Barcelona Festival Guide
Barcelona has some of the best festivals in the world. Whether, it’s eating snails from a street vendor in Gracia to watching the best artists in the world at Primavera or Sonar, Barcelona has it all.
Three Kings (Epiphany) 5th/6th January
Still not partied out after Christmas? Good, because Kings is going to cap off the holiday season with one almighty bang!
On 5 January, Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar (well giant puppets) land at Moll de Fusta at 4 pm. Cue a massive party, calvacades and more sweets being thrown than you can possibly imagine – be like the local kids and bring bags to fill with all that candy. The parade ends at theMagic Fountain in Montjuïc around 9 pm.
Barcelona Carnival - 20-26 February 2020
20-26 February 2020 get your costumes ready and gear up for Barcelona’s answer to the Mardi Gras, the Barcelona Carnival.
You know the drill, masks, face paint, and lots of booze and debauched behaviour.
It’s what Ash Wednesday is all about…maybe
Dia De Sant Jordi 23rd April 2020
Dia De Sant Jordi (St George’s Day) is one of our fave festivals in Barcelona.
The streets are filled with books and roses (seriously, everywhere!) and the tradition is to give your beloved a book or a rose (though we find both are appreciated!). As a writer and lover of Cervantes this one of the first dates I look for in the diary.
Top tip – Las Ramblas is good but the better, more local experience, can be found on Rambla De Catalunya.
Barcelona Marathon - 23rd May 2020
The Barcelona Marathon is usually run in glorious spring sunshine and is noted for fast times.
My wife has run it and she loves it. I told her I’d run it next year but I feel a blister coming on.
You can sign up here.
Primavera Sound - June 4 to June 6 2020
Barcelona’s big beast festival, that routinely hosts the best indie bands and dance acts from around the world – past headliners include, Radiohead, Tame Impala, Bjork, the Pixies, Solange, and Rosalía. Primavera are also committed to trying to achieve a 50/50 gender balance across the festival.
Bonus – you can crash on the beach next to the festival site if it get too much (it will).
Cruilla festival 3 July 2020
Full disclosure I’ve never been to Cruilla because, because well, I’m usually skint after Primavera but the line up always has someone I want to see as well as some acts I’d actively pay not to see – it’s that kind of unpretentious approach that makes me want to go – next year for sure.
You can buy tickets here.
Sant Joan 23 and 24 June
Sant Joan Barcelona is one of the biggest, craziest nights in the city. The day after is a public holiday and the city will resemble a war zone come 9 pm on the 23rd as everyone lets off fireworks accompanied by a Dionysian level of drinking and partying.
Head to the beach for mid-night – it’s mayhem. We love it!
Grec Festival - Mid June to late August
This festival must have one of the most beautiful settings of any in Barcelona.
In the Greek styled amphitheatre in stunning gardens in Montjuic they stage plays and concerts. It’s great value, there is something you will enjoy (check the event calendar here) and whatever happens you can relax over a wine or beer and enjoy the amazing views and beautiful gardens.
Festa Major de Gracia - 15 to 21 August 2019
The Gracia festival is one of many local barrios festivals but it is the biggest, the coolest and the best . Okay, we are biased we live in Gracia but seriously this is the cat’s whiskers.
Streets compete to decorate their street with the best, most original and homemade decorations. It is a week of food, drinking, dancing, concerts and fun. Sleep is optional.
We can’t wait!
Festa de la Merce 20 -24 September 2019
La Merce Barcelona or Barcelona’s biggest party in celebration of our Lady of Mercy saving the city from a plague of locusts back in the 17th century.
What this means now is we get 4 days of wild partying, castellers (human tower builders) carrefocs (street firework gangs ha!), concerts and art events all over the city and to finish a massive firework display at Plaça Espanya.
Sitges Film Festival 3-13th October 2019
Sitges International film festival is a week long festival dedicated to all things horror and fantasy. Nick Cage rocked up their last year and tickets sell out as this is the premier festival for things that go bump in the night.