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Spain’s top 10 awesome summer music festivals

As the summer sets in and temperatures soar across the country, it’s the perfect time to dance away your days and nights at one of Spain’s many music festivals. Here are some of our favourites.

Spain's top 10 awesome summer music festivals
Photo: Castellón Confidencial/Flickr.

Vida Festival

One of the best international music festivals in the country, Vida is held on the weekend of June 30th this year in Vilanova i la Geltrú, outside of Barcelona. The diverse line-up is a medley of acclaimed Spanish and international artists.

Bilbao BBK Live

bilbao bbk live
Photo: nvivo.es, 5gig/Flickr.

Camp in the countryside surrounded by mountains outside Bilbao while at this music festival featuring headliners like Arcade Fire, Tame Impala, and Pixies. Bilbao BBK Live takes place on the weekend of July 7th

Cruilla

cruilla barcelona
Photo: Cruïlla Barcelona/Flickr.

Cruilla’s alumni also include Damian Marley, as well as other hugely popular acts like Kendrick Lamar and Lauren Hill. Head over to Barcelona on the weekend of July 8th for another fabulous line-up this year, including Robert Plant and the Alabama Shakes.

FIB

fib music festival
Photo: Renzo Giusti/Flickr.

Another beach festival in Benicàssim, FIB 2016 is the weekend of July 14th and features some of the biggest names in music, with Oasis, Beck, the Killers, Radiohead, and more.

Arenal Sound

arenal sound
Photo: Jota Hache Se/Flickr.

The weekend of August 4th in Burriana, don’t miss one of the biggest beach music festivals along the Mediterranean coast. Arenal Sound has a star-studded line-up consisting of Steve Aoki, Two Door Cinema Club, and much more.

Santander Music

santander music festival
Photo: darthpedrius/Flickr.

With a mixture of today’s best Spanish and international artists, don’t miss this music festival in Campa de la Magdelena, Santander, the weekend of August 4th.

Cante de las Minas

cante de las minas
Photo: Universidad Internacional de Andalucía/Flickr.

This festival celebrates flamenco music, one of Spain’s most famous cultural symbols. For 10 days between August 3-13th this year, head over to La Unión in Murcia to enjoy some of Spain’s acclaimed flamenco singers and dancers, like José Mercé.

DGTL

dgtl
Photo: Carros de Foc/Flickr.

Don't miss DGTL in Barcelona this August 12-13th, with headliners including Maceo Plex, Nina Kraviz, and Jamie Jones.

Rototom Sunsplash

rototom sunsplash reggae festival
Photo: Gregorio Acebedo/Flickr.

One of Europe’s largest reggae festivals, Rototom Sunsplash takes place every summer in Benicàssim, Spain. This year’s dates are August 13-20th and include Bob Marley’s talented son Damian as well as popular French-Spanish artist Manu Chao.

DCODE

dcode music festival
Photo: Alterna2/Flickr.

Madrid’s top rock and indie festival returns on September 10th this year with an incredible line-up including Mark Ronson, Kodaline, and Jimmy Eat World.

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FESTIVALS

In Pictures: Spain’s Fallas festival returns after pandemic pause

Valencia's Fallas festival wrapped up with fireworks and the burning of colourful sculptures on Sunday after returning to the eastern Spanish city following a pandemic-induced hiatus.

In Pictures: Spain's Fallas festival returns after pandemic pause
Ninots (cardboard effigies) burn as one installation of the Fallas Festival is set alight in Valencia on September 5, 2021. Photos: José Jordan/AFP

The five-day festival is traditionally held in March but was cancelled last year as the Covid-19 pandemic swept Spain. This year, officials postponed the start of the UNESCO-recognised event until September 1st.

It was the first time that the festival was suspended since the end of Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War.

Each year, residents make hundreds of colourful puppet-like sculptures — some as big as a four-storey building — out of wood, plaster and papier-mache for the festival.

Called “ninots”, the sculptures depict fairytale characters and cartoonish effigies of politicians and celebrities.

One ensemble from this year’s event was inspired by the hit Spanish Netflix series “Money Heist”. It depicted several people wearing red overalls and Salvador Dali face masks like the main characters in the show.

The ninots are displayed in the streets of the Mediterranean city and then burned on the last day of the festival — in a bonfire called the “Cremà” — in a centuries-old tradition honouring St Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters.

Fireworks lit up the night sky as this year’s bonfire, which features about 750 sculptures, was held without the thousands of spectators that the event usually draws.

The bonfire was brought forward by two hours to allow festivities to end before a nightly virus curfew came into effect at 1:00 am (2300 GMT).

After much debate a customary flower offering to the Virgin Mary was allowed to proceed — but without people lining the route, as is tradition.

“These are not Fallas as such, more like Fallas-related events that comply with health regulations,” said Valencia mayor Joan Ribo.

The Fallas festival is believed to have originated from pagan rituals marking the end of winter.

The pandemic has forced the cancellation of many of Spain’s most famous fiestas, including Pamplona’s bull-running festival and Seville’s Holy Week processions.

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