Saturday, May 26, 2012

Primavera Sound Just Around the Corner...

So, as is customary each year, the warmer weather comes around, the council has (wisely) given more licences for terraces in an attempt to generate more custom for the locals and that can mean only two things: Summer is on its way, and the festival season is about to start.

First in line for the "big" festivals in San Miguel-sponsored Primavera Sound, which despite its "slightly-out-of-the-way" location in the Forum, keeps growing from strength to strength in its 11th year, and will take place from the 30th May till 3rd June. The festival is also embraced by other live music venues around the city, such as Apolo, and in fact, concerts have been happening affiliated to Primavera Sound all month in loads of the cool smaller bars around the Gothic Quarter and the Raval. There's also a more central stage this year at Arc de Triomf, too, opening and closing the event with two fantastic acquisitions in The Walkmen and Richard Hawley (ex-Longpigs).

One of the drop-outs this year is Bjork, who apparently has voice problems or jetlag or whatever. Hoever, fear not, as there are a whole host of other cool band, groups and musical ensembles to whet your appetite for a nice cool San Miguel (or any other well known beverage, not necessarily that one, obviously). The Cure, Mudhoney, Death in Vegas, Franz Ferdinand, Black Lips, Rufus Wainwringht....the list goes on and for a full set listing and line-up, check out the official site here. Looks like a great line up and a great excuse to get out and about listening ¡to some live music, too. Anyone planning on going this year ? Looking forward to anyone in particular? Let me know in the comments!

And if you're thinking of visiting the city this summer, check out BCN Rentals who have a great selection of apartments for rent instead of opting for a hotel room. And take a quick look at their city guide for those not-to-miss sights.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Formula 1 2012

At least for me, the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix in Barcelona (well, Montmelo) always seems to come around quickly. I should be used to it by now, as it's almost always the same date each year, but there's always that sensation of mid-May, a couple of music festivals along the way and all of a sudden we're in the height of summer. OK, well at least the weather is good outside, right?!

So starting tomorrow we have the come-back to Europe from Bahrain with Vettel still in the lead, followed by Hamilton but then hardly anything between the best of the rest, including Spain's darling, Fernando Alonso - always wanting to win on home soil - so much so, that he's not bothered about getting pole position tomorrow.

The easiest way to get to the circuit is on the bus from Paseig de Sant Joan/Diputacio run by Sagales. You can take the train but then there's a bit of a hike to actually get to the circuit. Bus time is around 45 minutes and costs 9 €.

Any predictions people? Let me know in the comments! And if you're looking for some last-minute accommodation deals, check out BCN Rentals apartments.

Inauguration Hemp Museum Barcelona

Stuck for something to do this Friday ? Well, the sun is out, the terraces are filling but there's also a special opening this Friday of Barcelona's new Hemp Museum. Sharing it's patronage from Ben Dronkers  - founder of the Amsterdam Hemp Museum - the new Barcelona sister version is housed in the fantastic Palau Mornau deep in the Gothic Quarter of the Catalan Capital. The museum exposes the origins of Hemp used in both industrial and nutritional uses, as well as cultural and medicinal uses of cannabis and a detailled look at the different varieties of the plant itself.

This week saw the Cultural Cannabis Awards held in the Museum itself with British Entrepreneur Richard Branson was in attendance along with special invited guest the Mayor of Rasquera - Tarragonian town thrust in to the spotlight in recent months for passing a local law permitting the cultivation of Cannabis in the region - the first of its kind in Spain. 

The location of the Museum also has an interesting story - built in the 16th Century by the SantCliment family (still named in a carrer in the Raval), it was discovered by Dronkers in 2002 in a "depolrable state". It has taken since then to slowly reform and refurbish the Palace to its former glory which now houses historical art and paintings from the 17th Century as well as botanical prints from as far back as the 18th and 19th Century all about the plant. It's tucked away on Carrer Ample (last on your left going down Las Ramblas), number 35.

The Mueseum opens tomorrow at 14h and will be opened by Jaime Prats, founder of the magazine  and emember of the Federacion de Asociaciones de Cannábicas (FAC). Although I've been invited, I won't be able to attend due to work commitments, but I can highly reccomend enquiring as to tomorrow's opening or heading on down there on another occasion. The opening hours are almost every day from 10am till 11pm and prices are 9€ for entrance - USDollars GBPounds and Euros all accepted as payment. 

Coming to Barcelona this summer? Check out BCN Rentals for some great deals on apartments. 
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