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Madrid's 10 Unmissable Art and Culture Events in Summer 2014
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Madrid's 10 Unmissable Art and Culture Events in Summer 2014

Picture of Cristina Villadóniga
Updated: 9 February 2017
As Spain’s capital, Madrid is an unmissable destination for those looking to experience the Spanish way of life. The city boasts an exciting cultural calendar all year round, with a wide array of festivals, exhibitions and traditional local festivities taking place. These were 10 of the best art and culture events the city offered in Summer 2014.

Art | Pop Art Myths

10 June – 14 September, 2014

The prestigious Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum presented, for the first time in Spain, an exhibition with approximately 70 works revising the myths of Pop Art. Names such as as Rauschenberg, Wesselmann, Lichtenstein and Hockney along with British, American and European artists, were on display with the aim of identifying the shared sources of this international artistic trend. The Pop Art Myths exhibition evaluated the 20th century phenomenon of Pop Art from a 21st century perspective in order to demonstrate that the myth of banality which surrounded Pop Art’s legendary images was actually an ironic and powerful code for the perception of reality, and that this art form continues to be influential amongst artists.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Paseo del Prado 8, Madrid, Spain, +34 902 76 05 11


Art | El Greco and Modern Painting

24 June – 5 October 2014

2014 was El Greco Year, commemorating the fourth centenary of the death of Domenico Theotocopuli (1541-1614), widely known as ‘El Greco’. The Cretan master, who lived and died in Toledo, the former capital of Spain, is one of the best known painters in art history. The Museo del Prado hosted the exhibition El Greco and Modern Painting as part of the celebrations in commemoration of the artist’s death. The exhibition addressed El Greco’s influence on painting during 19th and 20th centuries, featuring 25 of El Greco’s works together with more than 75 paintings and drawings by modern artists such as Picasso, Cézanne or Manet.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Paseo del Prado, s/n, Madrid, Spain, +34 913 30 28 00


Literature | Book Fair

30 May -15 June 2014

The famous Madrilenian Book Fair attracted thousands of visitors, who walked along the numerous stalls placed for the occasion and where well-known writers could be found signing their books. This was the 73rd edition of this tradition, born in 1933, that takes place every year in El Retiro park, its location since 1967. The Fair’s main aim is to promote reading and the purchase of new books and booksellers and publishers from all over Spain offer their recommendations to the public.

Book Fair, Paseo Fernán Núñez, El Retiro, Madrid, Spain,+34 915 33 88 36


Dance | Suma Flamenca

10 – 15 June 2014

Suma Flamenca flamenco festival gathered the main national and international singers, guitarists and dancers masters in the city and province of Madrid. This was the 9th edition of this festival that celebrated Spain’s most universal art in its diverse forms; in 2010 flamenco was declared by UNESCO as one of the masterpieces of oral and intangible heritage of humanity. The impressive program of Suma Flamenca featured new talents along with renowned artists in more than 425 different spectacles in 24 different venues. The 2014’s edition honored the leading figure of Paco de Lucía, who passed away not long before the event.

Event held in various locations across Madrid


Art | PHotoEspaña

4 June – 27 July 2014

PHotoEspaña is the International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts and has featured an extensive program of exhibitions every year since 1998. The 2014 edition was focused on Spanish photography, with a tour across the medium’s history. This perspective with a geographic focus as the main theme marked the future of PhotoEspaña as it will have the same focus until 2017. This popular festival is one of the most relevant visual arts events in the world as it attracts more than 700,000 visitors each year. In 2014, national and international photographers and visual artists displayed their works in several shows during two months over the summer, complemented by workshops and debates.

Event held in various locations across Madrid


PHotoEspaña 2014 / Diego Collado. “Data Recovery”, 2010-2014 | © Diego Collado


Music | Día de la Música

20 – 21 June 2014

The Día de la Música festival celebrated the World Music day (21st of June) with two days of concerts. This festival has its main venue in Matadero Madrid, one of the most renowned cultural spaces of the capital, devoted to contemporary creativity. The 2014 edition celebrated the 25 years of history of the Madrilenian mythic record label, Subterfuge, which has fostered the career of many of the most relevant Spanish bands in the last decades. Día de la Música 2014 was a great celebration of music with the reunion of renowned Spanish bands that no longer exist (such as Sexy Sadie, Australian Blonde or Los Fresones Rebeldes), bands that have continued their career with other labels (such as Nawja or Pauline en la playa) and bands that still belonged to the prestigious catalogue of Subterfuge records.

Día de la Música, Plaza de Legazpi, 8, Madrid, Spain +34 915 17 73 09


Culture | Gay Pride Festivities

2 – 6 July 2014

The lively neighborhood of Chueca, very close to Gran Vía, celebrated Gay Pride Day (5th June) with a big parade and accompanying events. The crowded streets and bars were decorated with flags and garlands and there were open-air concerts and various events on offer. The bustling neighborhood was the epicenter of the festivity that welcomed visitors from all over the world, attracted by one of the world’s most famous Gay Prides.

Event held in various locations across the neighborhood of Chueca


Dance | Compañía Antonio Gades

6 – 20 July 2014

Antonio Gades was a prominent Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer. Over the summer of 2014, commemorating the 10th anniversary of his death, Fundación Antonio Gades revived a version of ‘El amor Brujo’ which, under the title of ‘Fuego’, was Gades’ interpretation of Manuel de Falla’s ballet, and one of his last works together with Carlos Saura. This spectacle will be performed at the Zarzuela Theater, one of the most traditional theaters of Madrid with more than 150 years of history.

Zarzuela Theater, Jovellanos 4, Madrid, Spain +34 915 24 54 00



Culture | Virgen de La Paloma festivity in La Latina

12 – 15 August 2014

Virgen de La Paloma is a major festivity in the neighborhood of La Latina and very popular in the whole city of Madrid. Tradition, history and fiesta come together to reveal the real lifestyle of the Spanish. This large celebration exudes a strong community spirit and the aim of having a good time. In 2014, visitors and locals were able to enjoy an extensive program of events that included children’s games, live concerts, tapas tasting and the procession honouring the Virgin of La Paloma. This was the perfect occasion to see the typical Madrilenian chotis dancing in traditional attire.

Event held in various locations across the neighbourhood of La Latina


Music | DCODE Festival

13 September 2014

DCODE Festival is a recently born independent music festival that is building a solid name in the list of unmissable events of the capital thanks to its carefully selected line-up. National and international pop and rock bands such as Vetusta Morla, Jake Bugg, Bombay Bicycle Club or Anna Calvi were at the stage during this 4th edition of the festival in 2014. DCODE Festival takes place in the Campus of the Complutense University and in 2013 gathered more than 25,000 people. This was the last big music event of Madrid before summer ends.

DCODE Festival, Campus Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain


DCODE Festival

Courtesy of DCODE Festival

By Cristina Villadóniga


Read more of Europe Summer 2014 Events Guides:

Amsterdam’s 10 Best Art and Culture Events in Summer 2014

Budapest’s 10 Unmissable Art and Culture Events this Summer

Prague’s 10 Unmissable Art and Culture Events this Summer

Europe’s 10 Best Art and Music Festivals in 2014

Istanbul’s 10 Unmissable Art and Culture Events this Summer

Milan’s 10 Unmissable Art and Culture Events in Summer 2014