Not every festival is the same; especially not in Barcelona. With the abundance of events and activities throughout the year, summer is an exceptionally special time to experience the musical opulence of Catalonia’s capital. From industrial settings playing electronic music to natural hideouts with chilled out instrumentals, the choice is yours to make.
Primavera Sound Barcelona
End of May/beginning of June
With the first edition taking place in Poble Espanyol in 2001, the Primavera Sound festival has consistently brought quality performances and artists from all types of genres. From independent rock and pop to electronic, this festival continues to grow and satisfy music lovers. Past artists include Arcade Fire, Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Pet Shop Boys, The White Stripes, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala, Sigur Rós, Wu-Tang Clan, Radiohead, The Cure and Neil Young. Now going into its 18th year, the 5-day festival is held in Parc del Forum, an expansive seafront venue with plenty of space for multiple stages. With so much history, Primavera Sound is exceptionally well-organized, with plenty of food stands, bathrooms and places to just chill. Because of the venue’s large size, however, you may find yourself walking a lot.
Founded in 1994, Sónar is a 3-day electronic music festival. It is divided into 3 parts: Sónar by Day, Sónar by Night and Sónar+D, a three-day conference focussing on creativity, technology and business. During the day, Sónar is held outside in the Fira Montjuic, just next to Plaza Espanya. At night, at Fira Gran Via in Hospitalet. Tickets can range from 60€-80€ for each day, so be prepared to spend a lot of money, but on high-quality music acts. Past performances include Björk, the Chemical Brothers, Jeff Mills, Josh Wink, Richie Hawtin, Squarepusher, Daft Punk. The festival is highly renowned and has held events around the world in cities like New York, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Bogota, Hong Kong and Istanbul.
While Sonar Festival is happening, there are other electronic music concerts running alongside the main event, which is called Off Week. Tickets to these events are usually more affordable and just as good.
Brunch in the Park
Every week from July to September
Originally born in Montreal as Piknic Electronik, this day-time event brings party-goers to dance under the sun. The popularity of the Brunch Series has grown over the years and now the summer version, Brunch in the Park holds an event in the mountain of Montjuic every Sunday. With in-demand DJs, food trucks and even “petit brunch” (the family-friendly area), this electronic music experience is a must-do at least once.
Held in Parc del Forum, same as Primavera Sound, this Cruïlla Festival is a celebration of summer. Past acts include Kendrick Lamar and Damian Marley. This year expect to see Justice, Prophets of Rage, Kygo, Ben Howard, Jessie Ware and Bomba Estéreo.
Another relatively young electronic music festival in Barcelona held in Parc del Forum, DGTL focuses on art and sustainability. It has its roots in the original DGTL event born in Holland. What’s special about DGTL is the combination of art with music. There are usually a few installations within the event and the acts are carefully curated to include big headliners as well as local talents. This year’s event will feature about 60 acts over 4 stages. Definitely worth checking out for the electronic music lover!
End of June
This small festival takes place in Vilanova i la Geltru, just 45 minutes south of Barcelona. Unlike the bigger festivals in Barcelona, this one is characterized by its natural environment as well as its “sensorial experience” which includes music, cinema, gastronomy, handcraft and illustration. If you’re looking for a unique and relaxed music experience outside of the busy city, Vida may be for you.
Have you been to any of these festivals? Let us know which one is your favourite, or which one you’re dying to go to!