Saturday, June 12, 2010

Parallel Parties This Weekend!

Parallel Party - Barcelona Sights Blog
This weekend sees a bit of a local party in the middle of Avenida Parallel. For those of you who don't know this area, Parallel is the Theatre area of the city, which I suppose you could compare to broadway in New York. That's certainly the idea that the current mayor wants in any case, making a "classy" avenue between the Port and Plaça Espanya where many popular conferences and conventions are held. There are many Theatres along Parallel and one in particular is undergoing a bit of a revamp - El Molino. El Molino is your kind of Moulin Rouge of Barcelona, and had been sitting in ruins for many years.

History of El Molino Explained - Barcelona Sights

There are many kids workshops with face-painting, giant dances, themed dances, live music and plenty to keep the locals entertained. Many cultural and charity works have stands and information explaining the good work done in the neighbourhood. There are also inflatable table footballs, tennis courts, basketball courts, etc. for the kids, too - and a handy few Moritz bars at either end and in the middle for the parents/people without kids who want to quench their thirst!

Bollywood Arrives to Parallel - Barcelona Sights

There are many live concerts which are going on right until the wee hours, too. Part of the street has been closed to traffic, and the party is set to continue until the evening, so get yourselves down and check it out!

Handy Moritz Bar for Beer and Food! - Barcelona Sights Blog

Coming to Barcelona this month? Check out these apartment rentals as a great way to save money between friends or as a family group. And for a quick look at the sights to see, read this great Barcelona guide.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Come on Sonar!! Come on Sonar!!

What a good feeling! Less than 2 weeks to go before the World Cup starts in South Africa, and we're well into the swing of things as regards partying, planning, barbequing (is that a word?) and then that all too familiar date pops up in your diary/BlackBerry/Iphone - 17th, 18th and 19th June. Woo-Hoo!! It's Sonar time!

Still a stroppy teenager at 17 years, Sonar is a Barcelona institution and never disappoints. There's something about Sonar arriving (end of exams, good weather usually been here for a while) that makes you quite sure summer has arrived (even though, technically it hasn't yet - not until Sant Joan!).

Sonar 2010 - Barcelona Sights Blog

One thing I also always love about Sonar is the publicity promoting the events. This year is no exception, with the cool posters of ghosts splattered all around town (Yes, please I'll have one of them made into a bag, thanks). But it also appears that this year has more to do with it that just clever posters. Next Friday sees Renoir Floridablanca premiere "Finisterrae" which tells the story of two ghosts who are "tired of wandering limbo so decide to take the "Way of Saint James" and ...begin their journey to the land of the living" - classically wacky stuff and just in time for Sonar Kids which begins next weekend, too.

The line-up for Sonar this year is just as enviable as other years, with organisers managing to capture the imagination with headline industry greats The Chemical Brothers, Roxy Music or Air and mixing it up with usual suspects 2Many DJs and great cameos from people like the Sugarhill Gang, Dizzie Rascal, Pete Tong, The Pinker Tones...the list goes on.

One of the best things about Sonar is the by Day events, who despite pressure from neighbourhood groups, refuse to move from their extremely central position of in and around the MACBA and CCCB - right downtown in Barcelona's old town and not miles away at the Forum, for example. The night events are held at Gran Via 2 just outside the city and have enormous spaces with booming sound systems and attractions (dodgems!!). This year also sees parallel shows in A Coruña, with a similarly impressive line-up.

So what do you reckon? Heading to Sonar this year? Who are you looking forward to seeing? Let me know in the comments, below. And if you're visiting the city this June, don't forget to check out alternative accommodation to a hotel room, like these great Barcelona Rental Apartments for a different kind of holiday altogether!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blast to the Past with Cypress Hill

OK, possibly another slightly indulgent post for me here. I just think it's cool that some groups I used to listen to as a young lad get back together and do some touring. Especially as these kind of groups never set foot in the north east of England when I was young (the closest I got was a ticket for Nirvana at Leeds and then Kurt shot himself a few months before).

Hits from da bong - BarcelonaSights Blog

In the late 90s there were no cooler cats than Cypress Hill. Along with Jump Around by House of Pain, they were the American Dope-Smoking dudes rapping about...well, smoking dope. Infectious beats and lyrics combined with wacky voices made for a perfect recipe and they were considered as rock and roll rappers and it was perfectly normal for you to be listening to a compilation of grunge rock and mix it with the likes of the Hill. Well, the movie Judgment Night had some great collaborations on the soundtrack which included Pearl Jam and Cypress Hill and Dinosaur Jr with Del the funky homesapien (now with Gorillaz).

Anyway, if you fancy pulling out your black t-shirts and baggy jeans, and reliving those days you can't quite remember too well, then head on down to Razzmatazz on the 20th. I'm not exactly sure how the organisers are going to stop all the smoking going on in there, either, but we'll see?! Are you going to the concert? Looking forward to it? Let me know in the comments. And if you're looking for accommodation in Barcelona then consider renting an apartment for more freedom and space to relax. Also, if you're looking to explore outside the city, here's a link to the best Barcelona day trips.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Big Disco Swimming Pool? OK!

There are some awesome festivals each year in Barcelona. As we bid goodbye to Primavera Sound, there are some great ones coming around the corner. Sonar is an institution in Barcelona (post to follow) and the heat of the summer has even more reasons to party with your sunglasses on in the Mediterranean heat.

Matinée Summer Festival - Barcelona Sights Blog

However, there's one particular party that brings a smile to my face. I don't know who or where those "foam parties" ever started (surely everyone must have been to one before and ruined a pair of shoes?), well how about doing the same, but in a water park?! Sounds mad? Well, that's cos it pretty much is! Here to the rescue is Matinee Summer Festival. The folks at Matinee group have been at the forefront of dance music in Barcelona for as long as I can remember, and have some of the best DJ's and party organisers in the land.

The Summer Festival is happening just outside Barcelona and is easily accessed with public transport, which is handy, as it means you can have a few beers in the sunshine without worrying about the designated driver! It's located at Illa Fantasia, and the website has full details of the easy ways to arrive. If you check out the promotional video on the site, you'll see that last years was a roaring success and was a great warm up for the Circuit festival. I'm guessing that a lot of people will be repeating, too. Are you planning on going? or does it look like something that you fancy? Let me know in the comments.

If you're thinking of coming to Barcelona this summer for a festival, then forget about looking for a hotel and check out these rental apartments in Barcelona instead. And for some relaxing ideas, see this guide for the best Barcelona Parks and Gardens.
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