What’s on in Spain: July

With July just round the corner, The Local has put together some of the best cultural, musical and downright crazy events happening around Spain to keep you entertained in this hot summer month.

What's on in Spain: July
Great concerts, exhilirating street parties and the insane running of the bulls will all be taking place across Spain in July. Photo: AFP


Rapa das bestas: Sabucedo (Galicia), 4th -6th July 

The Shearing of the Beasts is a 400-year-old festival which sees hundreds of wild horses rounded up from the mountains. The animals are then herded into a small arena and bedlam ensues as they not only have their manes trimmed but also get branded.

International Festival of Classical Theatre: Merida, July 2nd-August 28th
This theatre festival in spectacular Merida – home to Spain's largest group of Roman monuments – puts the spotlight in classical Rome and Greece over two gripping months.
Veranos de la Villa: Madrid, July to September
A festival offering music, theatre, dance, film, all the artistic disciplines join together in the Teatro Circo Price, the Sabatini Gardens, CentroCentro, Matadero Madrid and the Conde Duque Cultural Centre to offer a truly varied programme to make us forget about the heat and enjoy unforgettable moments with Jorge Drexler, Chucho Valdés, Estrella Morente, Pasión Vega and many more.
Moors and Christians Festival: Villajoyosa (Alicante) 24th-31st July
Step back in time and witness the landing of the Moors on Spanish shores in this 250-year-old festival. Events during the week include re-enacted battles, magestic processions and street celebrations to commemorate the victory of the local population over their invaders from the east in 1538.

San Fermin Festival: Pamplona (Navarre), 6th-14th July

Probably the most instantly recognizable Spanish festival around the world, San Fermín with its (optional) running of the bulls draws in Spaniards and foreigners for a week-long non-stop party on almost everyone's bucket list.

Bous a la mar (Bulls in the sea): Denia (Valencia) July 5th-July 13th
If the running of the bulls in Pamplona is clichéd for you, you might want to try the Bous a la mar in Valencia province. Here participants try and make it to the sea without being touched by the bulls. The animals then leap into the water before being guided back to shore. The festival includes all sorts of other events too — from events for kids to music concerts to religious processions.

FIB Music Festival: Benicassìm (Valencia), 17th-20th July
Headline acts this year include Kasabian, The Libertines, Lily Allen and Paolo Nutini

Heineken Jazzaldía:  San Sebastian July 23rd-July 27th,

Playing at this year's San Sebastian jazz festival are luminaries including Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Stanley Clarke, along with many others.
International Guitar Festival, Cordoba, June 30th-July 12th
One of Spain’s musical highlights, the annual Cordoba guitar festival highlights guitar musical in all its forms — from classical and flamenco, to jazz and rock.

BBK Live Festival, Bilbao 10th-12th July 
Franz Ferdinand, The Prodigy, John Newman, The Black Keys, Jack Johnson and many big names will be playing at the festival. Tickets are apparently sold out but it may be worth checking online in case there any last minute ones up for grabs.

Festival de Verano en San Lorenzo in El Escorial (Madrid),June 27th-August 5th
This eclectic music festival in the beautiful town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial — an hour from Madrid — includes everything from flamenco to classical music to choral works.
Low Festival Benidorm, July 25th-July 27th
Acts featured at the 2014 edition of this 'low cost' music festival include The Hives, Massive Attack and the Kaiser Chiefs


Gay Pride Festival, 2nd to 6th of July in Madrid

Madrid's Chueca neighbourhood errupts into a massive party where people of all sexual persuasions (not just gays) join in the fun. Outdoor bars, live music and cultural events take over the central quarter of Spain's capital for four days culminating with a mass parade through the city centre streets.

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In pics: 400,000 march through Madrid for Gay Pride

Four hundred thousand people turned out on the streets of Madrid Saturday for a Gay Pride parade dedicated this year to pioneers of the LGBT+ cause, amid growing fears of fresh repression with the rise of the far-right in Europe.

In pics: 400,000 march through Madrid for Gay Pride

The marchers converged on the Spanish capital's main Atocha train station for the start of the festivities. The 400,000 figure was later given by police.

The slogan for this year's march was “History, struggle and memory” and participants marked 50 years since the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969 which were the foundation of the gay rights movement worldwide.

Catholic Spain at the time was controlled by dictator General Francisco Franco and homosexual acts were illegal. Thousands of gays were shipped off to rehabilitation centres or even jailed.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1978, three year's after Franco's death, since when Spain has become one of the most LGBT-tolerant countries in the world, authorising gay marriage and adoptions by gay couples in 2005.

“I'm 53 years old and I have suffered,” said Manuel Carmona, carrying a large rainbow flag for Saturday's march.

“But those who are 63-years-old suffered more and those who are 73-years-old even more and I want us to recognise these people who have helped us,” added Carmona who has been attending the pride march for 30 years.

Madrid's city hall swung to the right in June after a conservative candidate was elected mayor with the support of newly-emerged far-right party Vox, in a move that has caused concern in Spain.

Vox has said that the Madrid Gay Pride Parade should be moved to a park in the suburbs and opposes public subsidies for the event.

“They do not want to understand that when we talk about LGBT rights, we are talking about human rights,” said Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who is himself gay and took part in the march.