La Mercè is synonymous with the end of summer. As the nights start drawing in and the heat of the estival sun lessens, the citizens of Barcelona and its surrounding areas eagerly await the city’s festa major.
As you may or may not know, La Mercè is the co-patron saint of Barcelona, sharing this title with Santa Eulàlia. Since the year 1871, the official day of celebration has been held on 24 September, meaning this year marks 150 years of the festival of all festivals.
To celebrate this special occasion, the French artist Malika Favre, who has illustrated for the likes of the New Yorker, was invited to design a poster that captured the essence of Barcelona and the powerful Lady of Mercy behind these celebrations. In only four colours, this year’s poster reminds us that our city is indeed a beautiful, powerful and defending female.
This year’s festivities, events, and activities will place from Thursday 23 September to Sunday 26 September 2021. La Festes de La Mercè are special for many reasons, one of which being their focus on music and tradition.
Read on to find out more about this year’s line-up jam packed with over 500 events! Discover live concerts, the customary castellers (human towers) and correfocs (fire runs), and of course, the ever-famous closing ceremony that combines light, fire and sound.
Are you ready for La Mercè 2021?
Covid-10 Restrictions at La Mercè 2021
One of the main differences due to the Covid-19 pandemic is that this year prior bookings are necessary to access many of the activities. However, all these events are still completely free!
Remember, you’ll need to head to the La Mercè official website to get your tickets in advance of the celebrations. Bookings open on 14 September for all BAM concerts and on 15 September for all Música Mercè events. There are two tickets available per person.
There are 23 spaces equipped with distanced seating for this year’s festival and at the largest there will be a maximum capacity limit of 3,000 people. Traditional activities will allow for three tickets per person.
The city’s mayor has asked all citizens to be responsible when attending this year’s daytime festival held from 10:00 to 12:30 am and to remember that masks are compulsory.
Live music at La Mercè 2021
Over four days, Barcelona will welcome an eclectic mix of international and national artists, singer-songwriters and bands to perform at 12 different venues throughout the city: from the Moll de la Fusta, Plaça Joan Coromines, the Antiga Fàbrica Estrella Damm, and the Teatre Grec.
Some highlights of the BAM – Barcelona Acció Musical – events include Viva Belgrado, Rusowsky, Rata Negra, Ed Maverick, Samantha Hudson, Wind Atlas, and many more! We recommend you check out the full list here and be sure to book in advance!
What’s more the Música a la Mercè programme brings a combination of concerts, theatre and performances to the city, including Joana Serrat & The Great Canyoners, Oques Grasses, Núria Graham, and Nueva Vulcano.
Activities at La Mercè 2021
This year on the streets of Barcelona you can expect to find art and performance, giant heads (or capgroços), traditional sardana dances, fire runs, and human towers. The main stages will be the Ciutadella Park, Plaça San Jaume, and Vía Laietana including daytime events designed for the younger members of the family.
What’s more, this year’s guest city is Havana. The Cuban capital will be represented in a range of artistic activities and performances at the Parc de l’Estació del Nord among other venues.
Keep a close eye on the official Mercè website for a full list of events and timetables released shortly.
Closing ceremony La Mercè 2021
The grand firework show that is the Piromusical will bring the festival to a close with an eclectic explosion of light and sound from four locations around the city.
We’re still waiting for the official confirmation of the time and date of year’s finale to La Mercè, but we do know that this much-awaited performance – set to commemorate 150 years of La Mercè – will be broadcast live on TV to avoid large crowds forming.
Can’t wait to see you there!