Barcelona’s youthful personality forms the perfect backdrop for festivals filled with music and fun. Throughout the year the city opens its arms to a variety of genres and performers, dousing the streets and architecture in a laidback, cultural vibe. There’s a little something for everyone, too, from the toot of trumpets at jazz festivals and the vibrant colours of traditional Flamenco, to beach parties pumped by world-class DJs. Here are some of the city’s best music festivals:
Though it takes place in the warm haze of the summer months, Sonar Festival isn’t your average muddy field affair. In fact, it takes place right in the heart of the city on two different sites. Progressive bands entertain lively crowds, whilst multimedia arts performances add a little quirkiness to the program. During the day, Sonar by Day is the place to be, surrounded by the moderisme architecture of Barcelona and the bustling city streets, whilst Sonar by Night brings the city to life after dark (though it’s set slightly out of town for that extra fairytale effect).
Taking place in late May or early June, this is one of the largest music festivals in Spain, bringing in thousands of music lovers every year. Located within the Parc del Forum site, it’s famed for its eclectic mix of genres – expect indie and electronic bands as well as hip hop, dance, folk, jazz, and metal music.
Barcelona Jazz Festival
Barcelona’s arty ambiance seems like the perfect place to hold a lively jazz festival. For 47 years the annual event has hosted hundreds of famous jazz musicians and bands in a mishmash of venues all over town. Rather than acquiring a ticket for the entire event, attendees can pick and choose their poison by purchasing tickets for individual events in bars and clubs throughout the city.
A whole festival dedicated to the unique sound of the guitar – who’d have thought it! In Barcelona the instrument is celebrated in its very own annual festival, which lasts more than a month during spring. As the warmer months come into play, you can while away the hours watching local bands strum solemn melodies in squares and listen to international acts rally the crowds with guitar music.
For something a little more traditional there’s De Cajon, which brings the colours and quickstep beats of Flamenco to the masses every year. Huge Flamenco stars from across Catalunya and the rest of Spain congregate in rustic bars and venues, showcasing the latest trends in traditional dance and bringing a taste of old Barcelona to a new-age audience. Like the jazz festival it’s set all over the city in different haunts, so it’s best to buy tickets for the shows that tickle your fancy.
Barcelona’s music scene is growing by the day, with a concentrated mix of genres and performers that bring the stories of the city to life though song and dance. Whether you’re a techno music fiend who wants strobe lights and parties until dawn, or whether you’d prefer a laidback evening spent swooning to jazz, Barcelona has it all.