The best music festivals in Barcelona this Summer
As a bustling coastal city, it’s no surprise that Barcelona is notorious for its nightlife. Locals and visitors both venture out into the Catalan capital to party after dark and take in the sounds of some of the world’s leading DJs and bands. But the summer festival season is when Barcelona really shifts into a higher gear, so if you’re looking for a place to soak up the sun and sample the biggest and best beats in the coming months then check out these fiestas.
Sonar Festival – 12-14th June 2014
Location: Fira Montjuic & Fira Gran Via L’Hospitalet (Barcelona)
Widely regarded as one of the best electronic music festivals on the planet, Sonar Festival is the International Festival of advanced music and new media art. You’ll find a Sonar in many other cities across the world, including London, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Chicago.
Barcelona’s Sonar is split across two locations: ‘Sonar by Day’ and ‘Sonar by Night’, as well as a new area showcasing new talent. Particularly special given its proximity to the coastline, Sonar Barcelona combines a playful party atmosphere with electro DJs and acts who really know how to experiment with those beats.
This year’s line-up sees some of the biggest names in the electronica/dance scene descend into Barcelona; We’re talking Massive Attack, Rudimental, Caribou, Lykke Li, Tiga, Flux Pavilion and Royksopp to mention a few.
Tickets: One-day tickets for Sonar by Day and Sonar by Night are €48 and €72 respectively. A Sonar Pass for €195 gives you access to Sonar by Day, Sonar by Night and all the rest. Or go for two nights of Sonar at the special price of €125 per person.
Sonar by Day
Situated just off the Placa d’Espanya roundabout – one of the city’s largest squares – Fira Montjuic is on Placa de I’Univers and is within walking distance of Placa Espanya’s metro station which is on Lines 1 and 3.
You can get any of these buses: H12, V7, 9, 13, 23, 27, 37, 46, 50, 65, 79, 91, 109, 150 and 165. Fira Montjuic is about a 30-35 minute walk from Generator Barcelona, via the L3 line from Espanya to Diagonal.
Sonar by Night
Not far from the Port of Barcelona is the Fira Gran Via L’Hospitalet. Situated within walking distance of Europa – Fira metro station, it can also be reached by car and taxi via Carrer del Foc.
Primavera Festival – 28-31st May 2014
Location: Parc del Forum, Barcelona
Attracting over 100,000 people each year, Primavera Sound Festival is easily one of Spain’s biggest summer events. Some of the world’s most established bands and performers are set to grace the stages and perform into the early hours. You’ll be seeing the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Arcade Fire, Pixies, Neutral Milk Hotel, Julio Bashmore, Foals and Nine Inch Nails.
Tickets: The full festival ticket which costs €195, includes free access to all the ‘Primavera als Clubs’ concerts on Monday 26th, Tuesday 27th, Wednesday 28th May and Sunday 1st June. Day tickets for Thursday 29th, Friday 30th and Saturday 31st in Parc del Forum are available at €90 per person.
Transport: Parc del Forum is on numerous major bus routes in Barcelona (43, 7, 36, 141 and 41) with buses running from 6.30am to 11.15pm approx. Night bus services (N6 and N7) are also available running from 11pm to 6am.
The festival site is just 150m away from the El Maresme – Forum metro station on Line 4. From Monday to Thursday trains run from 5am to 12am. Trains run between 5am and 2am on Fridays and on Saturdays a non-stop service operates. Generator Barcelona is 5km west of Primavera. Simply head along Av. Diagonal and onto Carrer de Corsega. It is a very simple taxi route but if you’d rather hop on the Metro at Verdaguer (Line 4) you’ll reach El Maresme – Forum in just over 30 minutes.
Arenal Sound Festival – 29th July-3rd August 2014
Location: El Arenal Beach, Burriana, Castellon
A relatively new kid on Spain’s summer festival block, Arenal Sound Festival is more than just a music festival. Taking place on Arenal Beach in the small coastal resort of Burriana near Castellon, you can expect sun, sand, music and watersports at your disposal.
If adrenaline-fuelled electronic music is your thing, you won’t be disappointed with this year’s line-up. Arenal are expecting the likes of Knife Party, Die Antwoord and Boys Noize. And on the rock and roll front: Placebo, Bastille, Miles Kane and The Wombats are sure to entertain.
Tickets: Tickets for the festival with camping at Arenal are now sold out, but day tickets without camping are still on sale for €58,50 per person. Tickets with camping in nearby Malvarrosa are also available at €74,50 each.
There are direct train routes from Barcelona’s city centre to Castellon, where you can hop on a suburban (Cercanias) train- it takes 10 minutes to reach Burriana.
Circuit Festival – 6-17th August 2014
Location: Across Barcelona
The Circuit Festival has become one of the most talked about events on Barcelona’s gay calendar. After Barcelona Pride in June, Circuit is the one that all the guys and girls want to visit for its all-day waterpark parties and late night frolics.
The festival really gets going on Thursday August 7th with a Rapido opening party at Sala Eitwo where this 3,000-capacity club kicks things off in the suburbs – through to the closing party on Sunday 17th August at Razzmatazz from 11pm till late. Some of the other main spectacles include the Circuit’s main pool party at La Carpa L’Hospitalet and ‘Beyond at Bloc’ where the London party brand takes visitors on a trip down memory lane. DJ’s set to grace the Circuit decks include Alain Jackinsky, Ivan Gomez, Paulo Pachego and Tomer Maizner.
Tickets: Tickets are not currently available on the official website but single event tickets will range from €20-50 and festival passes giving you access to all events should cost about €320 per person.
Transport: Circuit Festival events are dotted across Barcelona’s city centre, but venues such as La Carpa L’Hospitalet and L’Atlantida Barcelona are hosting multiple nights.
To get to these events from Generator Barcelona:
La Carpa L’Hospitalet:
Located at the end of Diagonal, La Carpa can be reached on Barcelona’s Metro via Zona Universitaria (Line 3), Pubilla Cases (Line 5) and Can Oliveres (Trams 1, 2 and 3). Given Generator’s close proximity to Diagonal, La Carpa is also easily and quickly accessible via taxi.
This iconic beach club was moved to Sant Adria de Besos, taking over the former Ghoa Beach Club on the other side of Barcelona. Sant Adria is accessible via Metro (Trams 4 and 6) and is just around the corner from the stunning Parc del Litoral and Parc de la Ribera overlooking El Besos.