If you are living in or thinking of moving to Barcelona for its life-loving culture, the sunshine, the seaside, the tapas, the mountains (the trekking), the cultural variety, the modernism or another benefit, there is one more important aspect on which Barcelona stands out among many other cities – and it’s the musical scene.
Although music to suit all tastes and styles is definitely available all year round, the time when the musical scene really comes to life in Barcelona is the summer. If you are a music lover you will soon find out that during Barcelona summer there is very little time left for your camping trips and your family visits – most weekends will soon get filled up with musical events (and I don’t just mean festivals!).
So what can you choose from?
Below is my attempt at shortlisting the otherwise incredibly long list to just a couple of interesting examples.
Coming from a country with lots of green lands and space festivals to me have always been associated with a weekend in the tent village surrounded by blasting music far from urban realities. It was in Barcelona that I was first got acquainted with the concept of an urban festival where you would still go through a marathon of five days of almost constant dancing in a massive crowd – however, only a few metro stops from your house (meaning you could keep the benefit of sleeping in your own bed!). The first of these urban festivals you will definitely hear about closer to summer (and which is well worth noting!) is Primavera Sound. You will enjoy Primavera Sound (‘The Sound of Spring’ in English) if you like many kinds of music – from pop to rock, to electronic dance music – are not afraid of a crowd and appreciate a cosy atmosphere. While bringing together many famous bands and artists, this festival somehow feels less mainstream than other big festivals around. It runs from the afternoon until the dawn three days in a row in June.
If you want to consider yourself a local in Barcelona, there are some boxes you will be expected to tick.
Apart from knowing where to find the best bravas, you might also want to check out one of the biggest electronic music festivals in Europe
Sónar. Yes, now electronic music festivals are common but when Sonar started in the mid 90’s it was pretty progressive! It is still well-respected today due to bringing the major names in the DJing scene alongside newly found international talent. The event is split into daytime and night time programs, over 9 stages this year (it is HUGE).
Continuing on the topic of electronic music, there is another event I suggest you to make yourself aware of – it is Brunch Electronic. Although traditionally electronic music is associated with clubbing or, at least, night time, this event takes place on Sunday afternoons. This attempt at extending the festive weekend mood until the last hours on a Sunday before starting a new week has so far been accepted very enthusiastically and the event has been extended from the summer and now takes place almost the full year round. Go here for a real summer mood, dancing under urban showers while enjoying a jug of cold sangria.
Looking for something more intimate?
Something you will soon find out once you are in Barcelona is that life here is equally active on the streets, as it is on the rooftops. During the summer, many hotels offer events for the after work hours and some iconic places create their own programs. For instance, one of Gaudi’s jewels of creativity, and one of the icons of the city – La Pedrera – opens its rooftop for a session of live jazz music every Friday and Saturday all June to August.