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Holi Festival | Courtesy of Holi Festival
Holi Festival | Courtesy of Holi Festival
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Barcelona Festivals: The Best Of Music And Performing Arts

Picture of Tamara Kiewiet
Updated: 7 December 2016
Fiestas and festivals are part of the essence of life in Spain. With its bustling music scene and hundreds of international artists performing every year, Barcelona has nearly too many options when it comes to music festivals. Inviting locations all over town host the very best of their local productions, as well as world-renowned DJs, bands, and other artists. From jazzy sounds to electronic beats, get ready for the upcoming festival season in Barcelona!

BBF – Barcelona Beach Festival

One of the world’s leading live entertainment companies, Live Nation Entertainment, presents the second edition of Barcelona Beach Festival. Held mid-July on Barcelona’s beaches, this festival has some of the most well-established DJs to form their line-up, like David Guetta, Axwell & Ingrosso, Martin Garrix and Hardwell. They managed to get them to Barcelona all in one day, where you can dance to their music at the unique festival area of La Platja del Fòrum and Parc de la Pau.

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Brunch Électronik

Starting from the beginning of March, on the edge of changing seasons, Sundays are no longer reserved just for resting. Two times a month you will find a full day of music, food and culture at the Plaza Mayor of Poble Espanyol in Barcelona. The name of this festival already gives away what its line-up covers: some of the fathers of electronic music. For instance, the DJs from the Detroit-based record label Planet E, or the Spanish DJ and producer John Talabot can be spotted here. Beware, this is a family-friendly music festival. After 4 PM, the events for children will be relocated to an area set apart from the adult music festival. The event was created as the slightly smaller sibling of Piknic Électronik.

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Piknic Électronik

It’s more than just a picnic! The big brother of Brunch Électronik brings family and friends together every Sunday starting from the end of June. This get-together combines the traditional Sunday afternoon picnic with a funky electronic music festival. Their mission is bringing culture and electronic beats to everyone. Located at the green Parc de Montjuïc, this cultural festival has a special aspect: its enormous environmental awareness. The picnic area is cleaned up right at the end of this sustainable event; it’s a real worldwide phenomenon. Aside from the Barcelona edition, you can also enjoy Piknic Électronik in Montreal, Lisbon, Melbourne, Sydney, Santiago and Dubai.

Grec Festival of Barcelona

A full month of music, theater, dance, circus and other stage performances. This festival is Barcelona’s long-standing annual summer event. The festival was named after its main venue, the open-air Teatre Grec, located on Montjuïc. Today, this theater is still part of the festival grounds and it hosts a variety of opening acts at the beginning of July. This festival also has a dual mission: supporting the local Catalan production and presenting the most interesting works from around the world. Be prepared for some performing arts birthday specials, as this year will be the 40th edition!

Foto panoràmica del Teatre Grec de Barcelona | © Xavier Caballe/Flickr
Foto panoràmica del Teatre Grec de Barcelona | © Xavier Caballe/Flickr

Holi Festival Of Colours Barcelona

This festival treats its visitors to a collective sense of euphoria and harmony, and Barcelona is one of the stops on its way around the world. After a visit to the Indian Holi festival in Delhi, one of the founders of the magic festival decided that the whole world would benefit from this experience. Taking place at Parc del Fórum, the Barcelona edition takes the usage of colors and offers an awesome dance scene with artists like Plan B and Atica. Check out their website for the annually changing date of this brightly colored festival.

Primavera Sound Barcelona

From its start in 2001, uniting the latest new kids on the block with well-established artists has been Primavera Sound‘s main goal. Any style and genre can be found on the seafront festival site at Parc del Fòrum. With unforgettable moments like the concert of Neil Young in 2009, or a three-hour performance by The Cure, this festival is one of the main events in the Spanish music scene. The festival also has an ever-growing complementary program. In 2016, it will expand to the Raval district in the heart of Barcelona, with concerts in the emblematic Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) and on three other stages in the neighborhood. Definitely a five-day festival you can’t miss if you’re visiting Barcelona in June.

Ambiente Primavera Sound | Courtesy of Pere Masramon
Ambiente Primavera Sound | Courtesy of Pere Masramon

Sónar

Mid-June, and for three days, Barcelona celebrates Sónar, the International Festival of Advanced Music and Congress of Technology and Creativity. It’s a pioneering cultural event that welcomes both established artists and emerging talent. Sónar is the scene for the newest trends in dance and electronic music. Each day, the three-day festival is divided into a day and a night section, located at different sites. Being more than just a music festival, Sónar by Day provides us with an international convention focused on digital creative industries. But of course, Fira Montjuïc, the daytime platform, also has a large number of concerts, DJs and showcases. Sónar by Night is located at the Fira Gran Via de L’Hospitalet, the hot-spot for live shows and DJ sets from the biggest names in international music. In the past, people have danced here to the beat of artists such as Duran Duran, Loco Dice, Gesaffelstein, Massive Attack, Bonobo, The Chemical Brothers and Die Antwoord, among many others.