As I've said before, I love my neighbourhood. Everyone chats to each other and there's no air of superiority like I've found in many other barris that I've lived in. I often wish I could speak so many other languages to be able to really chat to the various people I have come to know in their own language. I remember feeling frustrated in my first few years here, learning Spanish at that just-getting-by stage, as I couldn't really have proper conversations. Pleasantries were a breeze but if I was annoyed about something, then I could rarely make my point.
Anyway, enough about me. Starting tomorrow is the 9th edition of Raval(s) - a culture festival involving loads of different social groups, and celebrating the great variety of walks of life we have in the neighbourhood. According to the Fundacio Tot Raval, this year's participation is the highest yet, and if you live here, too, you'll have seen the funky posters haning up and around everywhere.
There's a really varied selection of events with Theate, poetry, dance, concerts and many guided visits to the main museums and historical buildings of the city, such as the newly re-opened Palau Güell, MACBA, CCCB, Liceu, and Sant Pau del Camp amongst others.
The festival kicks off tomorrow evening with an open concert at the Rambla Raval, and everyone is encouraged to come along and participate at 8pm. Organised by Taller de Musica in the upper Raval, it's an excuse to get those vocal chords a-warbling!
Plenty of daytime activities with painting and Henna for the kids and games of the world like cricket (!) and other stuff.
There are great deal of plays and theatre performances in the avried spaces around 08001 and for a full program of events, download the pdf here.
In recent years, I've been disappointed by the absence of live music in the raval during La Merçe festivities. When I first moved here, there was always a huge stage at the top end of the Rambla del Ravaln and it was great. During the summer, in the Festival del Barri del Raval, every little square and plaça had a concert going on with such variety - some really cool Bollywood at Nou de la Rambla, Rock in Hort de la Bomba and open mic rapping on the Rambla Raval. I made it up to MACBA late as it was raining and had just missed the concert! But you get the idea.
So I was pleased to see this year has some (early-ish) concerts each night, with Jazz on the menu as well as Cuban music, and the ever popular Raval's band. Go on, you know you want to....;o) See you there!