If you’re in search of a music festival, Spain has plenty to offer. From major EDM names to smaller independent festivals that draw an enthusiastic crowd and showcase some of Spain’s top artists, there is something for everyone in Spain.
Las Fallas in Valencia is one of the world’s most vibrant festivals, bringing out massive characters onto the streets for 4 days of fireworks and bonfires!
1. La Merce
La Merce, one of Spain’s greatest festivals, stands as a standout highlight. Every September in Barcelona, this huge gathering brings thousands of revelers together for this unforgettable event.
On the four-day festival of Life in Budapest, there are over 500 events to enjoy – from breathtaking Castellers or Human Towers to Correfocs (fire runs for kids and adults), a parade of giants, fantastic creatures and other enjoyable activities.
In addition to all the traditional fireworks, there’s also an exciting array of music and dance. From folk dancing to acrobatic shows, there’s something for everyone at this festival.
At Ciutadella Park and Passeig Lluis Companys, street artists take centre stage during the daytime. Light plays an integral part of this festival too, featuring projections and shows where light is the main theme.
For those who appreciate fireworks, city hall has an outstanding show that uses projections to create an eerie and captivating scene. It’s the perfect way to cap off your evening.
It’s a popular event and can get very crowded, so it’s wise to arrive early.
Another iconic highlight of the festival are the human towers that rise up in Placa de Jaume – it’s truly one of those performances you have to see to appreciate its beauty! These towers can reach up to nine levels and it truly takes your breath away!
On Friday and Saturday nights, you can experience the Nits al Castell shows featuring star-studded daredevil acrobatic and circus acts. It’s an entertaining way to spend your evening and takes place both in Nou Barris area as well as Montjuic Castle.
La Merce festival is an unforgettable experience and definitely worth checking out if you’re searching for something different!
2. Semana Grande
Semana Grande is the biggest festival in Northern Spain and honors the Virgin de Begona, or Mother of the Basques. This celebration offers a unique blend of religion and culture with plenty of enjoyable activities for everyone to enjoy.
One of the most memorable and captivating sights during Semana Grande is watching the breathtaking fireworks show that lights up the sky along Playa de la Concha beach in San Sebastian. You can witness this moment from various locations throughout town; however, we suggest watching them from here on the shore!
In addition to fireworks, several traditional Basque sports take place during this festival. Horse races, beach volleyball tournaments, “herri-kirolak” (Basque village sports games) and more can be enjoyed by festival goers.
Kids have a unique chance to explore local traditions and culture at Jovellanos Theatre during the festival, with shows, plays, workshops and treasure hunts for little ones.
Another popular activity during Semana Grande is Abordaje Pirata, or Pirate Boarding at La Concha Beach. Thousands of people dress as pirates and sail from the harbor into the beach on homemade rafts!
At this festival, you’ll also experience traditional Basque music and dancing as well as delicious local food! What better way to immerse yourself in this vibrant culture than by joining us for some amazing festivities!
Throughout the Semana Grande week, there are plenty of concerts and shows for everyone to enjoy. Visit the Botanical Garden to watch puppet shows and traditional dances tailored towards children; plus they boast an idyllic picnic area where you can enjoy your meal under the sun.
Spain is renowned for its vibrant culture and warm-hearted hospitality, which are showcased through the country’s festivals. The best fiestas in Spain are those that bring families together for an unforgettable experience.
On Boloencierro Day, a massive polystyrene ball rolls down narrow streets as an enthusiastic crowd runs in front of it. This event was initially created as an alternative to bull running and promotes animal cruelty-free practices.
Mataelpino, outside Madrid, became one of the first towns in Spain to opt for an animal-friendly alternative to bullfighting for their annual festival. After six years, other towns across Spain began holding similar events as well.
Cronica Norte reports that due to this transformation, tourism figures have seen a spike. The festival has taken on the name bolo Encierro — a combination of ball and bull running in Spanish — due to its growing popularity.
But life in this small town hasn’t always been perfect. This year, a 29-year-old man was tragically crushed by a runaway 550 pound polystyrene ball while taking part in the Boloencierro festival.
After the incident, he was taken to hospital in stable condition and marked as El Pais’ second injury of this year’s Boloencierro.
The festival can be an exhilarating mix of fun and danger, but it’s not suitable for everyone. That is why an export version of the event is held specifically for children which uses smaller boulders with irregular shapes to reduce risk of being hit by the ball.
This is an ideal way to get into the festival mood while staying safe and having a wonderful day. However, remember to abide by all rules of the game and stay out of harm’s way.
For an extraordinary, quirky, and truly bizarre festival in Spain, look no further than La Tomatina. This legendary food fight takes place annually on the last Wednesday of August in Bunol, located 40km west of Valencia.
Tomatina – an annual food fight enjoyed by thousands of people from all over the world – began as a spontaneous tomato toss during a street brawl that broke out in 1945. Though its exact origins remain uncertain, it’s believed that this tradition began with this event.
Since then, the festival has seen unprecedented growth and been recognized by Spain as a “celebration of international tourist interest”. After being briefly banned during General Franco’s regime in 1950s, Bunol has returned with a vengeance as one of Europe’s most beloved festivals.
The day of the tomatina begins early in the morning as people attempt to climb a greased pole from which a cured ham hangs. Once this is accomplished, real festivities begin.
Experience an exhilarating and unique way to spend your day in Spain! Beyond the tomato fight, there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied.
On the last Wednesday of August each year, this festival draws thousands of tourists from Spain and beyond. The main event is tomato throwing but there are also other exciting events like paella cook-offs and parades – you can even try your luck at winning a prize by climbing up on top of a ham hung on a pole!
5. Las Fallas
Las Fallas is one of Spain’s beloved traditions and well-known around the globe. Combining pagan and Christian beliefs, it commemorates spring and honors San Jose (better known as San Giuseppe), patron saint of carpenters.
In March, the festival takes place. Local carpenters and woodworkers create fallas (papier-mache sculptures) in their workshops during the day; at night these structures are burned in front of each workshop.
Each falla has a message and many express political beliefs. If you want to learn more about its significance, ask a local. They will be delighted to tell you its story and show off some of their best works!
Valencia boasts an array of fallas, some more elaborate than others. Some can take up to a whole weekend to complete, so it is essential that you plan ahead and set aside enough time for this activity.
One of the best ways to experience Las Fallas is taking a walking tour with either an expert guide or by yourself. This is an ideal way to get acquainted with the city and admire some of its most breathtaking fallas.
Another popular event is the Floral Parades and L’Ofrena de Flors that take place on March 17th and 18th. This is an unforgettable way to experience the Fallas spirit and offer flowers to the Old Lady in Plaza de la Virgen.
As you can imagine, Valencia will be buzzing with activity during this busy period. Therefore, it is recommended to book your accommodation well in advance of the event. Ideally, choose an establishment close to the old town and within easy walking distance of public transport – especially since roads will be closed during the festival.