighbourhood? Or you could take advantage of the beautiful weather and have a paella by the sea in one of our many beachside “xiringuitos”.

For those knowledge-hungry visitors, a visit to one of our world-class museums cannot be missed. Whether it’s arts or history, there are a huge variety of educational museums all around Barcelona.

And of course, there are a few historical sights that must be checked off one’s bucket list while in Barcelona, even if your legs are sore from dancing all day and night: a visit to Gaudí’s Sagrada Família, or a stroll through the scenic Park Güell will complete your Barcelona trip. If you’re really squeezed for time during your trip here for Primavera Sound, check out our three-day and five-day travel guides.

Are you attending Primavera Sound this year? What acts are you most excited for and what other things do you plan on doing in Barcelona? Let us know if we’ve missed anything!

To buy tickets and view the full-line up, visit the official Primavera Sound website… Be warned tickets sell out fast, so get yours before it’s too late!

 

La Mercè 2017, the main event on Barcelona’s festival agenda

La Mercè 2017 is the main event on Barcelona’s festival agenda, uniting all of its neighbourhoods and serving as the city’s Festa Major.  This year it aims to extend further throughout the city by adding even more new venues and activities.

Every year, Barcelona invites a city from around the world to jointly celebrate the festival.  This year Icelandic capital Reykjavik has been invited to be this year’s special guest city and will be honoured throughout La Mercè.

Overall, it is a religious festival that has been celebrated since the Middle Ages and observes the holy feast day of Our Lady of Mercy.  It is the biggest weeklong festival in the city and an age-old tradition, but there are very up-to-date activity items as well, such as specialty markets, art displays and musical performances for example.

Gegants & Capgrossos – La Mercè 2017 

Catalunya has a great tradition for processions of giants or bigheads, which are tall, hollow structures with very large papier-mâché heads, each with a unique identity and character.  They are carried on top of people’s shoulders in a parade as they dance and run at the crowds.  Also, there are the Bestiari – which are figures of medieval, folkloric creatures.  This parade happens on the first day of the La Mercé celebrations.

Gegants Procession, September 22, Palau de la Virreina on La Rambla, 99, at 19:00h

The Correfoc – La Mercè 2017 
The famous fire run is always on September 24 – the actual saint’s day for La Mercé.  Performers dressed as devils and fiery dragons dance in a long procession through the city.  Hordes of “diables” hoist pitchforks, or forquilles, above their heads, with spinning fireworks attached that spray in all directions.  If you’re going to get a close-up photograph, then protective clothing is advised.  There is also an early fire run for children.

Correfoc (Adults), September 23, Via Laietana at 20:15h
Correfoc (Children) September 23, Via Laietana at 18:30h

Castellers – La Mercè 2017 

The Catalans are very good at building human structures. In fact he last few world records – 10 persons high – have been have been set in the region.  Participants, or Catsellers, climb on top of each other, interlocked into a delicate balancing act to get people to reach into the sky as far as possible.  The human tower is supported by a large number of people at the bottom, and then it’s a race to reach the highest point in strict formation before the structure breaks.

Human Towers, September 23, Plaça de Sant Jaume at 11:30h
Human Towers, September 23, Plaça de Sant Jaume at 12:30h

 

BAM
Barcelona Acció Musical has been running for over 20 years and hosts more contemporary rock and pop music concerts.  It runs in parallel to the main festival, and as Reykjavik is the partner city for this year’s La Mercé, then a contingent of its artists will perform, as well as national and internal artists.  Concerts usually take place at Plaza Real, Plaza Catalunya and at the MACBA, among many other intimate places and open-air venues around the city.

BAM, September 22-25, various venues
http://lameva.barcelona.cat/bam/en

AMICS DE LES ARTS CANET ROCK. FOTO: DAVID BORRAT. 04-07-15. CANET DE MAR. DIARI ARA

Piromusical – La Mercè 2017 
This is a critically acclaimed, professional fireworks display that takes place on the last night of La Mercè 2017 on Avinguda reina Maria Cristina.  You need to arrive early for the big finale, as thousands of people gather to watch this spectacular show.

Check the official agenda for more firework displays and digital light mapping events throughout the festival, at http://lameva.barcelona.cat/merce/en.

Piromusical, September 25, Avinguda de Reina Maria Cristina (Plaça Espanya) at 22:00h

The La Mercè Festival is a great way to see Barcelona at its best.  Your stay could be much more convenient with your own apartment.  Check our website for an excellent selection of short-term holiday rentals so that your stay in the city is as comfortable as possible.

Check the official agenda for more firework displays and digital light mapping events throughout the festival, at http://lameva.barcelona.cat/merce/en.