1 August 2010: Grec Barcelona Festival
The Grec Barcelona Festival, commonly known as just the “Grec Festival”, is Barcelona’s summer arts extravaganza and the season’s most important cultural event. City venues, including the Teatre Grec and the Fundació Joan Miró, host theatre, dance and music performances.
Following hot on the heels of the Sant Joan (St John’s Day) Festival, the event injects theatre, dance and music into Barcelona life, with a strong focus on contemporary culture.
In 2010, British singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae performs a soulful show at the Grec Theatre, and American jazz artist Dee Dee Bridgewater pays tribute to Billie Holiday with a special concert. The contemporary dance productions range from the international, like harS by Turkish performer Aydin Teker, to the local, like La Venus de Willendorf by Catalan dancer Iago Pericot. Sprinkled in between are theatre productions, circus shows and even a Japanese tea ceremony.
Grec started in 1976, when a group of thespians staged shows at the Greek amphitheatre on Mount Montjuic. Their initiative triggered the birth of a new theatre festival, which was independently run until 1979, when the newly formed democratic city authorities took over. Now the event is as inextricably linked to Barcelona’s summers as the scorching heat.
15-21 August 2010: Gràcia Festa Major
The Barcelona neighbourhood of Gràcia hits the streets on 15 August to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. The streets are filled with rainbow-coloured decorations and floral art. Live music and street entertainment kick-off the week-long Gràcia Festa Major celebrations.
The Spanish term coined to describe the flower decorations is arte festivo éfimero, which refers to the art’s ephemeral quality. The people of Gràcia are particularly noted for their efforts, you won’t see a better example anywhere in Catalonia.
As well as street garlands, there are orchestras, games, theatre, music, dance and other activities, which turn the district into one big party.
23-29 August 2010: Sants Festa Major
The Sants Festa Major takes place on and around the Carrer de Sants street in Barelona’s Montjuïc district. Twelve main streets host their own parties and activities. When night falls, everyone celebrates with music, parades and a ‘dance of the giants’.
In 2009, the Can Mantega gardens host an evening entertainment programme to suit all tastes. Tap your feet to flamenco fusion on 25 August, relax to swing music on the 27th, rock out to indie on the 28th and watch circus stunts on 29th.
1-29 August 2010: Infancy: Photos by Isabel Muñoz
To celebrate 20 years of the CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child), Barcelona’s CaixaForum stages a powerful exhibition titled Infancy. Towering 1.80m-tall images by award-winning photographer Isabel Muñoz capture children across four continents Asia, America, Africa and Europe.