Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grec Festival Kicks Off This Weekend

This weekend sees the start of a different kind of festival to the music ones happening already and is focussed around the Greek Theatre up on Montjüic. And this one goes on a lot longer, too - from 17th June to the 31st July you can enjoy a variety of shows at the Festival Grec. The festival actually spans many different forms of entertainment including dance, theatre music and art and uses various spaces around the city, but there's something special about the Greek Theatre.

Barcelona's Greek Theatre - Barcelona sights Blog

I studied Greek Theatre at University and also many of the classic Greek plays, so maybe the affinity lies there, but for me there's a draw to that hidden corner of Montjüic in the open air which was built for the Open Exhibition of 1929 just like its neighbour Poble Espanyol.

The festival is celebrating its 35th year in 2011, and showcases both local and International acts (also partners with other companies from abroad and tends to have a theme each year from each "guest"). This year sees such diversity as Jazz orchestras, breakdancing nights, Tango beats and tragedy plays all on that same stage. It's impossible for me to gloss over the entire programme so for full listings, please see the official site here.

For accommodation during the summer, check out BCN Rentals who have a great selection of apartments at reasonable prices.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sonar 2011

What can you say about Sonar that hasn't already been said before ? quite simply it's one of the best festivals in Europe, and something that despite being slap bang in the middle of a city rather than a huge field, gathers momentum every single year. It's something people look forward to each year more or less as soon as the official posters come out early in the year.

Sonar is as local as it is International. Many people repeat year on year, loads are first timers, and a high percentage of the assistants are locals, too (I have friends who take a week off every year and go to the whole thing, day night, non-stop).

Chilling at Sonar - Barcelona Sights blog

As usual, the line up doesn't look to disappoint (although I must admit I was secretly hoping for the Beasties to come back after their very cool new release, but never mind - just have to do with the very cool Fight for your right revisited at Sonar Cinema), with heavyweights Underworld sure to remind everyone just how good Trainspotting was. Aphex Twin are another from years gone by (with some of the coolest videos ever made!), as well as Human League, Dizzie Rascal, and many more to mention. Full line up here. As usual, the BBC has their live lounge over the full 3 days and there's also Sonar Radio for those of you who can't make the whole lot. The whole city kind of embraces Sonar and there's pretty much stuff going on which can be related to sonar all week, although the "actual" stuff is only 16th, 17th and 18th June.

And lets not forget the kids!! Sonar by Kids comes into its third year ready to entertain and form those little creative brains of our offspring. Again, far too much going on for me to detail here without repeating a list, but such variety from paper puppets to beatboxing, dj classes and workshops and breakdancing - on all day Sunday 19th.

Are you nipping to Sonar this year ? Anyone in particular you're looking forward to seeing? Let me know in the comments...

and if you're looking for accommodation in Barcelona close to Sonar there's a good link. If you need to familiarise yourself with the local area, too, then see this guide to Barcelona's old town.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gay Pride in June

The Catalans are a proud nation, and the Gay and Lesbian Community is also proud and perhaps more welcomely received than in other areas around Europe. And for that reason, Pride Barcelona is running into its third year and ready to shout from the rooftops. The main events actually run at the end of this month, but there are more events starting as early as the weekend of the 18th - co-inciding with the Sonar Festival.

Gay Pride 2011 - Barcelona Sights Blog

Heavily supported by both the council and many local businesses and charities, there is a lot of fun planned. From taking over tibidabo theme park, to the march from Plaça Universitat back to Plaça Espanya, foam parties and endless events around the city, there is something for everyone. Make up for kids, drag queen parades, even pets are getting involved this year, which looks fantastic!

One of the main areas to be used is the Fira de Barcelona outdoor space on Av Maria Cristina (between the two pencils, right?) - with basketball courts, circus acts, face painting, acrobats and dancers, and plenty of serious education material about STDs, HIV, etc. etc. And there are many other spots around the city and GaiEixample to embrace the movement so keep your eyes and ears open for those impromptu events. Full details and programme can be seen on the web.

Are you planning on attending any of the events or even offering yourself as a volunteer? Let me know in the comments...

And if you're stuck for accommodation in the city, check out these Barcelona apartments from BCN Rentals.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

May the Festivals Commence!

Now before you all start correcting me about festival time, and reminding me that we've already had Primavera Sound to kick off the season, it's only my way of saying that once we hit the second weekend of June, things just seem to come thick and fast and there's something about the sun that (usually) accompanies these kind of shindigs that doesn't mean rain, wellies and tents, rather sunshine, flip flops and Barcelona apartments.

So, with baited breath, it comes that time of the year again for those craaaazzy guys at Matinee group to commence the proceedings with their Summer Party. The site appears to have crashed today, so I'll point you in the direction of their Facebook page instead.

Matinee Summer Festival 2011 - Barcelona Sights blog

For those of you not in the know, the unique thing about the Matinee Summer festival is that it takes place in a huge water park just outside the city of Barcelona called Illa Fantasia. That's right, it's like one almighty pool party but it starts at 10am!! there is after parties of course from 22 onwards if you've managed to get your skin to resemble anything other than a shrivelled prune after all that dancing in the water...

The whole thing is very well organised with free buses to take you there every 15 minutes, and they have a decent line up to keep you amused all day - let's hope the weather obliges, too?!

Are you off to the party this year? Let me know in the comments...
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